7. Create small little treasures throughout your home that make you feel loved and give you happiness.
This is my favourite rule because even if you don’t have a problem with emotional eating, this should be something you do anyway! Pictures of things you love are a great, inexpensive way to have instant feelings of love and happiness. Music that you love is another great way.
It’s amazing what one beautiful, scented candle can do for your bath. It’s late, you light a candle around your bath, you close the door and you get maybe the only time you’ve had for yourself that day. A plant that reminds you of a plant you had in your living room growing up, or a hook that you hang all your necklaces on or a letter than someone sent that brings you extreme pride could work.
In undergrad, I was incessantly mocked for my drawer of “things that I loved”. I shared a room with a roommate and it was tiny. I had no space; nothing that felt like it was mine except the wall above my bed and my drawer. I had pictures above my bed and a poster of Kandinsky who I was a fan of at the time but I always loved my drawer. It had big velvet hair bands and my favorite pen, and scarves that I thought were beautiful.
It really was all the “little things” that brought me a total sense of identity. Many times we fill our house with stuff that other people will like, or kids toys, or we don’t have enough money to decorate in the way that we like so we throw up our hands and we don’t do anything. I’ve been in houses that have absolutely no personalization, only a cold decorators touch.
While I’m sure there is pride in having the money to have the house look exactly the way you always wanted, remember that having deep personal things that bring a sense of clarity and love around you help you feel calm. Whenever a family member dies, we all cling to the personal things left behind and when we want to revisit that person; we usually look to pictures or those personal things. It makes us feel closer to the person we lost. Having personal things around you that help you feel love creates an environment that helps you be kind to yourself.
Making a different choice – other than binging out of emotions – is a big step in being kind to yourself. I know you might feel a sense of control when you eat what you want and be damned with everyone else, but afterwards, the guilt and emotions surrounding the incident make you beat yourself up incessantly. Take the opportunity that you have to be kind to yourself and surround yourself with things that make you feel good. You can’t control the environment out of your house but you are lucky enough to be able to control your environment in your house. And when you do this, you start to feel good on the inside too.
For those of you listening to the 8 sessions, I hope this helps. I know that everyone is very different- If you have your own rules, please send them.