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Loving ourselves can be pretty easy at times, especially when life is going good, when we are not feeling challenged it’s easier to stay in that space of love for others and for ourselves, but when things get bumpy how much love and compassion do you show to yourself?
Many of us have grown up, especially in Ireland always putting everyone else first, with the concept of loving oneself being tightly knit to selfishness, so loving yourself can be a heck of a stretch for most, with feelings of shame and guilt arising for actually putting yourself first. But what if for just a moment you could start to imagine what it would be like to love the most important person in your life, unconditionally, warts and all. What if you could LOVE YOU, and I don’t just mean like, I mean love!
My journey has thought me this lesson, and I recognise the difference when I’m side tracked or when I’m taking care of me, because let’s face it we take care of the people and things we value and love. When I’m side tracked, the road gets a little bumpy, my self-care routines which contribute so greatly to my well-being slip further down my to do list, and I feel disconnected. On the flip side, when I take the time to nourish myself I am a different person, I am the person I want to be- and that doesn’t mean that challenges don’t appear, but it does mean that they are effortless to overcome, and this is why self love is essential in living a fulfilling life.
So I encourage you to notice how you can love yourself just a little more, what acts of kindness can you take today to support your body, mind and soul to harmonise and celebrate your amazing life?
The following self-care practices are vital for me to stay grounded and feel connected, they contribute so much to me loving myself, and as a result loving my life.
1. Routines keep me grounded. My daily self-care routine consists of a spiritual practice of yoga, meditation & mantra, a walk in nature (unless the puddles are too deep) and an afternoon nap- All ESSENTIAL to my well-being.
2. Energy is like currency- I get to choose where I shop. I carefully choose how and where to spend my precious energy. Setting boundaries and learning to say a guilt free ‘NO’ will be a precious gift to yourself. But be warned it takes a little practice to move past the feelings of guilt.
3. Manage and minimise stress. As someone diagnosed with several chronic health conditions it is essential for me to minimise the amount of stress in my life, some days it doesn’t exist, but other days provide the potential for overwhelm. When these busy days arise I simple ask the question ‘is this supporting my wellbeing?’, sometimes the answer is yes, in that I want to complete a project, other times it’s a hell no, so it gets cleared from my schedule.
4. Build your bedtime routine. Sleep is a vital time when your body restores and replenishes itself and is a key to prevent burnout. Begin to build a supportive routine, and remember what you see, hear, experience and think about just before bed is what you will marinate in- so choose wisely. Use a guided relaxation (like this free sweet dreams deep relaxation), to help you drop into a space of stillness, practice gratitude, have a bath, connect with your breath, you will know what works best for you.
5. Create a life worth living. Start dreaming, and I suggest dreaming BIG. Then start investing in your dreams, gather your supporters and start inching towards your dreams, knowing that every decision you make that connects you with your dream is a step closer. Become aware of the feeling of blissful excitement as your dreams start to unfold, because I promise you when you nurture you, you will have FAR more to offer the world.
If your still lost and not sure where to start take a moment to reflect on how you love and care for the most important person in your life? How does it look, what do you do? Now place yourself in that place, and start doing it for YOU.
Yesterday’s blog from Danielle Hughes from Earth Wisdom Teachings explores 5 steps to support your self love and Rebecca Mc Keon share waking up to your own magnificence tomorrow.
If you would like to read more about Audrey’s Michel's book Rewired Life click here for your free chapter.