Today is the 30th and final day of my Embrace:Me 30-day Challenge. It’s kind of neat that it falls on a Monday, right? I didn’t even plan that.
I started the Challenge because I felt that it would be good for me to make a conscious effort to do something nice for myself every day. Taking the time to perform a care-taking action would, I hoped, help me to feel like I valued myself and become an important part of my daily routine. I was sort of afraid that I wouldn’t stick with it, since I don’t have the best track record when it comes to completing “challenges”, even though I am always more than willing to delve into them. Now, 30 days later, I’m happy to report that I managed to work in a little bit of kindness every single day; I learned to treat myself the way I would treat other people; I succeeded in silencing some of the more negative voices with which I talk to myself; and I think I grew quite a bit in the process. Some days were more monumental than others, but every day included something that would make me feel good purely for the sake of feeling good.
For a long time, I’ve depended on validation and feedback from other people to make me feel good about things, from my looks to work I’ve done in school or at my job. There’s an obvious drawback to taking an approach like this: what happens when you don’t get the validation you’re looking for, or when the feedback you receive is negative? If you’re not equipped to pick yourself back up and dust yourself off after being knocked down, you’re going to suffer quite a bit–especially if you’re dependent on other people to help you through the more difficult situations. This is not to say that a support network is not valuable; rather, you have to be able to act as your own support network from time to time. After all, you could have the best support network on the planet but that doesn’t guarantee that every member of it will be available whenever you need them. If you can learn to be as care-taking and loving toward yourself as your support network is, then you’ll know that in spite of what happens, you will always be there for yourself.
Focusing so much on being nice to myself drove home the fact that the world can be a difficult place. Everyday we are bombarded with messages and images that undermine our self-confidence and make us feel insecure. But after going through the past 30 days, I truly believe that we can counteract all the damage we take by giving ourselves a break and taking time to build ourselves back up again. My 30 days showed me that doing so isn’t hard to do at all. For me, kindness consisted of things like plucking my eyebrows, painting my nails, and recognizing that I was tired and wanted to go to sleep instead of stay up twenty minutes later. What it really boils down to is embracing yourself, and realizing that you are worth making that effort. It’s rejuvenating and for me, it’s changed my perspective on things. I feel more positive, more forgiving of myself, and more valued overall. I feel good about myself. And I want to help others feel this way as well.
All it took was 30 days–in my experience, very few things in life can change this radically in such a short amount of time. So what are you waiting for? I want to challenge you to try your own Embrace:Me 30-day Challenge. Show yourself some love, and see how far it gets you. I know I will definitely continue to take time for myself every day. At this point I can’t really imagine living any other way.
Embrace:Me 30-day Challenge, day 30: I can’t believe this is the last day of the Challenge! Today was a nice, quiet day off of work, and I did a number of kind things for myself, including working on some things that have been on my to-do list forever, getting the sleep I needed, and watching a movie while doing some knitting (well, I’m about to do that, anyway).
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