Today’s post is a special guest share from Mindful Bride Coach, Georgina Lucy! I love her thoughts on this topic. Please note I left the post written in her delightful British English. Enjoy! -AHS
I get it, as a bride you want to look and feel your very best for your wedding day. You’d be hard pushed to find a bride who doesn’t want this. With this being an important goal for so many brides it can also bring up challenges. By focusing on what you want to change about yourself it can lead to unhelpful and often quite punishing self-talk and that’s no fun!
I want to help you turn this on its head and practise some self-love during your engagement, whilst staying committed to your goal of looking and feeling your best come the wedding day. I promise you, these two things are perfectly compatible.
1. See yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you
So often we are our own worst critics. We look in the mirror and see all our perceived flaws and fixate on them. We give ourselves a hard time when we make mistakes and put insane amounts of pressure on ourselves when we’re not ticking things off the ‘wedmin’ to-do list fast enough. It’s exhausting isn’t it?
Have a think about all the people in your life who love you. Hopefully you have a few special people to pick from. Take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. See yourself through their eyes.
What do they love about you? What little quirks make them smile? What parts of you do they adore the most? Really feel that love they feel for you. When we see ourselves through the eyes of someone who loves us it can feel a little more comfortable than looking in the mirror and chanting, ‘I love you’ (don’t get me wrong, there is a place for that too). Hopefully this will allow you to see yourself in a loving way. Tap into this feeling next time you’re giving yourself a hard time.
2. Be careful what you consume
Do a social media audit. What’s dominating your newsfeed? Does it make you feel good? Often, we follow ‘aspirational’ accounts and people to give us something to aspire to but is this making you feel good? If it is, then great but really question the impact certain accounts are having on you. Do you notice a shift in energy when a particular person pops up on your feed? Really notice these shifts and don’t be afraid to hit ‘unfollow’ or ‘mute.’ Believe me, it can feel very empowering!
By consuming content that lifts you up and nurtures you you’re being kind to yourself and this is a huge act of self-love. What podcasts make you smile and make you feel good about yourself? Listen to more of them. We have a lot of ‘dead time’ in life – travelling, loading and unloading the dishwasher, sorting laundry. Use this time to absorb anything that makes you feel good about yourself. Some of my go-to feel-good podcasts are, Oprah’s Super-Soul Conversations, Project Love and Wobble.
3. Be Obsessively Grateful
As I said before, we tend to fixate on what we don’t like about ourselves don’t we? What about fixating on what we love about ourselves instead?
Think of just one thing that you’re grateful for about your body. For me, it’s my long legs. I used to hate being tall and felt like a freak when I was head and shoulders above my school friends but now, I’m so grateful for my long legs. They carry me through my day, get me from A to B, and often rather speedily! Not everyone can say that. Maybe you have incredible skin, beautiful long eyelashes, strong arms. Believe me, you have multiple parts of yourself you can feel gratitude towards, if you let yourself.
Really focus on that feeling of gratitude. Notice how it feels and sit with it a while. Simply the act of noticing things to be grateful for shifts your mindset and sooner or later, when you look in that mirror, your mind will go to the good bits first.
4. Let yourself off the hook
When you’re planning a wedding, it can become ALL about the wedding, ALL of the time. If this creates feelings of pressure and overwhelm rather than feelings of excitement give yourself permission to take a break.
One of the brides inside my Facebook community, The Mindful Bride Tribe was feeling totally behind and overwhelmed. The solution wasn’t to work out how to fit yet more tasks into every ounce of spare time she had, it was the opposite. She let herself off the hook and had a weekend off.
When we’re not doing what we think we should be doing, we can beat ourselves up can’t we? Just like your mobile phone, you need a recharge once in a while. How about a wedding free weekend? A date night free from wedding chat? Time spent doing things that light you up? I bet when you come back to it you’ll have a new lease of life to tackle that to-do list like a boss!
It all starts with giving yourself permission to do what feels good for you. Listen to your body and if there’s signs of stress, that’s a clue you need a break and letting yourself off the hook is such a wonderful way to show yourself some love.
5. Write a love letter to yourself
Get quiet, put on some lovely music, get a pen and a notebook and write a love letter to yourself. If you find yourself staring blankly at a page then think about how you’d support a friend who needs some words of wisdom? Treat yourself as you treat those you love.
If you’re stressed, anxious or under confident give yourself advice about what steps you could take to ease that pressure. Don’t give too much thought to what you’re writing. Just let it flow out of you. It may feel hard at first but persevere. This is just for you. There is no judgment and you may just find you have some real breakthroughs.