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Let’s face it, life can be difficult.
The holidays are amazing, but they can also be quite stressful and even difficult. They can stir up many different emotions inside us that we forgot even existed.
Although life is quite amazing and things in my life have never been this stable, I have had a difficult time with the holidays in the past. I have always done my best to make everything perfect for my kids, and I have always enjoyed my time with them, every second. However, in my heart, I have always felt something was missing.
Without getting into too much detail, I do not have a relationship with my family (my parents and my sister) and that has always been a source of pain for me.
From a very young age, I have longed for a big, close-knit family and I have been envious of those who have just that. Lack of family has brought me a deep, intrinsic sadness.
Growing up was incredibly lonely. That being said, I have always believed that family doesn’t have to be blood, and since I was a young child, I have looked for connections within many different avenues, and gratefully, I have found them through friends, coworkers, neighbors, intimate relationships, and so on.
One thing is for certain, family can be created with the people you feel good around and who bring out the best in you.
Last year I went through a deep, deep sadness, and I really felt I needed to explore where it was coming from. I knew in my soul it was my family issues, but after so many years of therapy and acceptance, what was I longing for at this stage of my recovery?
So, I set out to find some answers, and I did my most favorite thing in the world: I started “coaching” myself. By doing this, I discovered that I needed to be kinder to myself during these times. Yes, scars fade, but they don’t disappear. I also realized that I needed to ramp up my self-care routine and start loving my inner child more. She needed me.
Today, I am accepting myself for where I am in this process; I am extremely grateful for these feelings because they are allowing me to learn more about myself, and I am even more grateful and excited to be able to work through this challenge and share my experience with you all.
This year’s holidays were much more peaceful, as I was content—content with where my life is, even if it isn’t how I always imagined it, it is still beautiful and it’s perfect.
How did I get to this place of peace and contentment? Over time, I created a self-care/self-love checklist (see below), which helped me to identify where I was at with myself. I find it to be a good practice to check in with yourself often so that you can evaluate where you are and what you may need to work on.
I am super excited to share my experience with you, and I hope that this little exercise is impactful to you as well.
So, break out your journal and let’s do some self-care work:
1. What are your three favorite personality traits that you love the most about yourself? Explain them.
2. If your body had the ability to talk, what would it say?
3. What’s the best compliment anyone has ever given you? Is it true?
4. List at least five things you are good at.
5. Finish this sentence: I feel happiest when I’m________.
6. Rate your mental stability by finishing this sentence: My mental health is ________. I believe this is because ________.
7. Rate your physical health by finishing this sentence: My physical health is ________. I believe this is because ________.
8. Who loves you the most? Describe them and what you love about them.
9. List 20 things that make you happy.
10. What are the things you can start doing today to take better care of yourself?
11. What negative things do you tell yourself? Do you believe them? What can you say instead?
12. What makes you unique?
13. List what makes you attractive!
14. Where do you feel most safe and loved?
15. If you could back in time to when you were seven and then again at 16, what would you tell yourself?
Take your time when doing this exercise but also go with your gut answers. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it isn’t. Your first answer is usually the most accurate. If you take too much time to think about the answers, you risk overthinking, and that is never a good thing.
If you wish to schedule a coaching moment, contact me anytime, I would love to get to know you and help you in any way you need.
Enjoy life; it’s only 10 minutes long!