10 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself

Who would have ever thought it would be so hard to fully love yourself? We are who we are, and acceptance is key. But when surrounded by negative words, distorted perceptions, and unkind opinions that shouldn’t matter, it can be difficult to see the wonder in your soul…

We have relationships with people in our lives, and we choose to accept them as they are—the good, bad, and the weird. Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could have that same type of love and acceptance for ourselves? To know that our strange traits make us unique rather than different. To appreciate our insecurities and learn from them. To know that society does not define what beauty is. To know that we are perfect just as we are.

At the end of the day, even if surrounded by love and positive words, if you don’t believe those things internally, none of it is real. You are the best possible version of you, and you are incredible. Not one soul on the planet has the right to bring you down—but most importantly, do not give anyone that power. You are strong. You are resilient. You are worthy.

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one—nurture it. Be kind to it. Respect it.

Here’s how to learn to love yourself:

Positive Affirmations

Say positive things about yourself daily. Start with 2 or 3, and then add a few more. Overtime, this will help increase self-love, and improve self-perception. Being nice to ourselves is very much underrated…

Positive self-image

Feel good about yourself. Feel good about the clothes you wear, and how your look in them. Feel good walking in your shoes. Feel good when you look at your image in the mirror. If you see yourself in a positive light, others will too. Set the tone, and fill it with positivity and love.

Self-talk

This one is important… self-talk is crucial when learning to love yourself. Get rid of negativity when talking to or about yourself. If you start to have a negative thought, try to replace it with a positive one. Doing this at first may seem difficult, but overtime, it will become an automatic correction.

Be yourself

Always be who you are—wherever you are, and whomever you’re with—be you. If you can put the real you out there, you will learn to love yourself (more than you already do). The best part about this? People will recognize how genuine you are and will absolutely love you too…

Accept Compliments

Part of self-love is hearing people when they compliment you. Look them in the eyes as they say it, take in their words, and respond with “thank you.” You are beautiful and you should know it.

Cleanse

Cleanse your life of any people that bring you down. It is important that any toxicity be removed from your life. While learning to love yourself, you also need to learn to let go of the demons that are bringing you down.

Keep your power

Do not give anyone to the power to judge or criticize you. The thing to know here is that people will always be unkind, but when you don’t give them any power, you are immune to the hurt they can cause you. Your only job is to be happy and please yourself. Don’t give up your power…

Give yourself permission

Give yourself permission to love yourself. Give yourself permission to be yourself. Give yourself permission to be quirky—those are the best things about you.

The strange things

Embrace the weird things about your personality. They make you who are you, and you are the best possible version of you. Stay weird!

Know your Worth

You are worthy of love, respect, and kindness from others, and most importantly, from yourself. You are valued, and you are worth loving.

Know that you are loved, give others permission to love you, and learn to love yourself…

self-love | love yourself | love | personal growth | positive thinking | wellness

Feeling like you’re not enough? Here’s 7 ways to know you are enough…

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xx,

Paula

Ditch New Year’s Resolutions and Embrace These 7 Concepts in 2018

New year’s resolutions are quite big in our social culture. Whether going for it solo, or as a group, it’s one of those things that’s expected every year. Going around the table and sharing your goal for the year has become such a norm.

So you begin to set goals for yourself — new year’s resolutions. What will you work on? How will you improve yourself? What will you change? It’s several weeks into January, and you find that you haven’t taken any steps to meet your goal. You’re failing. You become disappointed in yourself. You find your face in a pint of ice cream wondering why you ever worked so hard on creating new year’s resolutions in the first place.

After starting the new year’s resolutions process, you’re left unmotivated—but what if you could do things differently? What if you need that initial glimpse of hope? That little glimmer of positive change in your life, just to prepare you for those bigger goals. We all need change every now and then, and maybe new year’s resolutions aren’t for you…

There are alternate routes of support when hoping to improve aspects of your life, whether in the new year or not. Regardless of goals or changes needed, center your desires on creating happiness. Consider what will bring you joy, and what will help you lead a more positive life. How will these basic changes help you meet your larger goals? First, set the foundation—once you’ve got the basics down, everything else will follow.

Embrace these 7 concepts in the new year:

Embrace love

Love truly is the greatest gift of all—it’s all you need. Whether self-love, or love shared with others, embrace it. Take it in—really feel it. Having loved ones to turn to, in good times or bad, is a blessing. Cherish those relationships, and treat them with the utmost care. Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that provide us with the strongest type of support…

Embrace happiness 

Find the things that bring you joy and run with it. Find your happiness—do whatever it takes to keep it going, and continue to facilitate its’ growth and development. Your happiness is unique; do not compare yourself to others, and do not allow others to judge you.

Embrace positivity

Pay close attention to both the positive and negative aspects of your life. Make it a point to eliminate anything toxic, including people. Cleanse your world of anything that deters you from being at peace.

Embrace change

There are always things that need to change, but first, concentrate on the basics. What is causing you stress? What’s causing you sadness? What’s hindering you from growing as an individual? Along with removing things that are toxic, how will you alter your life so that light can enter? How will you eradicate the darkness?

Embrace your health

Laugh. Dance. Play. Run.

We all have limitations, but do whatever it takes to enjoy your mind and body. Be grateful for your health, and take care of yourself. Avoid taking this gift for granted—you only have one body, so treat it well…

Embrace today

This cannot be emphasized enough…be present. Enjoy every single moment of every single day—be there. Remember the scents, the sounds, and the face of the person you are engaging with. Remember the sound of their laughter. Remember the feeling of the sun beaming down on your face and warming your skin. Remember that exact moment that perfectly-shaped snowflake landed in the palm of your hand during the first snowfall of the season. Whatever you are doing, be present.

Embrace life

Accept what life has handed you, and rather than resenting the universe, try to consider how this can benefit you. What is the silver-lining in this situation? Once you start to focus on the good versus the bad, you will open the gates to appreciation and acceptance. Living a life that you accept is far more exciting than a living a life that you detest…

Happy New Year!!!

new years resolution | change | positive thinking | goals | new year |2018

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xx,

Paula

Get Healthy: How to Best Care for your Body

Having a healthy body is so important. There are so many campaigns running right now with a Love Your Body theme, and I adore them. I think these campaigns are providing many women and men with the courage and ability to feel comfortable in their own skin, regardless of shape, size, color, or ability.

Our bodies are a beautiful thing, and we should always be grateful for them. Yes, loving the way your body looks is crucial, but loving the way your body works is important too. The way in which our bodies function, move, and thrive is miraculous.

Think about it: our bodies are so complex, and can accomplish so much. From digesting food, to fighting off colds, to being able to chew and swallow, to running, jumping, stretching, and engaging in all the activities we love. They are just spectacular.

Due to working in the medical field, I have grown to appreciate my body more and more each day. I feel that as a young, spry person, I have taken my health and wellness for granted. Luckily, I have pulled away from this ideology and now truly value both the simple and complex things that my body can do.

It can be difficult to appreciate the “simple” things our body does like breathing, mobilizing limbs, or having our hearts beat into our chests, because those things seem so normal. Isn’t crazy to think that our lungs remember to breathe all on their own. It’s an automatic function, and it’s part of this beautiful system that keep us alive.

This system, however, is very intricate, and it can fall apart in an instant…

Having to watch patients struggle with the essentials of staying alive, such as breathing, has helped me see how important it is to take care of my body. I want to be healthy, I want to be strong, I want to appreciate my body each and every day. And I definitely want to dance the funky-chicken at my 97th birthday celebration.

I want to live. I want to thrive. And I want to experience all the joys of life while at my best health.

Here are the ways in which you can best care for your body:

1. Stop taking your health for granted 

As mentioned above, we take these “simple” functions for granted, but they keep us up and running. Every single part of your body has a purpose, and you should value and cherish that no matter what. Love your body for what it looks like, and for what it can do.

2. Eat well

Although this doesn’t mean that you always need to eat all organic, grass-fed food (although that would be ideal), energize your body with healthy food that has adequate nutrients. Eat fresh food. Cook at home so you know what ingredients are going into your body. Have a fridge packed full of veggies, fruits, yogurt, nuts, etc. Nourish your body, and it will work even harder for you.

3. Limit sugars and processed foods

This includes soda. Yes, I love that delicious bubbly too, but it’s really not the greatest thing for your body. Sugars are empty calories and have little to no health benefits.

Processed foods also contain lots of sodium, and typically have a ton of preservatives. Man-made chemicals are exactly that, man-made. Try to consume foods that are produced by the earth.

4. Exercise

Whether it’s every day or once a week, exercise. Allow your body to feel good and strong. Exercise is also great for your mental wellness, as it increases serotonin levels in the brain and can elevate your mood. Make sure to do something you enjoy. Running on a treadmill at the gym is not fun for me, so I go for a run outside instead. Again, whatever it may be, have fun!

5. Limit substance use

Hey, a cocktail or glass of wine now and then is totally fine. But remember that too much of anything isn’t healthy, especially alcohol or other drugs. While you may enjoy using recreationally, make sure that using doesn’t start to affect your health and/or ability to function and participate in daily tasks. If you happen to find that this is the case, for you or a friend, there are plenty of ways to get help.

6. Love your body

If you mentally love your body, you will have more reasons to care for your body. Each and every single person has been blessed with the body they were given. Yes, it’s a blessing. Love yourself, love your healthy body, and be comfortable in the skin that you’re in. The happier you are within yourself, the better care you can take of yourself.

YOU. ARE. PERFECT. JUST. THE. WAY. YOU. ARE.

7. Respect your body

Try not to put yourself down in front of others, or even when you’re alone. Remember that your body is a gift, and it provides you with a safe home. Both body and mind should be connected, so if you struggle with self-esteem, try to say three positive things about yourself each morning. Positive affirmations will help you mentally connect to your body, and also help you accept your body. Aim for a well-rounded love of your body and mind. You are worth it.

Ever have a health scare? Check out some tips on how to cope here.

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xx,

Paula

How to Handle a Health Scare

Needing to handle a health scare can be terribly frightening…

Our bodies are a gift. A gift that is a blessing, and allows us to think, and move, and do all the things that bring joy to our lives. It’s a super hottie gift. And also a gift that we may take for granted sometimes…

I recently experienced some symptoms that were concerning, and actually super scary. A full-blown health scare. Because I work in healthcare, I immediately thought of the worst case scenario. I wondered how bad it could be, and I tried to figure things out. Obviously, the first thing I had to do was go see a doctor. Not my favorite thing to do, like not at all lol. This, in and of itself, is terrifying because physicians are trained to tell you if something is a problem or not. The worst part is when the doctor gets that look on his/her face and says that they’ll need to do further testing. That usually means that something is wrong…

Luckily, nothing concerning was found, and I am so so so grateful for that. However, having gone through this provided me with an alternative perspective. One, as a health care professional, and two as a person with family and friends who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness.

Because I practically live in a hospital, death is now an everyday thing. Illness has become the norm.

My own personal experience helped remind me of how frightening it must be for patients to come in for a health scare examination, come in for a procedure, or come in for their chemo treatments. Because this is now my norm, going through this allowed me to have more empathy for what my patients, friends, and family members might be feeling. The fear, the angst, the anxiety, or even just the thought that something might be seriously wrong with their body.

I also came to find that if you’re the person being screened for a potential diagnosis, having a positive outlook isn’t necessarily the answer. I’ve always believed in the saying “expect the worst but hope for the best,” and that’s what I did.

Throughout this process, the people in my life who were aware of what was happening continued to reassure me that nothing was wrong, and that everything’s going to be ok. Which before you have the final results could be totally true, but what if it’s not?

Because I knew how bad the news could potentially be, I was hopeful rather than positive. I was hoping that nothing would be wrong, but I wasn’t expecting for nothing to be wrong. I took the time to consider potential outcomes for each possible scenario, and try to prepare myself. If the prognosis was poor, how would I process the bad news? If I needed treatment, would I pursue that? And if I needed help, who would be available to help me?

Again, because I work in healthcare I knew that these thoughts could potentially become a reality

I feel lucky to have had such amazing support while all this was happening, and I am grateful that I am healthy. Health is wealth. Having a functioning, strong, well body is so important, and really, all that you need.

Take care of your body, love your body, and cherish all the things that it can do. It could all be taken away with the blink of an eye…

Most importantly, love your bodyIt is beautiful, and it is perfect just the way it is. We spend so much time criticizing our bodies when we should really be appreciating them.

Enjoy your body. Appreciate your body. Love your body. 

xx,

Paula

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Stress and How to Overcome it

Stress can be super rough on the mind, body, and soul. Ever have one of those days where it feels like the sky is falling? You have countless things to do, and have no idea where to start? Yeah, that’s what every day at my job feels like. Even though the things I’m doing are “helping” others, the stress of it can potentially be harming me.

Having those days can create a lot of overwhelm and stress, however, you still need to figure out how to get shit done. It’s important to consider doing only what can be done that day—all while simultaneously managing other projects or cases.

There are many ways to overcome stress. Some more simple than others, some that can help instantaneously, and some that require a lengthy process and a great deal of time. The first step is trying to learn how to manage those mini episodes of tension.

Here are some helpful tips on how to manage stress at the office:

1. Take a deep breath

Deep breathing helps calm the body and also helps you center yourself. Because stress has the same effect on the body as the fight or flight response, your body is preparing itself for potential danger. Per Harvard University, deep breathing is a “relaxation response” that allows the body to fill with o2—this can slow your heart rate and normalize blood pressure.

Even if you need to step outside for a moment, engage in a breathing exercise and allow your lungs to expand. Take in all of the oxygen, and allow your body to feel the relaxation.

2. Put things into perspective

Remind yourself—of the positive reasons—why you’re doing your job. This will help you to put things into perspective, and allow your body and mind to process the reasons in which you continue to put up with this batshit crazy mess on a daily basis.

3. Stay Positive

You’re a baller. Remind yourself that you are good at your job. Sometimes we work on very challenging cases, with very challenging people. This can sometimes cause us to question our abilities and strengths. Remember how great you are at your job. If it will help, write down 5-10 reasons as to why you’re excellent at what you do—keep this in your desk, pocket, or purse so it is easily accessible.

4. Step back and assess the situation

Think: What about this is making me anxious? Is it time? Is it the number of tasks I need to get done? Is it because I cannot find a solution? Whatever it is, it’s okay. Take a step back and break it down.

5. Prioritize your biz

Break down your responsibilities. What is the most pressing item that needs to be completed. Which task has a deadline? Depending on where you work and what your responsibilities are, you know how to set priorities—basically, what is it that your company values and prefers to get taken care of first? You are capable of making smart decisions. You got this!

6. Time management

Set time limits. If you’ve prioritized the 7 million and 23 things you need to do, and there’s still too many things to manage in a single 8-hour shift, then you might want to consider setting time limits on each task. With this, if there are mini deadlines or specific planning that needs to be completed, you can arrange your time in a way that will allow for you to get to everything on your list.

7. Ask for help

 Sometimes our colleagues may have less work to finish than we do. If considered appropriate in your office, reach out to ask if anyone has some extra time to either partner up with you, or completely take the task off of your hands. Even if this is only for a few hours, or to get you to the next step, anything is helpful.

8. Know when to stop

Just because we are scheduled for an 8-hour shit, doesn’t mean that you only stay those 8-hours. Sometimes I find myself doing plenty of overtime. This is okay sometimes, however, it should not become a regular thing. Remember that you need to take care of yourself. Spending all of your time working is not congruent with the idea of self-care

9. Do something for you

Whether this is a daily or weekly thing, make sure to engage in an activity that you enjoy. As mentioned above, self-care is VERY important. When you are able to care for your mind and body, you allow them to rest and revitalize. With this, when you return to work you will be refreshed and productive.

10. Make work-life balance a regular thing

Self-care is so important all the time, not only in times of stress. Maintaining a work-life balance should become a part of your lifestyle. Know when to say no. Know when enough is enough. Be aware of burnout, and make sure that your mind and body are provided with the care that they need.

Be kind to yourself. Make yourself the priority…

xx,

Paula