From Susie Sarkisian, Kensington Family Support Coach
Want to be a happier, healthier version of yourself, but not sure where to start? Lasting change begins with small steps. Susie’s Caregiver Checklist offers five simple ways you can reach new heights. We’re cheering you on as you embrace what matters most to you.
What is self-love and how can it help you live life to the fullest? Simply put, self-love is a state of appreciation for your life. It means taking into consideration your own well-being and happiness. Treating yourself with kindness and respect; and learning to quiet that inner critic that may sometimes come forward.
- Live in the present. If you stop to think about it, the present moment is the only sure thing we have. The past is the past. The future can go many different directions, but if we define what IS, or what is in front of us right now, we have the present. Worrying about the future, or fretting over the past can make someone miss what’s in front of them. There are gifts in the present, even when it’s challenging. I like to think of the concept of ‘living in the present’ as putting down your cell phone and listening to someone with full eye contact. It’s a gift, and a choice we can make.
- Treat ourselves how we treat others. This may sound backwards, but it’s true. We practice compassion for others daily, but often, we don’t give that same kindness to ourselves. Self-criticism is a hard habit to break, but starts with an awareness of what you’re saying to yourself. We have all been exceptionally kind to someone else just when they needed it, and when you quiet that inner critic, there’s space for the same kindness reflected right back to you. Try it in the mirror!
- Do one thing every day that’s just for you. Oftentimes, caregivers give up meaningful passions and hobbies due to their busy schedules. What is it for you? Is there something you’re missing? It could be eating out at favorite restaurants, going for a jog, indulging in a tv show, painting, or reading for 20 minutes each morning. Then create pockets of opportunity to build this back in. Caregiving does not have to mean you do nothing for yourself. In effect, healthy caregiving means time for you, and time for others.
- Think Positive and Say YES! Feel like you’re always declining invitations or new opportunities? Saying no too often can negatively affect your overall mindset. Start looking at the bright side of new adventures, like making a new friend or enjoying a new experience. Say yes more and see how it changes your life! Try starting small with a promise to say YES to the next thing that comes your way that sounds tempting.
- Stop comparing. This one can be an even tougher habit to break than the inner critic voice, but once you’ve taken comparisons out of the equation, you’ll see the difference. Your life is YOUR life, and it’s a beautiful life. This is your gentle reminder that there’s so much to enjoy and embrace. Switch your focus, don’t compare yourself to others, and soar!