Self-Care for Self-Acceptance Four steps to a happier, healthier you.

By Mary Adelle



Hello self-care babes. Hello spring! What are you doing to freshen up your space, your routines, your spirit? I bought a record player, joined an aerial arts gym, and have been reading books all about body acceptance. Email me with your spring changes!

Speaking of acceptance, my column today will cover physical and mental actions that will help lead you to greater self-acceptance. I think we’ve all heard the adage “You are your own worst enemy” …and from my experiences, I believe this can be (unfortunately) the truth. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but life is hard. For everyone. And yes, some certainly suffer more than others, but that’s all the more reason to garner self-acceptance and love: It will equip you with the compassion needed to help yourself and to help others. Read further for more thoughts and ideas.

Accept that not everyone is going to like you. (And accept that you can’t please everyone.)

Readers, there are some tough crowds out there—some major “haters.” I’ve come to think of this reality as blissfully out of my control. We can only do our best. If you spend your life attempting to make everyone else happy, you will waste much of it. Think of 82-year-old you. Is that person gazing wistfully out the window, thinking “I’m so happy I let insert name of hater here tell me I should wear this or do this or eat this”? Nope. 82-year-old you wants to remember all the amazing adventures you took, everything you did to make yourself feel good and happy and loved. So long as you follow the basic golden rule (treat others how you’d like to be treated), I encourage you to do whatever the heck you want, regardless of others opinions of you.

This can be overwhelming, so try this: Do an activity you’ve been made to feel you’re too _________ to do. Go to a martial arts class! Apply for the job for which you don’t meet the qualifications! Just assume someone won’t like it, and then shrug—that’s not your problem.

Don’t “should” all over yourself

Should is a shame word, and it’s unnecessary. Next time you go to say “I should have…” stop yourself and say, “Next time, I want to…”

This switches the tone of your words from guilt to intention, which is more productive and more kind. Continue to erase shame from your vocabulary (i.e. no “shoulds” or “shouldn’ts,” no “I was good” or “I was bad”), and as you do so, watch it become harder for others to shame you. It’s impossible to shame someone who doesn’t shame themselves.

Fight your gremlin.

One of my favorite podcasters has named her inner critic her “gremlin.” Naming and identifying the mean voice inside of you is so powerful—it detaches you from that voice, recognizing that you are NOT that voice or those mean words. Eventually, elimination of the gremlin is the overall objective.

This. Takes. Hella. Time. If you’re like me, that gremlin speaks up a lot throughout the day, and so the idea of silencing it is overwhelming. Step one is to recognize when the gremlin speaks up. For example: “Why did you do that? That was embarrassing.” To be able to name that occurrence and think, “Oh! It’s you! The gremlin!” is major progress. Once you’re recognizing the voice during the day, you cand start thinking differently. (“It wasn’t that embarrassing! I’m doing my best! Shut it, gremlin!”)

Maybe the caricature “gremlin” isn’t speaking to you—call the voice whatever you want, just make sure you call it something and you call it out as often as possible. I’ve gotten to the point where my gremlin has quieted down and there’s a lot more “Hey girl—you’re cute and nice and yeah sometimes you do silly things, but that’s okay!”

Relinquish judgement

When you stop judging others, you stop judging yourself. It’s seriously that simple. Recognizing that every human being is as complex as you are is incredibly healthy. Stop saying unkind, untruthful, uneducated things about other people’s bodies, styles, jobs, homes, statuses, skin colors, religions, sexualities, genders, birthmarks, disabilities, mental illnesses, choices, etc. Just stop. Brains are wired to make assumptions about people upon their appearances and actions, but we need to work to rewire our brains to see a person and think, first, “That person is a human just like me.” Judgements are super natural and they’re hard to completely eradicate, but if we can just look at each other and recognize we all have super diverse stories, our hearts will fill with all kinds of compassion and acceptance. And it feels good.

 

Alright readers! Start or continue to accept and love yourselves and tell me how it goes. Share with me the actions you take to accept yourself—because you so, so deserve to accept your wonderful selves.

I end with a quote from Virgie Tovar, who was recently interviewed on Nicole Antoinette’s Real Talk Radio podcast: “We are in the middle of a galaxy that’s in the middle of some other thing that’s probably in the middle of something else, on this magical rock covered in giraffes and cheese and flowers and oceans and tiny dogs, that’s flying around in heretofore unknown space that we sort of vaguely understand and you’re going to choose to not wear tiny shorts today? You’re going to choose to not eat tiramisu today?”

WEAR THE TINY SHORTS. OR WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT. And please god, eat that tiramisu. Who cares what they think?

Trust your gut. Take good (self) care,

Mary Adelle

 

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