There was a time when I was very hard on myself. I took the tough-love approach to my self-improvement. I thought that the meaner I was to myself the more it would motivate me to change. It didn’t. In fact after a while one of two things happened, it was so common for me to be mean to myself that I stopped noticing or on those days when I was depressed being mean to myself just made me feel worse.

It didn’t motivate me to do anything.

Self love helped me see that being a judgmental asshole to myself accomplished absolutely nothing.

Do you want to know a secret?

Do you ever have a week when everything goes wrong? You pull a muscle, you get into a silly argument with a friend, your air-conditioner breaks down, you find ants in your kitchen, you hate the color you painted your porch, you find a hole in your favorite shirt and suddenly you’re throwing your hands up in the air asking the Universe with tears running down your face, why it hates you because things like this shouldn't go wrong all at once and WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

Last week was one of those weeks and it really got me down. It pushed me to that cliff of despair called depression and it encouraged me to slide down. Rationally I knew that all the stuff going wrong wasn't life changing stuff, it was the little things that were getting to me, but when it all happens at once it's hard to see the big picture.

I needed the reminder: Don't sweat the small stuff. 

So I made a little list of the things I try to remember when I feel like the Universe is being the big bully on the playground. It helped me get some perspective so maybe it will help you!

I get knocked down, but I get up again.

You’re never gonna get me down. Go to youtube type in Chumbawamba and sing the song at the top of your lungs. It’ll make you feel better. Plus it will remind you that worse things have happened to you and that you got through that too, maybe not gracefully, but you got through it. So even if life is knocking you down and you’re taking a few punches to the face, you’re not down for the count.
If that fails look at pictures of 43 people who are having worse days then you are.

Know that most things are fixable.

So you painted your porch a hideous color, no biggie, you can re-paint it something better. You argued with a friend but good communication is key and pulled muscles generally heal after some rest. Don’t sweat the things that can be fixed, get focused and motivated and instead of giving up in despair, go and fix those things that need fixing and make peace with the things you’re stuck dealing with.

Take a deep breath.

Yeah I know, everyone gives this advice about essentially everything but have you legit tried it? I’m not talking about sitting there on your phone or in your computer chair and taking a deep breath right this second. I’m talking about taking an epic breath. I’m talking go get a cushion, take it outside, leave your phone in the house, sit in the sunlight, close your eyes and breathe. Shut off the lights in your room before bed, light a candle and some incense, put on relaxing music and breathe. Do those other things that make you feel better and relieve stress.

Be grateful. 

I know, telling yourself how much worse things could be just so you’re grateful that things aren’t that bad is a little twisted but it helps you gain perspective, which is something that you probably need when the little things are getting to you. Going through a mental list of all of the things that are going right in your life can be a reminder that no, not everything sucks and when you’re feeling down that’s a great reminder to have. It can stop the spiral.

Give into the misery.

If all else fails and you haven't managed to cheer yourself up it's totally okay to go get a tub of ice cream, the Netflix remote, and a comfy blanket to drown your sorrows in. There's nothing wrong with having a bad day or a bad week and just letting it run its course. You don't have to be positive all of the time. You aren't failing at life if you aren't happy or you have a bad day. Embrace the sad because you know eventually things will get better.

This is a reminder for myself (and for you) not to let the little things get you down. Every little thing is gonna be alright!

What things do you do to deal with a minor series of tiny catastrophes? 

I don't know about you but once spring and summer roll around I get a little critical about my body. A bit of grumbling about the weight I've gained over the winter time, a little chastising about my tendency to make excuses instead of doing a quick yoga routine or going on a jog. A little discontent with where I'm at right now.

But it's still full of love.

I've been asked a ton of times "How can you love your body if you're overweight? Or you want to lose weight?" The answer is easily. Once you get out of the mindset that it has to be an either/or situation.

You don't have to wait until your body is perfect to love it.

Let me put it in different terms. I just bought a house and I absolutely love it. It's cozy and perfect for me. But. I look at it and I see a ton of things I could do to make it cozier, to make it more me but I still love it. I look at the people in my life and I'm sure I could come up with things I'd like for them to change but at the end of the day I love them just the way that they are. Unconditionally.

If you have the 2015 Self Love Planner then you'll know that this month is all about compassion and cultivating that toward yourself. Here are some quotes I want to share with you. Really read them and allow them to sink in. Allow yourself to identify with them instead of pushing it away when it starts feeling uncomfortable.

What quote really makes you think?

“Your skin is your skin. Your legs are your legs. Your hair is your hair. Your smile is your smile. Your past is your past. You can waste your life hating these things, but you may as well learn to accept them. Both routes are difficult and full of pain, but with acceptance, you will be happy one day, while with hatred, you never will.” ― Vironika Tugaleva

“Lack of forgiveness causes almost all of our self-sabotaging behavior.” ― Mark Victor Hansen

“Today I began to criticize myself and look at myself with a judgmental eye... but then instead of going all out in that direction, I stopped and I began to understand me. And then I began to be patient with me. And then I began to feel a softness in the middle of my chest. So then I concluded that I can understand and be patient with me, just like how I am always understanding and being patient with everyone else. Why? Because I deserve that, and more.” ― C. JoyBell C.

“To be self-compassionate is not to be self-indulgent or self-centered. A major component of self-compassion is to be kind to yourself. 

Treat yourself with love, care, dignity and make your well-being a priority. 

With self-compassion, we still hold ourselves accountable professionally and personally, but there are no toxic emotions inflicted upon and towards ourselves.” ― Christopher Dine

“I’m still learning to love the parts of me that no one claps for.”—   Rudy Francisco

"You can’t hate yourself happy, You can’t criticize yourself thin, You can’t shame yourself wealthy. Real change begins with self-love and self care."― Jessica Ortner

“Who will you love if not yourself? Other people? How can you love someone for anything but their raw, naked humanity? How can you say you love someone if it is not for their flaws and quirks, snorts and hurts, triggers and tears? Anything else is not love. It is idealization. And, as long as you do it to yourself, you will do it to everyone. You will not love anyone or anything until those eyes in the mirror soften up and embrace the beauty that is already within.” ― Vironika Tugaleva

“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.” ― Kristen Neff

"Self-compassion is approaching ourselves, our inner experience with spaciousness, with the quality of allowing which has a quality of gentleness. Instead of our usual tendency to want to get over something, to fix it, to make it go away, the path of compassion is totally different. Compassion allows." ― Robert Gonzales

My Favorite: "You can have compassion for yourself-which is not self-pity. You're simply recognizing that 'this is tough, this hurts,' and bringing the same warmhearted wish for suffering to lessen or end that you would bring to any dear friend grappling with the same pain, upset, or challenges as you." ― Rich Hanson

What's yours?

This month is all about compassion! Specifically having compassion for yourself and your choices. Since you're here I'm willing to bet you're one of those people that do a whole lot for other people. You're a good listener, you're supportive, and you're always there when someone needs you for a pep talk.

How are you at being all that toward yourself?

This card reminds you that self-criticism doesn't do crap for you. It's not going to motivate you (at least not in any good way) it's not going to do anything for you but diminish your self worth.

Let me tell you a little story. My entire adolescence I was fat and I hated it. I would berate myself and tell myself how lazy and disgusting I was. I figured if I made myself hate myself enough it would motivate me to change. It didn't. All it did was tear down my (already diminished) self-worth and make me feel miserable.

Today we have a Guest Post from Joanne Dernie about how Self Care changed her life. Enjoy!

Hello you lovely people!

This is the story of how I learned the importance of self-care.

I’d like to say it was one of those things that comes with maturity – with age comes wisdom and all that, but no.

It was basically forced onto me.

Around four years ago I bent down to put on my shoes, and I felt something move in my back. That was all. Something as simple as that, an activity that people everywhere do every day, something I’d done hundreds of times before, and yet this time something had gone wrong. But it didn’t sink in until a couple of days later.

I stood up and thought ‘well…that hurt’, but it wasn’t that bad, so I carried on with things as normal. As the hours and went by, however, I realized my back was hurting more and more. I applied ice initially, heat after a couple of days, rested up for a while and started asking around for advice.