“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” ~Morrie Schwartz
As a young woman, it’s easy to get caught up in the media and all of the images they portray on us about how we are ‘supposed’ to look, what we are ‘supposed’ to do, and many other things. And It can be hard to know how to really be nice to yourself when all of these messages are mostly negative and degrading, but it can be one of the most important things you learn how to do.
Whenever I am faced with a lot of media tension or just everyday stress, I have a go-to list of things to help me relax and focus on my self-care.
5 Ways to Cultivate More Love and Compassion in Your Life
1. Take a media break
This has been pretty successful for me in the past, in fact, I hardly ever tune into tv anymore just so I don’t have to see those horrible commercials. If you find yourself getting stressed over the voice of the media or just any stressor in your life, try turning off the tv or reading those fashion magazines. Images and messages that they send out can have a great impact on your self-compassion. And it’s not a positive one.
2. Breathe and Meditate
My favorite thing to do when I feel my anxiety bubbling up is to sit down and take a few deep breaths. And when I say deep, I mean belly breathe, the type of breathing that makes your stomach go out as you inhale and in when you exhale. When you become stress, you start to breathe from your chest which causes tension and anxiety. Take a moment to relax, belly breaths, and maybe even try meditating.
While you’re on your media break, check a good book out at the library. Sometimes a good romance novel or even an inspirational book will do the trick and let you focus on something else for a while. I know that when I read, I feel amazing afterward. You can get swept away with the characters or discover something new about yourself.
4. Go for a long walk
I love long walks. I have always referred to them as my therapy because that’s the effect they have on me. They calm me, they allow me to reflect and relax. All I have to do is walk and if I want to think I can or I don’t have to either. It’s proven that walking can help you become happier and less stressed. I encourage you to give it a try!
This is the most important one of all. Remember that you are beautiful, valuable, and worthy. When you get caught up in the photoshopped images from those magazines, remember that they aren’t perfect in real like. People are not supposed to be perfect and that’s the beauty of the world. We are all unique and beautiful and special in our own ways. Remember what makes you, YOU. And then smile because you’re oh so lovely!