Halloween is just around the corner! This season, those you know and love will be exchanging their own appearances and personalities in order to be someone, or something, else for an evening. While this can certainly be an enjoyable experience, when the sun rises again in the morning and the mask must come off, it will be your own face that greets you in that bathroom mirror. To help make sure that it is a face you still want to wear, here are five tips to help you FALL in love with yourself this Autumn.
1.Change Negative Self-talk into Positive Self-Talk
Talking to yourself is not a sign of being “Psycho”. We talk to ourselves on a regular basis, it becomes problematic when we focus on our negative or unhelpful attributes. Many times these thoughts come from faulty beliefs. When you are feeling down on yourself, try to take time to become aware of the thoughts behind your feelings. Once you have figured them out it is time to challenge them. You can do this by answering three questions; Is it true? Is it rational? Will it help you achieve your goals? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then let the thought go and change the belief behind it.
2. Spend Time Alone
What better way is there to get comfortable with yourself than to hang out with yourself. Many times when we don’t like who we are so we surround ourselves with others as a distraction. Although humans are pack animals, we need time alone to recharge our batteries and figure out our own ideas and values. It is during this time that we truly get to see the man or woman behind the mask. We can discover our likes and indulge in our guilty-pleasures. Once, you’ve mastered positive self-talk, you can spend this time celebrating your uniqueness rather than critiquing it.
3. Stay True to Your Values
A big part of being comfortable with who you are is being comfortable with the things you do. Our brains do not like when our actions do not match our values. It is what psychology calls “cognitive dissonance”. When your actions and values do not match it can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger. So listen to your gut and follow your heart down the path of self-love.
4.Progress NOT Perfection
This is a personal favorite motto of mine. Many of us struggle with the unrealistic standard of being perfect. When you strive to be perfect, you are setting yourself up for failure. This perpetuates a cycle of lowering self-esteem and perceived self-worth by setting impossible goals. Instead, we should just strive to do better while celebrating achievements when we reach them (see Tip 5). Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable, and Timely. First, figure out what your long-term goals are and then proceed to set short-term goals to help you take steps to achieve them. Research shows that accomplishing goals and tasks (no matter how big or small) can boost self-esteem and self-worth.
5. Treat Yourself
Last, but certainly not least, during the season of Trick-or-Treat you should absolutely treat yourself! As you achieve your goals, and occasionally just because, you need to celebrate and reward yourself. Self-care is vitally important to feeling good about who you are, both physically and mentally. Maintaining a consistent hygiene routine, having aromatic soaps and shampoos, evening brushing your teeth can boost how you feel about yourself. As well as enjoying yourself and relaxing, you also create an environment in which you can thrive.
In fall as the temperatures get cold and the light becomes scant, it becomes difficult for trees to thrive. When this occurs, trees must shed their leaves in order to sustain the core elements of itself (its trunk, branches, bark). Likewise, we must be willing to focus less on the things in our lives that may be pretty and flashy to others but do not sustain us. We must be willing to love and embrace the things that make us who we are during times of stress so that when everything is well again our leaves can come back. Remember to fall in love with yourself this autumn because even then the mask comes off and the leaves have fallen it is still important to be happy with who you are.