You see the word ‘self-love’ thrown around all over social media, but what does it truly mean? Well, self-love is all about nurturing your physical, mental and spiritual well-being through your actions – actions that allow you to be more in tune with every inch of your being. It’s about identifying who you are as a person, what your values are in life and living as meaningfully and as true to yourself as possible. It’s a process – a process of learning to know what you want, what you need and what you don’t need in your life. I know, yada yada…it kinda sounds like some airy-fairy hippy shit right, and yeah, maybe it is. But damn, the benefits of self-love are way too good to pass up so keep reading.
I know what it feels like to be in a rut – a dark place where it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel has dimmed and there is no way of escape. It starts off with one negative thought which goes something like “I need to lose/gain weight” or “I’m not good enough”, then the next negative thought rolls in and it just goes on and on and on. You’ve punched yourself in the face with hateful words for too long my friends. NO MORE listening to your inner-critic, NO MORE self-talk, NO MORE treating yourself like shit…because YOU deserve so much better. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING (!!) in your life is impacted by the way in which you view yourself and once you take the time to practice self-love then you’ll eventually see those dark clouds lift. I promise, THEY WILL. When you start loving yourself the way you truly deserve, the cogs will begin to move and everything will start to change for the better. Your health will improve, your relationships will become stronger and your inner light will be shining oh-so-bright. As a mother I believe that it is so important to put yourself first – before your partner and even before your babies. I know, BIG statement you guys, but I believe it to be true. You need to make YOU a priority because practicing self-care and self-love will in the end allow you to be a better mother, partner and an overall BOSS of a fucking human! So how can we learn to truly love ourselves? Here are 10 steps that I have put together to get you on your way there.
1. Cut the shit
Cut ties with people that don’t add value to your life and those that continuously bring you down. Remove all of that negative energy because it serves you no purpose – this includes relationships, bad habits (binge eating, smoking, laziness) and even those negative nancys that you follow on social media. Delete, remove and unfollow my friends!
2. Do What You Love
If you don’t like your job, then quit. Heck, you spend more time with your colleagues then you do with your kids so why not do something that you truly enjoy. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re a stay-at-home mum then ask yourself the same questions. Believe me, I love being a stay-at-home mum but its not for everyone. Pick up an old hobby or learn a new skill. You’ve always wanted to try archery/painting/cooking/pottery/poetry/surfing? – SO DO IT! Don’t limit yourself, because FEAR only holds you back. Setting goals (even unachievable ones) and challenging yourself allows you to grow as a person. Plain and simple, doing what you love makes you happy, so go out there and do it.
3. Find Your Tribe
Surround yourself with people who can encourage, support, respect and love you for who you are. If you don’t have these people in your life already, then go out and find them. Be the person that you want to surround yourself with and when you start doing the things that you love, they will naturally gravitate towards you. The positive energy is contagious!
4. Be Kind To Yourself
Stop criticising every little thing about yourself. Know your worth! Remember you are beautiful, you are kind, you are smart, you are YOU and that’s what makes you unique and special! Start a morning ritual of saying 5 different things that you love about yourself. Do you even know what you love about yourself? If not, find it, say it, know it. Also allocate some time each week to pamper yourself. I know it’s all too easy to stay in your pjs and mumbun forever (fuck, its just convenient right!) but don’t forget to put effort into your appearance. I’m not saying wear makeup everyday, I’m just saying that looking after yourself, even in the smallest way can make a huge difference in your mood. I’m making it a thing you guys, so join me every week for Self-Care Sundays!
5. Fuel Your Body
Give your body the nutrients that it needs by eating well-balanced healthy meals. Load up on the greens, drink 3L of water a day and reduce your coffee intake. Start a food diary and make yourself aware of what you’re putting into your mouth. Fuel your body properly to allow it to function at it’s peak level – I probably don’t even have to tell you because YOU KNOW what is and isn’t good for you.
6. Exercise On The Daily
You could start off by trying to get up to 5000 steps. Take the stairs, walk the long way home, chase after the kids in the park, dance while doing housework – all of it helps. Make an active effort to make time to go for a walk, do a workout at home or spend an hour at the gym – no matter what it is, make sure you move your body every single day. Slot it into your daily planner and get it done. Those little endorphins do wonders for not only your physical being but also your mood too.
7. Practice Gratitude
Every morning write down in a diary ONE thing that you are grateful for. Is it the roof over your head? The clothes on your back? The kids that are still asleep (thank F haha!)? Showing gratitude for even the simplest things brings you back down to Earth. It allows you to realise what is truly important in life and maybe that thing that you’re stressing over really isn’t worth the stress at all. It’s a wonderful feeling to start your day on a positive note.
8. Stop Comparing
You’ve probably spent the last few minutes scrolling through your social media feeds. Sexy bodies, clean perfect houses, pretty babies, trendy outfits, holiday spam – CHECK! Social media can be a really beautiful thing because you can connect with so many amazing people, but at the same time it can leave you feeling even more insecure. Just remember that you’re only seeing small glimpses into other people’s lives and whether that is “real life” or not, people only share what they want you to see. Who knows, behind that image of the perfect interior space there may a pile of dirty laundry in the corner and two screaming children tugging on mummy’s leg! So yes, look at the pretty picture, but don’t compare. YOU do YOU boo.
Go through your closet and cull anything that you haven’t worn in a year – actually why don’t you go and minimalise your whole entire house! Do you really need 25 pairs of shoes or those two TV’s? Cleanse your mind by removing all of the things that have negative feelings attached to it (jewellery perhaps) or things that aren’t giving off any positive vibrations. You’ll be amazed at how good it’ll make you feel afterwards!
10. Look In The Mirror
How many times do you look in the mirror a day? Like, really look? Not many? Me too. Take a moment each day, maybe after you’ve had a shower or a nice hot bath, and stand in front of the mirror NAKED. Look at your face, look at your body, look at YOU. Look into your eyes and tell yourself those five unique things that you love about your body – believe me, it is liberating and by the end of it your mind will be so much more in sync with your physical self.
Remember to love yourself – ALWAYS x