Brrr. It’s officially winter and I’m COLD. Why do I always seem shocked when winter rolls around and temps drop? Am I the only one who goes, “WTF it’s soooo cold” as if it’s never happened before? Just wondering… 
Anyway, I’ll be whipping up all the warm soups I can this week. The carrot ginger soup below is featured in the Winter membership of The GOOD SCTY!  Materials (recipes, meal planning tips, private FB group access, giveaways, grocery guides, and more) will be released on January 1 (ahhhh, I wonder what marketing team came up with that one!)

And in other news, I’m heading to LA this Saturday, so sunny skies (and a beach!) are on the way. I. Can’t. Wait. I asked for suggestions via IG the other day and heard so many amazing tips. Thank you!!
 
Now, the topic of each Sunday in December… self-care. Why self-care this time of year? It felt right. You’re being pulled in every directions and therefore you have to take care of YOU, too. cause you can’t pour from an empty cup, and tis the season to give. 
 
carrot-soup

warming up with carrot ginger soup cause I’m freezing! Find this recipe and more in the GOOD Scty!

Last week, we went over actions. AKA the things you can actually DO to take care of yourself. I broke it down into 4 categories. active self-care, spiritual, social, and creative. All incredibly effective depending on what kind of care you need throughout the month. 

To get up to speed on last week’s self-care topic – check it out here. I received some amazing feedback from some of you about the series and thank you so much!

Now in the second week, I’m going to dive into our WORDS.

The spoken, the silent, and a couple tips on how/when/where you can incorporate affirmations and how to make affirmations and compliments feel less forced or awkward.

I think the topic of negative self-talk is particularly important this season because we can become plagued by comparisons. We see a lot of people, (in-laws, old friends) and it’s easy to get down on ourselves when we begin to compare our lives to their success, perfect outfit, and hot new boyfriend. 
the comparison trap? it’s BS. it will get you no where, and that’s why positive self talk, and affirmations are the best way to combat this sometimes instinctual response. 
 
I’ve found that when I affirm myself, and compliment others, I feel.. happier. It brings on more confidence, more compassion for others and less overall anxiety.

Affirmations can be… awkward at first. To give yourself a verbal pat on the back can feel bizarre at times, so that’s why I believe they can be spoken or silently said to yourself. Both incredible effective as each time it is said, it helps re-wire and re-program the negative thought patterns so deeply engrained.


holiday self care tips

stressed or not, you can’t deny that december is pretty beautiful…

How to create affirmations perfect for YOU.

Start with your intention.

Intention usually implies what you want MORE of, or LESS of. Example, if you want MORE work-life balance you may say something like “I will commit to making my time with friends and family a priority. I deserve to balance my time, and enjoy myself for all the hard work I do”.

It’s not a “ugh, i’m working all the time and my friends and family can’t stand it, and I’m totally not taking care of myself, what is wrong with me?!?” kind of thought. That won’t get you anywhere. It’s affirming yourself that you do work hard, you do deserve MORE, and you will create space for more down time and relaxation/fun in your life as a result.
 
Now, the LESS statements.

Usually I find that the affirmations that release or ease anxiety around something are the LESS themed affirmations. You might want less negative thoughts about your body, less fear of the unknown, less sadness around a breakup, less pressure to figure out what you’re doing post grad. You want a breather, and a little less on your plate, so to speak.

Let’s take for example your body image and thoughts around appearance. If you want LESS negativity around your body, you’ll craft something that promotes more love and compassion to your body as it is today, in the present. Examples of more affirmations:

– I am beautiful and unique.
– I am perfectly imperfect.
– My body is healthy, strong, and allows me to live a full and vibrant life.
 
Another tip? Buy a new journal for writing gratitude lists (more on that in upcoming weeks) and affirmations in. Try not to let it become your notebook for to do’s or grocery lists. Get something beautiful that you’ll feel happy seeing every time you go to write.

use words you would use in real life.

If you wouldn’t tell someone they are “radiant” or “a gift from spirit” don’t say it to yourself. Sometimes people think affirmations mean some poetic statement that could have come from the mouth of Deepak.  I’m a no nonsense kind of girl. Telling myself “you are a freakin badass” sometimes resonates more with me than something super spiritual. Bottom line, speak to yourself in a believable, approachable way.  How are you supposed to believe you’re amazing if you’re not sounding like you

when and where to affirm yourself.

Literally anywhere, anytime, and every time you need it. That’s the best part. They can be spoken out loud (they are very powerful this way) but depending on situation and environment, you can say them to yourself throughout the day. There’s no limit, there’s no minimum, although the more it happens the faster you’ll believe it and the sooner you’ll FEEL the change in your thought patterns. 

I like to say them while I meditate most. I time it with my breath and find it helps me stay more present and mindful in the meditation practice. Breathe in (I AM), breathe out (XYZ). With each inhale and exhale time the affirmation so it can flow. You can try these short affirming statements instead of a traditional mantra like “om”. 

Other ways/places? When you’re in a situation that is testing your patience, or when you wake up in the morning. You can even write something on a post-it note and place it on a mirror or another surface / object you look at daily. 

compliments…like messy buns, don’t force them.

compliment

we need to stop the gossip-y culture that women have gotten so accustomed to. a compliment is obviously amazing for the recipient, and feels damn good to hear, but it’s also fantastic for the woman giving the compliment. it feels good to be kind, so  let’s do it more.

I don’t have a clear cut instruction on how to compliment. My only thought is that we need to work more on keeping them real.  When someone gets a hair cut or new color, obviously a compliment on the change feels great. It’s expected almost, and therefore not that impactful because let’s face it… every woman will say “OMG loveeeee the new cut”.

Why not take compliments a step further and actually say. something. “I like your shirt!” “OMG you look gorgeous!” are very kind, yes. But they don’t have much depth. Here’s a comparison to tell you what I’m referring to…

A: “Loving the new haircut, girl!!”

B: “Love the new cut! Looks amazing on you and I really admire how you’re not afraid to change it up and take a risk, girl!”

See? Just say something about someones CHARACTER. congratulate them. tell them they are a hard working, intelligent person. tell them when they are kind and inspiring you. tell them when you’re excited for them. 

Above everything though, DON’T compliment if you don’t mean it. Is there anything worse than hearing a sympathy compliment?? If you’re relying on compliments (especially appearance) while doing the small-talk dance at a Christmas party, read this awesome blog post about small talk.

Speaking of negative talk and the gossip culture between women, I have been really excited about a movement by Katie Horwitch called WANT: Women Against Negative Self Talk. Katie will be speaking at the GOOD Festival! I really can’t explain my excitement. She has done some incredible work around this topic of negative self-talk. If you’re not following WANT or the WANTcast – hurry.


What do you think? Ready to affirm yourself, compliment others, and see how it effects your holiday cheer?

Your challenge this week is as follows… 

Monday and Tuesday : Write down 10 affirmations. 

Wednesday and Thursday: Read the list at least 3x each day. 

Friday and Saturday: Compliment at least one person each day. With a REAL one, like discussed in this post- not just a “I like your shirt!”. 

Sunday: Work on your next list, say the list another couple times, and challenge yourself to compliment even more. And check back for week 3 of the holiday self-care tips! 


And if cooking is a form of self-care for you and since we’re in the thick of the holiday entertaining… here are a couple recipes from the archives you might enjoy! 

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Mocha 

Cranberry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

holiday self care tips

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