How to Show Up for Yourself During Hard Times
2020 has been a year of chaos and turmoil so far, and it has not been easy for us on a personal and collective level.
Stress, fear, depression, loneliness … these are just some of the feelings that have been prevalent this year. It’s almost as if someone unleashed Pandora’s Box and out came all the negative emotions, just like in the classic tale.
Despite all of this, it is important to remember one thing: we may not be able to control what goes on out there. But we can control what goes on in here.
Negative emotions arise when we feel we have lost control of some sort. They appear when something disrupts the inner peace of our soul. Often these disruptions come from the outside world, but sometimes we can generate them with our own thoughts, such as worry and anxiety.
This is made all the more difficult if we feel there is no one to turn to. In these instances (and even not in these instances), we must show up for ourselves.
Here’s exactly how to show up for yourself during hard times.
What Does Showing up for Yourself Mean?
Showing up for yourself means being there for you.
It means taking time to look after yourself and engaging in self-care. It means reminding yourself that you are a wonderful person who can overcome any obstacle that stands in your way.
Emotions are a powerful thing. If we let them run rampant without reining them in, they can swiftly overwhelm us. When we take time to show up for ourselves, we’re able to take back some control of ourselves and, best of all, we become our own best friend and nurturer.
This way, no matter how we feel or wherever we are, we will always have someone to turn to—the one who knows you better than anyone else – you.
4 Ways to Show up for Yourself in 2020
There are a variety of ways you can show up for yourself when times are tough. Some of the most simple and popular ways are listed below. Imagine you are standing next to yourself and that you can see yourself feeling sad or frustrated.
What would you do to console the person next to you? How much kindness and compassion would you show yourself?
Read on to see how you can be there for yourself in troubled times.
1. Write Down Your Positive Attributes
One of the best ways to boost your spirits is to write down all the wonderful things about you (and don’t you dare say, “What wonderful things?”). You’ve got a whole host of fantastic qualities.
Think about the compliments you’ve received from others.
Have they told you that you’re kind and selfless? How about how witty and funny you are? Or that you’d drop everything to help them out? Or that you’ve got these lovely sparkling eyes or a great pair of legs?
Write them down, write them all down! The more you write down these positive qualities, the more they counter the negative feelings.
Write a few on a Post-it note and stick them to your bathroom mirror. Write each one down every day, 4-5 times. Focus on the beautiful and amazing things that make you, you.
2. Take a Warm Bath With Essential Oils
If you really want to show yourself how much you care, treat yourself!
Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than a nice warm bath with a few essential oils mixed with a carrier oil.
This is a simple and yet effective to let your body know how much you love it! Spend thirty minutes or more soaking in the bath with the aroma of essential oils, and this will naturally balance your internal energies, bringing you into harmony with yourself.
Make sure to leave electronic devices (like your phone) in a different room. This time is for you to relax and recharge. Keep the outside world outside, and take this time to really soak in positive vibes.
You can also engage in a bath meditation while you’re there: How to Do a Bath Meditation
3. Outline Some Positive Affirmations & Gratitude
Did you know that a positive affirmation is a wonderful way to lift your spirits?
A positive affirmation is something you repeat to yourself. You keep saying it repeatedly because when you do this, your subconscious eventually gets the message and truly starts to believe it. This has a wonderful effect on your unhappy conscious mind – what the subconscious says goes!
An example of a positive affirmation can be something like:
- I am beautiful
- I am a kind and generous person.
- I am strong and brave.
- I can overcome any challenge thrown at me.
Keep repeating them to yourself when you feel down or sad – or even just throughout the day. You will notice the change over time as your subconscious reprogrammes itself to remind you of how terrific you are!
You can also try writing down what you are grateful for.
Take a few minutes out of your day, sit down with a pen and paper, and write down everything in your life you are grateful for. There will always be something to be grateful for, even if it feels hard at times – whether you’re grateful for the food you eat, the relationships in your life, or even your dog, write them all down.
Learn more about the power of gratitude: 5 Ways to Practice Daily Gratitude & Why It’s Important
4. Move Your Body
Physical movement can and should be used for more than just a weight loss solution. Moving your body actually makes you happier!
Try committing to something totally new that you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe you try out a virtual boxing class or take up yoga for 30 days. Maybe you just simply commit to stretching every single morning when you wake up for five minutes!
You don’t have to be perfect at the thing that you choose. Simply go into it with no expectations, and commit to just showing up and trying your best. Did you just slip and fall out of a yoga pose? Even the most advanced yogis do this! Take that moment to laugh and keep going.
Moving your body is good for your mind and soul, and you deserve to feel energized and motivated.
You Are Worth It
“Keep taking time for yourself until you’re you again.” – Lalah Delia
Showing up for yourself is essential, especially during these challenging times. When you become your own best friend, your own motivator, and your own cheerleader, you become the very best of yourself and can overcome anything.
It can be hard to even reach the stage where you are boosting yourself during a bad time. The thing about negative emotions is that, for some strange reason, we like to wallow in them. But this is the emotion playing tricks on you and making you believe you have no power over it – in reality, you do.
So the next time you feel down and out, try these methods to help you. The more you practice, the easier it becomes.
Always remember – you are beautiful; you are amazing!
Related article: A Mindfulness Practice for Self-Love