It’s a fact that women are more down on themselves than ever before, criticizing themselves at least eight times a day! The top self-inflicted criticisms are weight (too much), money (not enough) and job (not right). And that’s just the beginning. In a study conduced in the UK by Womankind, the bursts of self-criticism are most common when looking in a mirror or out clothes shopping, with a concerning 60 per cent of women admitting to having days where they felt they criticized themselves constantly throughout the day. The findings also showed that women begin berating themselves early in the day, with almost half of those surveyed – 46% – admitting to criticizing themselves at least once before 9.30am.
No one deserves to feel any less about themselves due to a lack of self-love and self-compassion. Society and the world around us can be fickle and with certain expectations and perceived standards of beauty, money, work and pretty much everything imaginable, it’s understandable that sometimes those societal expectations can weigh heavy on our minds. It’s essential to our individual happiness to break the negative mold and find comfort with who we are.
Self-compassion can seem self-indulgent, but if you don’t love yourself first how can you expect others too? On those days where everything seems to be going wrong, or you feel like the lives of others seem to surpass your own, it’s important to sit back, relax and just calm down. Because you do have the power to change the dialog, especially the negative conversation going on in your own head!
- A little “ME” time
When things seem overwhelming try giving yourself some time to do things that make you happy! Take a bubble bath, read a book, or maybe go for a run. Just find something that helps you clear your mind of any negative thinking.
- Be your own best friend
If you’re struggling to embrace self-compassion, just think of how you would treat your best friend if they were having similar issues. When a friend is struggling, it is natural instinct to comfort and console. So, as self-indulgent as it may feel, do the same for yourself. A pair of really comfy slippers and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) can change a mood in a heartbeat!
- Cut yourself some slack
It’s OK to feel blue now and then, it doesn’t mean you are weak. If you’re stressed out just remember that’s normal—don’t make yourself frantic with worry— deep breaths, get some fresh air and watch a funny movie. Laughter is the best medicine.
- Treat yourself
A little self-indulgence can make a world of a difference, and remember to treat yourself the same way you would treat a loved one if they were in your shoes. A couple of spoonful’s of ice cream, or your favorite chocolate (make sure you have some healthy options around so you don’t make yourself feel more guilty), a little moping allowed, and most importantly— a whole lotta’ love.
In this social media driven world we live in today, it’s almost impossible not to look at the lives of others and think “I wish I had their life”. But in the end, we have to remember that the photos we see of people’s “perfect lives” are just a projection. Everybody has their own issues and their own self-doubts—the key is to live life in a way that makes you happy, and remember that the opinions of others are just that. Opinions. And no one and nothing should make you doubt yourself, your potential, or your happiness.