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self-care

Love yourself to be the priority in your life

Are you taking enough time for you?
Do you prioritize yourself!
Are you always saying yes to everyone else?
Does that leave you feeling alone or perhaps even resentful?
Are your personal needs met?

As Mother’s Day is approaching, a day where mothers are being doted on for all that they do each day, it is often forgotten that self-care and prioritizing yourself is something that needs to stand always in the forefront.

I know first-hand that this is easier said than done!

When my son was first hospitalized in 2007 and even the years to follow, my health (emotionally and physically) was not number one. My priority was my son and his life as it took everything I had to keep him alive and so I continued to smoke and eat an unhealthy diet. I always told myself one day would it would all change, but for the moment my priorities were not with me.

You succumb to eating the processed cafeteria foods or take-out out of ease and comfort. And at times it can seriously feel like you don’t have any other choice. But you do. There’s always a choice.

How can you move from being everything to everyone and start being who you need to be for you?

  • Decide you deserve to be a priority
  • Decide how you will spend it
  • Evaluate the things that waste your time
  • Learn to say no!
  • Ask for help!
  • Schedule the things you must do
  • Commit to me time daily and make it a ritual!

We talk about nurture and self-care all the time but what sometimes you don’t even know what that means!

Self-care in its simplest form means taking it easy, take a break, do things that you love.

Self-care is doing things that feel good to your body and soul in that moment and time.

What they mean to each of us, can differ from individual to individual.

Self-care is just allowing you some downtime from the daily hustle and bustle of work, parenting and whatever else usually keeps you overwhelmed. It’s a time to connect with yourself and allow your body some peace so it can rejuvenate itself.

And this can look so very different for everyone. Below you find some of the things I have used to support me.

  1. Make time for food that nourishes your body and soul. How much junk are you fueling your body with that leaves you tired and exhausted? How much fresh food do you eat to really give your body what you need? When you feel good, the soul feels good because it knows you are taking care of yourself.
  2. Exercise in some way through yoga, walking, running, Zumba, dancing or whatever call you to move your body. Allow it to feel good. It will help you from becoming to still and it’s just good for you to feel positive especially if you have been feeling down.
  3. Make bedtime a priority allowing you adequate rest time. For me, this is about 7-8 hours of sleep. For you, it could be a bit less or more. The important thing is that you rest your body!
  4. Do one thing you truly enjoy. Write, paint, crochet! Do it because you will feel amazingly good afterward for having done it.
  5. Connect with nature. Go outside, hug a tree, walk barefoot, sit in the sun. Allow yourself to feel the wind and the sun rays on your skin. Surround yourself with nature in every way.
  6. Practice gratitude throughout the day for each moment. For the raindrop that falls to nourish the earth.  For the driver going too slow in front of you to keep you safe and quite without the speeding ticket. For the paycheck, you earn to provide a roof over your head. For life and the opportunity to experience it. Be grateful.

Self-care is respecting you enough to make time to be with just you.

Honoring who you are through the good days and tough days will help you learn to love yourself more, teach others that you are valuable and life will start to feel a whole lot better.

 

How to embrace the journey of self-acceptance and self-love

 

You are always being judged! It stands in your way of self-acceptance and ultimately loving yourself.

This isn’t a new phenomenon or revelation but since childhood. The way you played, dressed and did your school work, there has been an element of judgment. This shaped how you show up every single day.

And it can be damaging to you and in most cases. This is not meant to harm you, but it can hinder you in achieving your dreams. The reason is often the person’s own limiting beliefs and the person’s idea of how to live and be.

Let me ask you this:

  • Have you ever stopped sharing your dreams for fear of what other people think?
  • Have you ever not allowed yourself to consider the possibility because of how you may be perceived?
  • Have you ever not taken action towards a dream because you’re afraid to lose people in your life?

Small signs that you are allowing someone else’s thoughts, beliefs and judgment influence your life and your dreams.

But how do you move into self-acceptance?

By having a willingness to shed the stories you have been telling yourself. Some of them are small stories that you are barely aware of, while other’s may be more present in your awareness.

Those small stories are minor but directly relate to how you were playing with your peers and told, “you are playing too rough”. Or maybe you received a bad grade giving you the message of not being good enough.

The bigger messages are more present because they were more profound experiences such as your parents were divorcing, a loved one died, or maybe you have experienced trauma through abuse of some kind.

Those stories aren’t easy to shed. I should know! 

Accepting growing up in foster care was hard. It meant I wasn’t loveable. My parents didn’t raise me, meant that I wasn’t good enough. Because of the abuse and trauma, I experienced, it somehow was my fault.

And the reality was that growing up in foster care didn’t have anything to do with me but had everything to do with my parents. And the trauma that I experienced was more about the other person than myself.

There comes a point in your life where compassion, forgiveness, and self-acceptance are the essences of learning to love yourself, despite your experiences and the stories you hang onto.

It’s acknowledging that loving yourself is not only trusting yourself but that healing those parts of your story that keep you in your fear and the judgment is breaking those chains of personal confinement.

And there is so much goodness within you and about you!

A simple exercise that can get you closer to accepting who you are and loving yourself is to create a mind-map about you.

Answer the questions:  

  • What do you love about yourself?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your values?
  • Who are you?

Don’t hold back on your answers and really dig into who you are and all your awesomeness.

The moment you can see all the positives about yourself, the easier it is to shed the stories others have helped you create.

And then it just becomes a matter of letting go.

Let go of fear and the judgment.

Love yourself for who you are and stop worrying about what other people will think about you.

Stop allowing them to interfere with your dreams.

And then it just becomes a matter of letting go.

Let go of fear and the judgment.

Love yourself for who you are and stop worrying about what other people will think about you.

Stop allowing them to interfere with your dreams.

100 ways to love yourself

100 Ways to Love yourself

This is the first of 12 blog posts in my 100’s of something list. So every month there will be a new post of 100 ways to be, do or have something.

No matter where you are in your journey, or what goals you want to achieve, I found that loving yourself is one of those things that needs to come first.

I have compiled a list of 100 ways you can do just that!

  1. Keep a journal about
  2. Share your emotions with those who feel safe
  3. Honor your feelings
  4. Take time out every day to be still and just be
  5. Try something new
  6. Go for a hike or a walk on the trails
  7. Do something you loved doing as a child
  8. Take a hot bath
  9. Make art
  10. Have a girls night out
  11. Learn a new skill you’ve been dying to try
  12. Practice forgiveness
  13. Rewite old stories
  14. Connect with like-minded people
  15. Become a good steward of money
  16. Set Boundaires
  17. Honor your energy around activities and people
  18. Watch a movie or tv series that makes you laugh
  19. Break off relationships that don’t support you
  20. Build a fort in your living room and sleep in it
  21. Write a short story
  22. Eat food that makes you feel good
  23. Get a physical
  24. Send a thank you note
  25. Go on a road trip
  26. Take an art class
  27. Declutter a space that could use some uplifting
  28. Take an exercise class
  29. Go on a health retreat
  30. Let go of regret
  31. Make a list of all that you’ve achieved
  32. Ask for help
  33. Create Mantra’s that uplift you
  34. Dress up, even when you’re not going anywhere
  35. Dance to your favorite song
  36. Read a book that you’ve been putting off
  37. Update your wardrobe, maybe get some new undewear
  38. Take yourself out on a date
  39. Stop looking to fit in, just be you
  40. Write a letter to a younger version of you
  41. Write a letter to a future version of you
  42. Expect respect
  43. Establish a morning routine
  44. Get off social media
  45. Speak your truth, even when your voice shakes
  46. Share your dreams
  47. Volunteer at an organization that matters to you
  48. Get enough sleep
  49. Look in the mirror and speak positively to you
  50. Make a list of 100 things you are grateful for
  51. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile
  52. Go on a date (no expectations)
  53. Go to the movies
  54. Give compliments to people you encounter
  55. Pay it foward
  56. Trust your intuition
  57. Limit the amount of news you watch
  58. Sing your favorite song
  59. Take the day off and do nothing
  60. Take action on something you’ve been talking about
  61. Don’t engage with anything that feels like “should”
  62. Believe in yourself
  63. Go swimming in the moonlight
  64. Increase your water intake
  65. Go buy yourself a gift
  66. Create your own personal manifesto
  67. Have the most incredible and amazing breakfast
  68. Get a haircut
  69. Get some new feel good bedsheets
  70. Go to a concert or a play you’ve been wanting to see
  71. Get real about your debt and make a plan of action
  72. Get some new wall decor that uplifts you
  73. Take a nap
  74. Unsubscribe from the email lists you aren’t reading
  75. Find a new blog that inspires you
  76. Take a selfie and share it
  77. Clean out your car
  78. Engage in sexual pleasure
  79. Choose a theme song
  80. Ask your friends what they love about you, be open to receiving.
  81. Bake your favorite cookies
  82. Give yourself permission to take a break
  83. Make a list of all the things you love about yourself
  84. Walk barefoot in the grass
  85. Be a tourist in your town or the next town over
  86. Create an evening routine
  87. Stop doing that one thing you’ve been saying you’re going to stop
  88. Cook something you’ve never cooked before
  89. Go eat at a restaurant you’ve been dying to try out
  90. Learn a new language
  91. Learn an instrument or play an instrument if you already know
  92. Tell someone you love them
  93. Make a list of compliments you were given
  94. Take your own advice on something
  95. Go on a get away
  96. Attend a workshop you’ve been wanting to take
  97. Visit a friend that lives out of town
  98. Go watch the sunrise or sunset – or both
  99. Say no to things that you don’t want to do
  100. Stop comparing yourself to others

Creating art as a form of self-care

Do you engage in self-care? Why or why not?

Engaging in self-care is a necessity like brushing your teeth. If you don’t brush your teeth every day, you get cavities and will have to go to the dentist for things that could have been prevented.

Self-care is pretty much the same thing. If you don’t engage in self-care regularly, you will burn out and then have to take a much-needed break that can literally turn your life upside down.

Every Friday is art day, that means I am creating something (wood-burning, crocheting, drawing or doodling or maybe jewelry making). I don’t focus on business or anything else that is going on. It is my time to pretty much forget about the world and nourish my soul in ways that feel good.

I am not one to do spa days (you know manicure, massages etc.) and I had to find a different way to pamper myself, and creating art does just that – or going to the ocean but fall is almost here and there will be less of going to the water.

When I can create art, I get inspired with new ideas and I fill my well, so I can be the best version of me in my many facets.

I don’t self-care one day a week as my workouts also provide self-care but on a different level – they tend to balance my energy more.

If you are in a job, you get 2 days off (I hope) to recharge your well and do some of the fun activities not work related.  and if you are self-employed then building in a self-care routine of some kind is a necessity.

If you happen to be self-employed than building in a self-care routine of some kind is a necessity. You can make this a daily thing, 30-minutes to an hour a day or a full day when you can.

And I don’t have to tell you that when you are a mom, that this is essential to nurture and love yourself.  We can get so overwhelmed parenting and be doing all the things that we put everyone else first but ourselves.

Now go and do some self-care and tell me in the comments what you are going to do!

Top 5 Ideas to love you

When someone asks you “Who do you love”, do you include yourself?

All too often we take a seat in the back when it comes to the love department – not by others – but from ourselves. One of the things I learned as a mother, and as a partner, if I don’t love myself, how on earth could the love me?

When I finally had enough of the struggle and frustration, and I started to show myself love more and more each day, the better my life became.

Loving yourself may feel weird and odd and may even be considered self-fish, except that it isn’t. Loving yourself is honoring you, your wants and needs, that frankly other people can’t give you, no matter how much you think they can.

Spend time Alone 

Yea this is totally a thing. Go for a walk, practice some yoga, read or just sit on the porch. It takes a bit of courage to spend time alone and will feel a bit weird to be disconnected from social media or people, but your soul and you will cherish time alone, to have a sense of self.

Shift your focus

Don’t look for external sources to feel good or be validated. Instead go within, talk to your soul and connect with your intuition about how you can feel good. What can you do that honors you? How can you create a life that allows you to feel good that isn’t about how thin you are, how tanned you are or how much money you have in the bank?

Change your eating habits

Food says so much about our emotional and physical health, and yes at times is definitely one of the hardest things to change. Why? Well, because we have built an emotional attachment to food and how it supports us – good and bad. I am not saying to not eat junk food or have drinks that may not be up to par with the nutritional standards. What I am saying is that we already know what we need to change, we just need to decide and make it happen.

Get moving

Movement can be many things. It can mean walking, dancing, running, going to the gym and so much more. It doesn’t have to be for a long time, sometimes 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening can be enough. But by getting our body moving, we allow the body to do its work as it is designed to do.

Speak your truth

Use your voice and speak your truth even if your voice shakes. Don’t sway from your beliefs just because it isn’t popular with some people. Loving ourselves is in part following your passions, stand up for our beliefs and we should never have to apologize for who we are.

How to know that you are enough

Sometimes the thought of alone scares us. We seek validation by engaging in conversation with others because we want them to tell us we are good enough.

We believe that others can help us not only feel and be enough but almost depend on it because when we are alone we have the hardest time to tell ourselves that we are incredible, worthy and enough.

In today’s world, it is so easy to compare ourselves to others and measure our success that we forget that they too have days of self-doubt. We think they have it all together and they are living in a fairy tale of a life that we can’t see we have our own unique story and skills that we bring into this world.

To shift from comparison mode sometimes we just need to go quiet and within and just spend time with ourselves, alone.

I remember a time in my life where I thought being alone was the worst thing because that meant I was not lovable and not worthy of friends. I since learned that spending time with myself is the best thing I can do for me because I can honor my thoughts and feelings without outside influences.

When I give into my negative thoughts I am really doing myself a disservice and I make a conscious shift to focus on the positive things in my life, including all the amazing things about me. It is so much more freeing knowing the good I shine into this world and creates a shift in my energy and vibration.

Being at peace with my past has probably been the most profound thing I could have done for me. We all have a story or two that left us shattered and hurt, wondering how we can go on with life. But the reality is that we can’t change what has happened, but we can take it and shine our strength despite it all. We can only live right here right now and by choosing to love myself flaws and all, I know that I am enough exactly the way I am.

So, when you struggle to believe you are enough:

  1. Acknowledge the present moment and how you got to this point
  2. Write about your thoughts and feelings, keep asking why do I feel this way
  3. Forgive what must be forgiven and let go
  4. Know that not everyone has it together all the time – we all have shit days
  5. It’s okay to look up to people but don’t compare yourself – we are never in the same places as others
  6. Focus on the positive things going on in your life
  7. Make a list of all the things that is right about you

The bottom line is there is nothing wrong with you or me. Remembering and taking note of the things that make us awesome and why we love ourselves will show you and me that we are enough in every aspect of our lives.