ways to show yourself compassion

I was discussing my recent New Year’s Resolution with my therapist last week. I’d decided to do a random act of kindness for someone each day. It doesn’t have to be a big deal at all–even a kind word will do it! I just thought it would be a great way to spread a little love and get out of my head a bit.

But then my therapist started me thinking (as therapists so often do). She replied that my idea sounded wonderfully and lovely, but had I considered adding myself to the list of random act of kindness participants?

I looked at her with a little bit of amusement and assured her that no, that wasn’t how it worked.

But that got me thinking: why can’t it be? If I’m so dedicated to showing love to other people, it seems a little bit ridiculous that I’m harboring so much hate and guilt towards myself. I realize those are strong words, but anyone with an eating disorder will connect with them. Sometimes the self loathing is so strong all you want to do is turn off your life and become someone, anyone, else. Which is impossibly sad.¬†

So I decided to take her up on her suggestion, and begin making myself the recipient of some of my random acts of kindness. It isn’t a selfish thing; it’s about self preservation. Part of the recovery process is remembering all of the wonderful things these magnificent bodies of ours are capable of. To do that, you’ve got to show ’em a little bit of love!

Here’s my list of 15 little ways to show yourself some compassion today.

1. Buy some new bubble bath/bath bombs and take a long, lingering soak. Don’t worry about the other shit you have to get done.
2. Take an hour/two hours/an afternoon to do what you really like doing. Don’t try to fool yourself into, “But I really do enjoy doing my homework!” Nope. Next choice. For me, this is reading or knitting ūüôā
3. Start a movie or TV show marathon. You can be working on other tasks while you play it, but make sure it’s something you love. For me, this is Modern Family.
4. Say no. Recognize when you need to do something for yourself instead of going out with friends or doing an extra task, and say no without feeling guilty all night. I’m still working on this one, but it can be an awesome feeling!
5. Window shop! I go online and look at outfits that would look great on me. Price is no object when you’re just gazing.
6. Call someone you love and talk for a while. For me, this is usually my boyfriend or my mom. It can be so nice to hear someone’s voice and talk about nothing important for a while. If you need support, ask them for it. Be reminded of why they love you.
7. Make yourself a mug of something good. For a quick pick me up, I gravitate towards hot, good-for-the-soul drinks. If I don’t want to stress, it’s either hot water, tea, or coffee, but if I’m feeling indulgent and ready to challenge myself, I’ll get hot cocoa or a latte.¬†
8. Read something inspirational. For me, this runs the gamut between my devotional (Jesus Calling) and the accompanying Bible verses, to Peace Is In Every Step, a Taoist text on peace. Whatever works for you! Gain a little bit of inspiration and a chunk of perspective. 
9. Paint your nails. Take the ten minutes out of your routine to make yourself feel sparkly and pretty and worth it.
10. NAP!! This has become a huge one for me. I get so exhausted from the daily struggle of life plus recovery, and I have finally learned not to fight the nap train anymore. I embrace it. If there’s time for a nap, I will take it. Listen to what your body needs!
11. Take a walk and jam. I’m not allowed to exercise yet, which makes me a little stir crazy sometimes. When I have to have to get out and do something, I’ll take a walk and listen to a Pandora station I love (currently switching it up between Hillsong United, Mumford, and The Civil Wars).
12. Draw and color. There’s nothing more relaxing than making a coloring book pretty. Give your brain a chance to relax.
13. Let it go. Is there something you have to get done but just can’t do right now? Okay. Let it go. Seriously, put it aside for an hour or a day and come back to it later. Be kind to yourself and stop forcing your brain to do something it just doesn’t want to do. You’ll come back to it refreshed and ready to work.
14. Plan the future…but only fun things! I currently take mini breaks to Pinterest some inspiration about my upcoming trip to Italy and Paris. Places I want to eat macarons? Check. Gorgeous fountains? Check. Dream big! You have a future outside of ED.
15. Remind yourself how well you’re doing. Sometimes it pays to just take a moment and remember: You are enough. You have enough. You do enough. Recovery is absolutely exhausting, mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you start getting bogged down by how far you have to go, remember how far you have come. You’ve taken the first step towards getting better. Be proud of yourself.

What do you guys do to show yourself a little love? Let me know!

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neda awareness week…coincidences or destiny?

This has been an interesting week from an ED point of view. First of all, and most obviously, I’ve been posting statuses for NEDA Awareness week on my Facebook, just reminding friends how gorgeous and wonderful they are–and how a number on a scale doesn’t play into that at all. So that’s been good.

But I’ve also been approached by several of my close friends about getting help this week. It’s run the gamut: some just needed a little bit of good vibes tossed their way. Others asked me for the names and numbers of my recovery team.

In this deeply personal struggle, I think it’s important to remember that most women (and men, for that matter) have something they would like to change about their body. I’m not a weirdo, I’m not crazy. I have a disease that makes me sick. But I’m by no means the only one. It’s good to remember that I’m not alone.¬†

It’s even better to remember that through my struggle, I have gained experience with which I can help others. Now¬†that¬†is a powerful thing.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Pitfalls

This picture above is exactly how running makes me feel.¬† When I start, I’m a sore, tired, and slightly grumpy girl, having to fit in this extra half hour of cardio into a jam-packed day.¬† And it usually sucks for the first mile and a half or so, when I consider going back home, flopping on the floor, and reading Vogue for an hour instead.¬† But around mile two, something amazing happens.¬† I turn into a Beyonc√© look a like.¬† I feel like Lara Croft after she’s jumped over a few dozen cars and spelunked into a tomb.¬† I feel, basically, like a running goddess.¬†

Let me tell ya…that kind of feeling gets addicting.¬† This week I even started considering dropping my two off days of the week, where I attend hot yoga, to go for runs instead.¬† I feel so healthy and proud afterwards, why would I want to stop?

I think the craziness was starting to get to me…which is when¬† the universe stepped in.¬† At the start of my 4 mile run this morning, my right foot was a bit twingy, but not awful.¬† I decided to run it out.¬† Running it out turned into whincing it out, and when I got home, it hurt to stand on that foot for too long. I had to admit it: instead of my feet hurting from kicking so much ass…my foot just hurt.¬† Pretty badly.¬† Excellent.¬† I iced, I elevated, I did everything I could think of, but my mom pronounced the words that had been going through my mind like poison: “You should probably rest for a few days.” Rest? REST? I don’t need rest! I’m a running machine! I thought I was a goddess.

Here’s a secret: unfortunately, though I will still continue to pretend I’m glowing like Beyonc√© while working out, I have come to respect that I am mortal.¬† I can push myself to my limits, and that is great.¬† There are very few accomplishments as fulfilling as meeting personal fitness goals.¬† But I am a human being.¬† Human beings get hurt tendons; they get muscles that turn to jello.¬† And human beings also take off days.¬† I’m going to rest my foot and do some cross training for a while, and try to keep resting till I know it’s healed up.¬† This is a definite learning process for me, but I suppose the important thing is that I’m learning at all.¬† Baby steps might be annoying, but sometimes that’s the healthy way to play the game.¬† Or in this case, run the run.¬† Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go drool over new shoes at the Nike website…wow, is this a new lifestyle or what?