For someone who has struggled with self love most of her life, I am very passionate about the topic. I know, that healthy self love has the power to change your life, from your health to relationships to your career to how you feel on a moment to moment basis. Practicing self-care has helped me learn to love myself in a way that offers a sense of internal peace in this often stressful and tumultuous world. There are many methods of self love, and the key to them all is to listen to what your heart desires. It’s time to give yourself permission to love yourself more, and you can start by adding these five self-care techniques into your daily routine.
Change Your Inner Dialogue
Do you find that you nitpick at yourself throughout the day? The level of perfectionism we seek in our society can be absurd, from the celebrity figures we admire on magazine covers to the constant comparisons we make through social media. Instead, of focusing on what you could be doing better, promise to compliment yourself at least once a day, whether it’s how fabulous your hair looks or how you killed that presentation at work. It may feel a little awkward or ingenuine at first, but start small and keep at it.
What to do today: An easy way to start is to take dry erase markers and write some of your favorite affirmations on your mirror. One of my all-time favorites is: “Who I am is enough. What I do is enough. And what I have is enough.”
Give Your Mind a Break
In a world where we put “doing” on a pedestal, we often forget the power of being fully present. Here’s where I highly recommend meditation. I know sitting still for five minutes may sound uncomfortable, or even impossible at times, but it’s like giving your mind a mini-vacation from the gazillions of obligations, expectations, and responsibilities that you may currently have on your plate. Now doesn’t that sound nice? And don’t expect to master your mind in one session. It may take a few days for you to notice a difference, so be please be patient with yourself through the process. And think about this, if you can master your mind, imagine what else you could master!
What to do today: For those of you who find meditation intimidating and maybe even a little awkward, there are five minute apps available at your fingertips to help. My current favorite, Simple Habit, offers free guided meditation sessions and a premium 30 day free trial.
When I’m feeling stressed, I often turn to food for comfort. Now, that’s okay if the first thing I think of is a warm bowl of chicken soup, but more often than not, it’s ice cream. High fat, high sugar foods offer a temporary high followed by a crash, which can lead to a pretty self-destructive cycle. One thing that really helped me make the right choices when it came to my body (A.K.A. my temple) was to declutter the junk foods from my home.
What to do today: Cleaning the junk foods out of your pantry and go shopping for nourishing swaps. Instead of buying ice cream, buy organic greek yogurt and add honey for natural sweetness. If salty is your thing, replace potato chips with homemade baked vegetable crisps. Think of what your go-to craving food is, and do a quick Google search for alternatives and you’ll no doubt find the inspiration to start feeding your anxiety right.
Curate Your Content
Is your mind hardwired to negativity? Are you always worried about what’s happening in the world or in your personal life? Just as food is important to your physical health, it is equally important to be aware of what you are consuming with your mind. I’m not saying to ignore what’s going in the world, but what you listen to or watch all day does rub off on you. So be cognizant of the choices you make when it comes social media, music, TV programs, and the books you read.
What to do today: Are you watching the news all day? Is your Twitter feed filled with political conflict, crime, and pretty much all the worst case scenarios your mind could possibly think of? Consider balancing this consumption with something lighter, more uplifting, or funny and give equal billing to the “noise” that leaves you feeling better, rather than worse, after listening, reading, or watching it.
Feeling like a hot mess after a long day’s work? Pamper yourself the way you might pamper a loved one who had a rough day. Light some candles, make a healthy dinner, pick-up your favorite book, or find a relaxation yoga routine on YouTube. Or, simply draw yourself a luxurious, detoxifying bath.
What to do today: Make a detoxifying bath. Option 1: Fill a warm bath with ¼ cup of sea salt, ¼ cup epsom salt, ¼ cup of baking soda, ⅓ cup of apple cider vinegar, and your favorite essential oils, or Option 2: use 1 cup epsom salts, 1 cup baking soda, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 5-6 drops rose essential oil, and 5-6 drops frankincense essential oil, then soak for 15-30 minutes. Not only will this improve your mood, it will moisturize your skin, help you sleep better, boost your immune system, and decrease inflammation.