It has been five months since coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic. It has been five months since all of our lives changed drastically (for some more than others). It has been five months of going crazy at home with kids, or going crazy because you are all alone. It has been five months of back-to-back zoom calls or maybe frantically looking for work. For everyone, it has been a lot. And it’s still not over. Let’s take a moment to recognize that.
Through this time, as I’ve tried to adjust to life under these new circumstances, I’ve found myself beating myself up a lot. There have been days where I feel I’m not present enough with my daughter Nova. There have been times when I couldn’t give my work the energy I felt it deserved. There was the unlimited supply of potato chips in the cupboard and for a while, that daily cookie. There were the days where the news was so overwhelming that it was hard to care about the mundanity of everyday life.
When you are a goal-oriented, self-motivated person, giving in to the pressures of life feels like failure with a capital F. You feel that you should always be able to rise above, regardless of the circumstances. You hold yourself to a certain standard, and when you fall below that expectation, you feel weak.
But just as we deeply care for and appreciate the people closest to us in their times of need, sometimes, we have to turn that love, care and appreciation towards ourselves. We have to love ourselves enough to first forgive ourselves for not meeting our own expectations. And then we turn to appreciation. Just as a child who receives positive reinforcement is more likely to build on that praise, appreciating ourselves helps to remind us of the best within ourselves. Appreciating ourselves allows us to more easily and effortlessly draw on the good that is within us.
So tonight, make a little list of all the things you appreciate about yourself.
Go deep and make it a long list. Include the big things (I forgave someone) and the little things (I passed on the ice cream). See yourself through the eyes of someone you love. See yourself from the point of view of who you want to become.
I’m sharing some of mine just for inspiration, because this is about you, not me :)
I appreciate myself for…
- always wanting to grow and learn
- trying to understand instead of judge
- always turning to love
- not ever accepting the inner feeling of fear as a signal of what to do (or not do)
- wanting to live life as fully as possible
- showing everyone what not giving up looks like
- taking responsibility for my life
- treating everyone with respect
- recognizing my own resistance and trying to let it go
Keep your list nearby and read it every time you need a boost. Remind yourself of the wisdom you already hold within.
I hope you take a few minutes to make this list. If you do, share it with me so I can appreciate you more than I already do. :)