Dr Libby Weaver: How can I be kinder to myself?

The courage to try something new can make all the difference.

We quiz ourselves daily on the small stuff, yet the big questions, the ones that shape our lives, often go unaddressed. To help get you thinking this year, we’ve asked seven familiar faces to share their questions with us. Here is nutritional biochemist and best-selling author Dr Libby Weaver on treating ourselves better.

Our feelings can often be a call for us to assess a part of our lives that is no longer serving us. It could be the way we’re eating, drinking, moving, thinking, breathing, believing or perceiving. Remember all feelings can simply be seen as feedback – asking us to look at the way we’re showing up in the world. In the beginning of the New Year, I encourage you to ask yourself the question, how can I be kinder to myself this year?

Face up to who you are
Acknowledging where you are at is the first step to transforming how you feel. It is easy to busy ourselves with distractions such as social media, unrelenting emails, poor-quality food or the numerous requests from others instead of experiencing our own thoughts and feelings.

When you face the parts of yourself that might feel somewhat uncomfortable, you create an opening to be able to understand the why behind the way you feel. Doing this can produce great growth and it begins with acknowledging and accepting all parts of you.

Change the internal chatter
Self-love is about approaching yourself with the same kindness and forgiveness as you would a friend, your child or even a stranger. If you were in a café and a stranger dropped their drink everywhere, would you think ‘Oh you’re so useless’? Probably not. Yet, for many of us those exact thoughts would come into our heads if it were us who dropped the drink. Our internal chatter, particularly if we are running on flat batteries, can be so destructive. Self-love starts with changing the chatter.

Emotions are transient
Remember it won’t last forever. Our emotions are truly like the weather and when the rain sets in it can be hard to imagine the sun will ever be able to break through, but it does. Learning to love all parts of you – the rainy parts, the sunshine and everything in between – can be really supportive when you’re feeling a little lost.

Create micro-moments
Life is fast and our schedules are full. Doing what you can to create spacious micro-moments in your day can be the catalyst to slowing down. It might be three long slow exhales in the bathroom or taking a longer route to work to give yourself some more time to process your thoughts. It might be changing your thinking in situations where you feel most frustrated from ‘What am I not getting?’ to ‘What am I not giving?’. It is astounding how this simple change in thinking can transform how you feel. Micro-moments will be on offer to you all day – are you willing to see them?

You are in the driver’s seat of your own life; in any moment you have the choice to open up to new ways of thinking and being, or to close your mind, resign yourself to your present situation and distract yourself with other matters.

Having the strength to acknowledge where you are at, the willingness to remember it will not last forever and the courage to try something new can make all the difference.

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