For most people, the first thing they comment on their self work is on how they made more money, got a new car, improved their credit score, didn’t drink for two weeks or let alone didn’t give in into a toxic relationship. All these things are of course amazing, but they often don’t heal the root cause of our problems. They’re a quick fix and for some of us are luxuries. They don’t define at all who we are as an individual and how we are contributing to the world. When you explore your self work as in your purpose, your triggers, your hidden unprocessed traumas, feelings, fears, pain, what makes you truly happy, you can love yourself and love others.
Here’s 10 tools that I’ve gathered to unify and make your self work stronger.
1. ASKING FOR HELP
This one can be really hard as a new mom, but learning to vocalize your needs can make everyone’s lives easier, especially the ones who do want to help! not feeling shame around voicing your need for more help around the house or with your baby… is a big one! Not feeling like yourself, depressed or anxious are real feelings and they’re important to be talked about. You are definitely not alone and getting the help you need can change your life. This is an important step to know how valuable and loved you are. You can’t do it all and that’s normal. With a little help here and there, you can eventually focus on other things that are needed to thrive as a human being.
Take pressure off the idea that everything has to be done or be perfect. Laundry and the dishes will get done, eventually. You don’t have to “snap back” (dislike this term so much!) and how resistant we are to these things are just great teachers to separate us from the things that don’t matter. If your baby wants to lay on you for hours, soak it in. Everything else will be okay. And that’s where asking for help also can be applied if you’re like me and a messy house gives you anxiety, you just have to let it go. Something about me is that I have to finish something I start, like if I start decluttering the kitchen, I HAVE to go through each room of my apartment – which honestly with Oliver now, is completely unrealistic, so instead I’d put it off completely because I couldn’t stand the idea of feeling unfulfilled.
Then I felt worse because the clutter would just get more overwhelming. I’ve taught myself that doing little by little is okay! I’ll do breathing exercises, be gentle with myself, congratulate myself for even putting the effort of making my environment better even if it’s for 20 minutes and know that I will get a chance to keep moving. This example applies to a lot of things in your life, trusting and encouraging yourself for doing your best! Things will come and get done, maybe not to your “ideal” timing but that’s when you can turn the discomfort into a blessing because it teaches you to be grounded and gives some sort of discipline.
3. NO JUDGEMENT
I do my best to wire my brain to not judge. I don’t look at someone or something wondering if I’m pleased or not, wondering if it’s right or wrong. Obviously there are more intense things in life that will make it hard to stay neutral, but if it’s something you can exercise daily, your mental peace will for sure improve! I’ve gotten messages from very judgmental people and we all have a right to opinions but there’s a difference between a judgement and an opinion. Opinions backed up with suggestions are better and more graceful, at least you’re teaching something. This whole “cancel culture ” and blurring out what we agree/don’t agree, like/dislike is really heavy, especially on your own energy and how you could see the world. Seeing things for what they are in a neutral way is another level of freedom.
I talk about this because especially in the mommy world, there’s tons of opinions and do’s & don’ts…and I’m a firm believer that there are universal parenting “laws” like loving, feeding, burping your child and then, there’s what “works for us.” Sharing your experience is so valuable and in some cases can help tremendously or even save a life! But judging or shaming parents is not the way to go for anyone involved.
4. COMPLAINING LESS
Some people complain all the time. I was such a complainer and now I’m so careful with what I say. Maybe not with Kyle because he’s the closest to me and he’s probably strongly disagreeing that I’ve done any improvement with my complaining haha BUT with people around me, I don’t as much. I felt like I would be more “relatable” by expressing my complaints but then I realized that it just makes me feel negative and we don’t like negative vibes. I understood that it stemmed from feeling shame of feeling good! It was a whole other aspect for me to learn, not only accepting that my life is good when it’s good and pausing before speaking about something negative. Pausing at the little things that don’t need to be a trigger, like if the waiter is slow or the line is long or traffic is bad or something got canceled and so on…It’s truly an exercise that helps you brew more positive vibes and outlook and also keeps you in that intention!
NOW don’t confuse complaining with discussing your problems, we all have problems but I think it’s important to know what your end goal is when you are talking about these things: Are you looking for solutions? Are you venting? Are you ready to listen to any advice? – Some people will share their problems by “dumping” them and not listen to what the other person is has to say, sometimes there’s fire and it’s hard to be conscious of our actions, but I think it would be a healthy communication tool to let the other person know “Hey, I just need to vent and I don’t need feedback.”
Saves energy and a lot of vibes.
5. LET YOURSELF FEEL
I’m pretty big on shutting down and not feeling my feelings up until recently where letting myself feel vulnerable, empty, sad and riding the wave of my feelings taught me so much. I was ashamed of these feelings, I felt like I didn’t have time for them; like the world is still going “no time for that”, I felt like there was no validation or true reasoning for me to feel whatever I was feeling. Although, it’s just like children, when you embrace a child to feel and give them the vocabulary that’s beyond “angry, sad, happy” the brain assesses the physical discomfort and understands what is happening. It’s like a road map: if you see a sign and have directions, you’ll find your way. Well, this “drive to my feelings” and letting myself go up and down the bumps, recognizing the feeling and putting a why next to it, is liberating, and it becomes a map where if it presents itself again, you can say “oh, I’ve been there before, I know how to overcome this.”
6. LEARNING SELF WORK
I think it’s important to learn, to be interested in things that maybe we’re not usually for some self work. If we have any control over anything, it’s over doing our best to understand how certain things work: From psychology to child development to our bodies to business and economy and more. With social media or easy access to articles and more, it’s easy to enrich ourselves with knowledge. It’s really a matter of what you spend your time on. I find great peace in learning and understanding the function of what I care the most about, like parenting; I want to learn about healthy parenting and how the brain works. We all have opinions and we all feel like we’re failing in certain areas while some of us are certain of what works. Although, we still find ourselves feeling like we can do better and that can truly be supported through learning beyond what we think we already know. Podcasts and apps like blinklist or theSkimm are an avalanche of information and superfood for enrichment & staying up to date.
We are in a society where a lot of us brush things off and hide in our own reality to not risk having to be impacted by anyone else’s good fortune or not so lucky events. It’s easier to play the blind, to not listen to the news, to assume that people will just “figure it out” but no one wants to be treated that way and when you disconnect yourself, how can you contribute? How can you help others or let alone help yourself grow and see the world for what it really is? I feel everything and I’m very empathetic but it has given me so much gratitude & a desire to be present and be there for others that I’m very happy to be able to be aware and within that awareness, learn how to stay grounded and when your learn such thing, you also learn your ability to deal with a lot more feelings that you may not be prepared for and yet naturally find tools to overcome them.
8. JOURNALING & MEDITATION
I’ve found that meditating quite often really helps me to stay grounded and to re-align myself when I need it. The more I meditate the faster I find myself catching a new breath. Literally. Journaling is also another one that helps me a lot. I’ve actually had diaries since my teenage years and it has been therapeutic beyond measures. I think that it’s also important to talk to someone. Whether that’s you writing in your journal, having a coach or maybe considering therapy if needed. Therapy is another one of those things that I think shouldn’t be taboo and should be more embraced.
9. NATUROPATHY & HEALTHY FOOD
Next self work tip. There’s this reality where we have forgotten where we come from and what our bodies truly need. While antibiotics or surgery can definitely save lives, plants and food can also help your defence mechanism be top notch. Healthy is beyond just the absence of disease. It’s nurturing your body for it to be able to fight off a disease. There’s so many things that can explain extreme tiredness, disease, or hormone imbalances. Going the route to seeing a naturopathic doctor who can read your blood tests more in-depth can be really life-changing. Sadly, this is a luxury for some us as well, so starting with healthy habits like lemon water in the AM, adding more fruits & veggies, reading carefully your ingredient list and to ditch anything you can’t pronounce, not using any high commercialized brand for food to cleaning products can already be a huge start to feeling better.
I love this one because it made me reflect a lot. The act of not confusing intuition with fear is fundamental. We are bombarded with a lot of scary things and life is unpredictable, as we all know it. Sometimes we confuse fear with our intuition and I think meditating & calming your nervous system can help you navigate those two. Also, experience teaches us what hurts and what feels good. We gain wisdom, empathy and growth from it. “Mindfulness is a gift, but paranoia is a curse.”. I read this in a book and it woke my soul up. However it might resonate with you, I think it’s just a terrific reminder.
I hope that sharing some of my awakenings that I try to practice and be aware of in my daily life, might help you! Would love to know what you think!