The way we think about ourselves can have an impact on things we do and what we strive for in life. If we think ourselves not worth much, we won’t strive for much. On the contrary, the phrase “Dream Big” will be easy to implement if you have a habit of knowing how to encourage yourself. If you struggle encouraging yourself, it doesn’t have to stay that way! Changing habits takes time. While practicing these tips can be awkward at first it can really change that inner voice over time and help you to encourage yourself when you need it most.
Positive Self Talk
Whether you say the words out loud or not we are constantly talking to ourselves “Go for it!”, “You could never do that”, “They will think you are too weird if you say that”, “I can help that cause”, or maybe “You are not good enough”. If you find the messages you send yourself are holding you back, start here.
Speaking kinds things about yourself out loud can really help to change this habit. However that might feel a bit weird. Try making a list of the negative things you regularly think regarding yourself. This is easiest to do at the end of the day when you can think back on the messages you sent yourself that day. Now, try to counter those messages with honest positive ones. For example, let’s say you had a long day and came home to your kids begging you for attention and you just didn’t have any energy left for it. Your first reaction may be “I am a terrible mom because I don’t have time for my kids”. You could counter that with “I just worked a long day to be able to provide a life for them I never had. While I may not have energy today we had some great bonding time last weekend on our trip out to the beach”. The more you practice this, the quicker and easier you can silence this voice.
Practice Self Care
When you set aside time each day for a few minutes to take care of yourself, not only are you rejuvenating yourself, but you are reminding yourself that you are important. You are important enough to make time for. I have noticed a significant difference in not only my feeling towards myself, but my ability to have patience and kindness towards my boys too when I practice good self care. When you see your worth it will be easier to encourage yourself.
“Classical Music can help slow your heart and pulse rate” Psychcentral.com
Decide what mood you want to be in and play music to help yourself get there. You can even create playlists ahead of time for this so you don’t have to contemplate what to listen to, just pick the playlist with that name. I love to use the Amazon music app on my phone for this, it’s free for amazon members (if you are not one you can become one here).
Write Down Accomplishments
If you have a hard time remembering what you can be proud of yourself for or things to be grateful for, writing it down can be very helpful. It can be things like “Ran a 5k!” or “Got a Promotion at work” to ones that are important just to you like “finished organizing the extra closet”. As you start accumulating them, it will be hard to review the journal without being proud of yourself. While I have considered writing a gratitude journal for some time, I really like the points made in this article and why I chose to recommend accomplishment journaling instead.
Place “Encouragements” Around Your Home
(*Bonus points if you know what the quotes are referencing*)
Have things placed around your home that bring you joy, maybe it’s in the decor, or maybe you have positive sayings around the house. I always like to have something positive in the bathroom mirror, either encouraging or reminder of a habit/goal I want to reach. I know I will see it everyday and it helps me focus on my priorities, even when that priority is self encouragement.
Gold foil Art always makes me happy!
Think Outside of You
Did you know that you can actually increase self esteem and decrease depression symptoms with one thing? Volunteering. It actually releases the “Feel Good” hormones in our body. Doing it on a regular basis has the most benefits, but any and all time you spend selflessly helping another can have benefits. (Find more info here). Lost at where to start? Check out non profit organizations in your area you are interested in and start there or you can try Volunteer.org. If you are having trouble finding something with small children, don’t forget the art of small things. Visiting a senior home, picking up trash in the neighborhood and giving to a food bank can all be ways to think of others and a good example to the kids.
“Why Volunteer? Because one person can make a great difference.”
– Jimmy Carter #VolunteersWeek
— Volunteer’s Week (@VolunteersWeek) June 4, 2017
Keep a Photo Album
Lastly, you can keep a photo album, digital or regular, to help you encourage yourself. You can be reminded of happy times and memories of loved ones with a few minutes down memory lane. I often see this in action with my niece as she pulls out my sister’s photo albums regularly to get a dose of happiness. This is on my to do list to create. I want that ability to look back on forgotten memories and have it for my boys too.
Life gets tough. We may not have anyone to turn to for encouragement, you have options on how to fill in that gap for yourself. You are worth the time it takes to give yourself encouragement!
I would love to hear what you will try next to encourage yourself! Do you have another idea, I would love to hear that too!
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