5 Ways To Show Up For Yourself In 2019
By: Loni Swain
Showing up for myself has NOT always been easy. I grew up putting damn near any and everyone’s feelings and preferences before my own. It wasn’t until I was a spread-too-thin adult who no longer even knew what she wanted or needed that I decided to make a change. I have found that these acts of self-care have not only improved my self-esteem, but they also help me to advocate for my boundaries. Try one today and see if you notice the difference!
1. Honestly Acknowledging Feelings
In a world that promotes not "catching feelings", it's hard to imagine that they actually aren't a terminal illness. Having feelings is not only human, they are also empowering, and so is actually HONESTLY communicating them. For me, its one of the best things I could have ever started doing.
I didn't realize how much stress and anxiety was being caused by simply NOT acknowledging what or how I felt.
When possible, communicating these feels with others (with whom you feel safe) is even better! If that opportunity isn't available, start with a journal where you can acknowledge your feelings privately to yourself. Find a therapist to talk to. You can only begin to honor your feelings after you start recognizing them and calling them by name.
2. Trusting your intuition.
Doubting myself has been my biggest mistake. There is so much power in your gut. Trust what you feel. Its where the answers to most of our questions lie. Most of our frustrations and regrets can all lead back to ignoring our intuition. If we feel it, or don't feel it - honor it! That "it" is there for a reason and helps us to identify who and what are for and not for us. It will help you navigate making better choices to serve your highest and greatest good, which is the ultimate self-care.
3. Saying NO.
How many times have you over-committed yourself in the name of being nice and helpful? And where did that leave you? Feeling depleted and tired with not enough left for YOU or the ones you love most? Probably. Most of us were taught to "be nice" and that often included doing things for others that would help them out but may not be convenient for us or in our best interest. It set the tone for putting others before ourselves and while self-sacrifice is sometimes rewarded, more often it came with a hefty cost of feeling drained and unappreciated for me. Honor your right to say NO to what does not work for you or your schedule. The people that truly appreciate and value you will understand, those that don't will be revealed. Win-win.
4. Eliminating toxic people and behavior.
We often normalize what we experience regularly, for better or worse. Many of us have experienced traumas in our childhood that set the stage for repeated harmful behavior or the acceptance of hurtful behavior in our adulthood. This continues the cycle of hurt in our lives. After we acknowledge how people and things truly make us feel, trust our gut and those feelings and say NO to them, we have to take action to eliminate these things from our lives.
Far too often, we can clearly identify and articulate what and who isn't working in our best interest in our lives, yet we don't take the actions necessary to remove them.
We often fear unknown happiness more than a familiar misery. Eliminate the negatives, and watch your life elevate.
5. Celebrating and actively seeking what you desire.
People often ask me "how did you find out about" x,y, or z. Its usually because I actually sought out x,y, and z because I'm interested in the product, activity or experience. A lot of times I think that we can fall into a rut of being observers and not active participants in our own lives. We take what we are given and life happens "to us" instead of for us or by us. If you like when people invite you places, tell them! Accept their invitations! Invite them to do things you think you would both enjoy. Finding your joy sometimes takes effort. Don't be afraid to take some initiative.
May 2019 be the year you show up for YOU!
About The Author
Media veteran Loni Swain is the host of the top-rated personal + professional development podcast for WOC, The Loni Swain Show. When she's not working on her podcast, she's cooking up homemade treats for her candy company, Loni Loo's (www.loniloos.com) Loni is passionate about self-care, women's empowerment, genuine connections, amazing food, travel, açaí bowls, onesies, and is a self-proclaimed music aficionado.