Accept and be good to yourself.
Begin by being as good to yourself as you’d be to a friend. Most of us tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. Pay yourself first.
Think back to the times that you’ve been far more accepting and forgiving to others in your life than you were to yourself and see if you can’t cut yourself some slack. There’s nothing selfish in that.
Special gifts just for you.
Start by doing things that enrich you – your body, your mind, and your soul. Find things that nurture you and make you feel good about yourself. They can be big things – traveling to South America – or small things – learning to bake the perfect pie!
Increase your self esteem and self confidence.
Applying these gifts to your life will increase your sense of self and your self-confidence. Research echoes these suggestions. Take a look at this excerpt from Psychology Today.
“As we learn better self-care, we become better people in general. When we are in touch with our own feelings, we can then reach out more effectively to others and show love and empathy to them also.
If we are filling our own emotional tanks with self-respect and loving care, we have much more to give to our families, friends, and the world in general.”
Enjoy these “gifts” for you. A few suggestions for self-acceptance follow:
- Just say “no” to things you don’t want to do.
This was a difficult one for me. I was so used to trying to please people that I ended up doing lots of things I didn’t really want to do. It was liberating to discover that as soon as you say, “No, I don’t want to do that, the other person would say, “Oh, OK.” And that was the end of that – no excuses, no explanations. It was perfectly fine to decline.
- Laugh! Have fun. Life is short and often difficult. Laughing and playing help to get us through. See the humor in almost every situation.
- Don’t hide your so-called flaws. Nobody’s perfect, and we wouldn’t like them if they were! Think of a time when you’ve liked a person so much better because he or she was willing to admit a weakness.
- Gift yourself with time; to exercise, to be quiet and find your balance, to eat healthily, and to love yourself.
Pay yourself first.
Quit using “lack of time” or “guilt about pampering yourself” as an excuse to skip doing something good for your body, mind and health.
Create a “happy place” for yourself. A place where you regain your center. This could involve planting flowers, listening to music, dancing, playing an instrument, and so on. Whatever does it for you.
Homework for your Happy Retirement Guide
- Cherish and nurture your self-esteem
Find ten things – both big and small- that you like about yourself. Are you a good mother, a fabulous cook, a good tennis player, a supportive wife? Don’t over think this. Just write down the first 10 things you like about yourself.
- Write ten things you like about your appearance and physical abilities
I’m sure you spend lots more time than that cataloging your so-called flaws.Instead of thinking about your flabby thighs and your wrinkled neck, how about considering your nice smile, or your pretty hair, your strong arms and legs. .
Write your answers in your Retirement Journal and add this information to all you’ve discovered about yourself so far in Retirement 1-10 posts.
Positive aging, positive retirement and positive living are just around the corner!
Go ahead, gift yourself right now.