The Art of Self Care
Showing love to yourself because you matter.
The transformation of your life begins with taking care of yourself. I am SUCH an advocate for self-care, when you have the time. But let’s be real…you DO have the time. Everyone can find 5 minutes in the day to do something that says “I love you” to yourself. The reality: You have to fill your cup before you can fill others. It’s pretty simple. If you are stressed out, worried, not taking a break (not to mention not taking deep breaths) then you won’t be able to really show up fully for the people around you. Self-care is the first step on our path to freedom.
Why is it so important for us to love ourselves? I believe that somewhere along the line our core priorities got a little bit mixed up. Unfortunately, it’s rare to find people today who actually love themselves. I am sure you may be asking yourself, “What does that even mean?” Well, if you look at the truth, in today’s society we are not eating well, not exercising consistently or exercising excessively, and are filled with self-doubt and crippling perfectionism. Raise your hand if any of this pertains to you. More often then not, women are especially worried about what OTHERS think of them versus what they actually think of themselves. I KNOW. I am a woman. It has taken me a LONG personal journey of self-acceptance to understand what it means to love who I am - even the not-so-fun parts of myself. But I think there is something special in that - in the uncovering of it all and learning how to treat yourself the way you were intended to - if you knew how infinite your value really is.
So, I wanted to share with everyone my favorite tips on what I do to take care of myself. Everything starts on the inside. Our external world is a direct reflection of how we feel about who we are. So there is no better time to start taking care of yourself and practicing self-love then right now!
#1) Love yourself by honoring your rituals…
Begin your day, every day with a ritual…
Your day will unfold beautifully if you give yourself time each morning to prepare for your day.
Every morning when I wake up I change and feed my daughter, and then she spends time with Danny for their morning “Daddy-daughter” time. I sat down with Danny one day and said, “Listen, I’ve got to get things back in order and I need your help. I just need a few things in the morning to start my day and that’s all I can ask for.” So we have a pact. After I feed and change Sienna, I step right into my morning ritual that I created for myself. I meditate for 15 minutes, write 3 pages in my gratitude journal, and then I make tea. That’s it. That’s all I need. That is my life’s game changer. It sounds so simple, but when I honor myself by committing to my ritual my days just FLOW. It puts me in a good place, with the right frame of mind, and it also just feels good to intentionally follow through with something that I committed to myself. It’s like waking up in the morning and telling myself, “Hey you, I love ya! Keep it going, you’re doing great!” Also, when you begin your day in a state of flow, you allow space for miracles to enter into your life and the ability to manifest increases significantly.
If you pick just 1 form of self care, I recommend a morning ritual hands down. It is a life-changer and I know that from my own personal experience. So make the commitment. Start your morning routine tomorrow and challenge yourself for just 28 days to make it a morning practice every morning - just watch your life change!
#2) Eat healthy and get your exercise…
Create a healthy lifestyle for yourself from the inside out …
Staying healthy is loving yourself because it just makes you feel so much better…
About 10 years ago, I made the commitment to becoming a vegetarian. Best thing I ever did for my body, until I had my daughter. Just this past year, I noticed I was having some stomach issues again so I decided that vegan was the new path for me. I have been loving it ever since. I have always been a healthy eater for the most part. Throughout my journey, I have learned to really listen to my body and follow the path that makes it feel the best. For me, right now, that path is veganism. That doesn’t mean that has to be your path. I do still enjoy the occasional cookie from time to time (because it’s definitely okay to treat yourself), What it does mean is that by putting your body as a priority in your life and learning to treat it as a temple, you not only have more energy but you just FEEL a lot happier, too. Self-care and learning to love yourself, I have found, truly starts from the inside out. I hate to say it….but you can’t eat french fries and candy everyday, end up with a stomach ache, and love yourself at the same time. Get it?
Exercise goes right in line with making sure you have a well-balanced diet, There are thousands of reasons why making sure you get moving every day significantly improves your health both physically and mentally, but at the end of the day it comes down to saying to your body that it deserves the best treatment and care. You only came to earth with one bodysuit, and you will only leave with one bodysuit. Take care of your temple as if it’s your last because it is in fact, your last.
I want to make one more self-care note on the topic of exercise and eating right. I want to make it a point to say this: for those of you out there who still struggle with body image…we, as woman, in order to rise in self-love, must not only take care of our health but also HONOR what we look like. You are so beautiful as the individual that you are. Eating healthy and exercising to look a certain way is fine if that is your goal. But when I am referring to self-care, the goal is to treat your body well because it feels good to do so. Not because you are trying to change something about your appearance you don’t like. That, in fact, is the opposite of self-care. Love the skin you are in, no matter where you are in life.
#3) Quiet your mind and let go of the chaos…
Meditation and stillness are a necessity…
Meditation doesn’t have to be just for gurus. You can meditate at any moment in life, and anywhere.
My second favorite self-care tip is meditating. My life is extremely different when I make it a point to consistently meditate.. I think differently, respond differently, and enjoy life in a different way. I have been meditating for around 15 years. Saying that out loud makes it seem like I am some kind of guru. But I’m not. I have not been consistent. I meditate on and off and BOY do I feel it when I am in my “off season.” The reason I am telling you this is because there are a lot of people out there who believe that you can’t quiet your mind to meditate or that it’s just for hippies and gurus. I will be the first one to say I am no Shaman, BUT when I do commit to my meditation practice my life transforms. After having my daughter I made the commitment to meditate everyday. I am proud to say (outside of just a few days) I have held a strong commitment to myself. And it feels SO good. For those of you that “can’t find the time,”….for Pete’s sake, YES you can! Just take the 5 minutes you need - you owe it to yourself. In fact…stop reading right now and come back in 5. I will still be here when you are done.
Still not willing to try? Let me make it even easier on you! Here is a link you can click on to go directly to my favorite guided meditations. Also, check out THIS LINK to take you to some fun mind-blowing tips about how meditation actually changes the neurological functions in your mind.
#4) Treat yourself with the extra love and care you deserve…
Buy yourself flowers and take a bath…
Bath salts anyone? Treat yourself like you love yourself. Go the extra mile to show yourself you care about you.
After I had my daughter I decided to buy myself flowers once a week, just because it made me smile. I was battling postpartum depression while also having to work through some mega P.T.S.D. I remember the exact moment I thought to myself, ”Gosh, it would be so nice if someone just thought of what I am going through and how hard this is and brought me some beautiful flowers right at this exact moment in time to make me feel better.” In that exact moment I had a major “Aha!” So I packed up my daughter and went straight to the grocery store. It dawned on me…”What am I wishing for?” If flowers make me that happy, I should just GO GET THEM!” So that’s what I did.
I have been buying flowers for my desk weekly ever since. There is no reason for us to wait on the things that make us feel good inside. We have an obligation to ourselves to lift our own spirit up and treat ourselves like we are the queens we are. So yes…I do take weekly baths. Say “Hello” to my tub filled with bath salts, lavender oil, and my favorite flowers floating all around me. It makes me happy. Period. I owe it to myself to lean on me instead of anyone else. The other people in the world…let them be the “free cookie” that comes with your already filled cup!
#5) Listen to how you are feeling in your body and your mind…
Listen to your body…
Get your well deserved rest. Take a nap if you need to, sleep in if it feels better…when your body needs to rest, listen.
Have any of you hit a point in your life when you were so overworked and over-stressed that you couldn’t even think straight anymore?
Guilty. If you aren’t at that point right now, I know you have been there. Or might be there in the future. We all have. Or will be. I used to work a 40 hour salary job at 70-90 hours a week. Why? I wanted to do well and there was so much to do I felt like I had to keep going. I was working from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep. Does this sound like you? I’m telling you right now to stop what you are doing and back away from the work load…not slowly…but very, very, very fast. It’s not worth. You will wear yourself into the ground and you will not be as productive at the hundred things you are trying to get done anyway. If you are not rested, you can’t give anything your all.
I think we usually forget to stop, and actually check in with ourselves. Check in on your body - how does it feel? Check in on your mind - does it feel awake and alert? Allow yourself time each day to check in periodically. If you are feeling tense and stressed, take a break. Do you feel like you need a nap? Squeeze it in. I promise you will be more productive and happier when you do. Honor yourself. That other stuff will always be there…your health and well-being won’t.
#6) Set the child inside you free…
Dive into your hobbies and make it a practice.
We all have that one thing we get lost in…it's time to implement it back into your life regularly.
When I was in high school I used to paint every night. I loved my art work and I loved getting lost in it. Up until my mid-twenties I always allowed time in my life to work on a creative project regularly. At some point I got “too busy” and set all of my paintings aside, along with a part of myself.
I think it’s pretty common for all of us to think that we are so busy “adulting” that we just can’t make time for that “kid stuff’ anymore. But it’s that same stuff you used to do when you were a kid…that is who you really are, before you forgot that being you is the most important thing in this world. We all have gifts, talents, and hobbies that bring us to life. Whoever said that “when we grow up there is too much to do to have that kind of fun anymore” really had the purpose of life backwards.
So that part of you that YOU put on that shelf and set aside…it’s time to come out of hiding. Learn to start re-expressing yourself and diving into that part of you that got lost along the way. Your life is YOUR responsibility, no one else’s. So if YOU don’t make time for the things you love, no one is going to make you. Ask yourself this…How would your life be changed if once a week you took 30 minutes to just enjoy something that lights you up inside? How much more FUN would your life become? Do you think you would look forward to that one day you set aside your 30 minutes of creative power? What kind of purpose and drive would it give you? Most importantly…How proud would you be of yourself for what you can really do?
You owe it to yourself to be YOU and have FUN in this lifetime. So you may have to “pencil it in”…and that’s okay! Whatever it is you have to do, just do it! It’s time for you to feel alive again.
Self-care is learning to love and care for yourself
before anyone else should.
We all get lost in the hectic things life brings. We have been convinced that if we just keep moving forward and keep going then eventually at some point when we are on vacation - or take the weekend to unwind - or even worse, retire - then we can recoup from the stress. The truth is, taking care of yourself TODAY should be your priority. We all deserve more then a life that is worked away endlessly where stress is a feeling that is too close to home, and joy and happiness only come during special occasions. Joy is your birthright and it is meant to be felt right here, right now, and every day. There is no person in this world that can offer that to you better then yourself. Honor who you are. Take the time to take care of yourself and love yourself, truly. Make this a daily practice in your life and watch your life transform. Bring back the inner you - who you really are - before someone told you whom you had to be.