“Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself.” – Sri Ravi Shankar
Today, we get back to basics and concentrate on the foundation of everything: SELF-LOVE.
Learning to love yourself is the most important thing you can do in your life. The quality of your relationship with yourself impacts all of your other relationships as well as your career and your health.
Cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself takes some work. It is more than just spending a day at a spa or taking a class or going on a vacation. Of course, those are great ways to relax and manage stress but if you aren’t using your time to really get in touch with your inner voice and your emotions, you will be missing out on a vital aspect of the process. The point of spending time with yourself isn’t to have just another distraction from the things that you are putting off. It’s a time to get away from your daily routine and your obligations to everyone else so you can focus on your own needs and your own happiness.
As a Women’s Empowerment Coach working with women in all stages of their relationships and careers, you might think that the most common reason I hear for not getting enough alone time is related to a busy schedule, but actually that is not the case! For many women, overcoming feelings of guilt and selfishness related to taking time for themselves is the biggest obstacle they face. While it may sound counterintuitive to some, taking time for yourself is NOT a selfish act. When you get in the habit of putting your own needs on the backburner to please everyone else, you unnecessarily increase your stress and anxiety levels, develop unhealthy coping mechanisms, and eventually even the simplest of tasks will feel overwhelming.
We are all working with different schedules so there is no right or wrong way to spend some time with yourself as long as you are enjoying what you are doing and using that time to develop a kind an honest relationship with yourself. Here are just a few things you can try to get yourself in the right mindset to focus on your NUMBER 1!
1. Take yourself on a date. Go to a movie, go for a coffee, get lunch BY YOURSELF!
2. Meditate for 10 minutes. Turn off the cell phone and the laptop and the TV. You can do it for 10 minutes!
3. Go for a walk. Getting out into the fresh air is a great way to clear your mind.
4. Set a personal boundary. Eliminate one thing from your routine that is not serving you in a positive way.
5. Book a massage (or give yourself one). Get a quick 15 minute massage or you can even do some stretching exercises to combat tension and sore muscles.
6. Buy yourself a gift. It’s not about spending a lot of money, it’s about treating yourself to something that is just for you.
7. Dance to your favorite song. Listening to music AND getting some exercise is a great combo!
8. Read a chapter of a book. Pick a book you have been wanting to read and read one chapter a day.
9. Take an aromatherapy bath. Turn your bathroom into a spa by lighting some candles and add a few drops of a relaxing essential oil blend to a bath.
10. Practice a positive affirmation. Find a positive affirmation andsay it out loud in the mirror at least once a day.
11. Write down something you are good at. Work on self-appreciation by identifying your strengths.
12. Take a break from social media. Online life moves fast so take some time to unplug and slow it down so you can appreciate the present.
13. Get some extra rest. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime.
14. Try something new. Think of something you have been wanting to try and go for it!
You may not be able to do every one of these activities every day but you can definitely do at least one! Remember the more love you give to yourself, the more love you have to give to others.