I have always had to work at loving myself as much as I love others. That doesn't mean that I have a broken sense of self, it just means that the majority of my loving energy is given to other people. Especially since becoming a mother. I love to love! I don't see anything wrong with that, unless I am not loving myself just as much.
When asked to think about the things that you love, where does your mind go? Ok, kids, partner, family, friends, caffeine, etc. What rarely seems to make the list? Yourself?
Why is that? Do you not intend to raise a self loving person? Of course, right? Me too!
Shouldn't we then be modelling that as an example for our children to at least see and experience it? Thinking about self-love in this way, makes me feel like it should be at the very top of my list of things to do every day.
Some ways that I start to pave the way for loving myself have nothing to do with time or money, it has to do with my relationship with myself! That self-talker when I look in the mirror or as I go about my day. If I can at least recognize the self-talker that comes up here and there, I can at least see when it arrives.
4 ways to pave the way for self-love:
1. a time-in. You've probably heard this as a "fixer" for time-outs or high emotions, but I am referring to yourself this time. Meditation to a clear thought for a few seconds. When you can, taking some time to pat yourself on the back mentally will actually set your mind off in a positive direction. Since most of us have the self-talker tape playing in our minds we can be prompted often. Take a couple conscious breaths, toss yourself a compliment and snap back to whatever you were doing. If you get a chance for extended me-time during a nap or bedtime you can do it then too.
2. creating. I know colouring books are all the rage right now and it couldn't make more sense. A focused journey creatively releases endorphins and gives your mind a break. You could write if your a writer, paint if your a painter or knit if your a knitter. Doing it alone or with music is a sure way to give yourself some loving attention and the release of any tension or worries you might have. As long as there is no tv and no cellphone so that you don't remove yourself from experiencing the as is moment.
3. exercise. Yoga or even just going for a walk. This isn't to get more tired. Doing even a mild level of physical activity will actually make you feel very refreshed. Stretching, balancing or walking at a comfortable pace is very great both physiologically and mentally. If you do go for a walk, I recommend a hike in the trees. Nothing is more grounding than the trees!
4. eating well. While we expect to feel awake, active, ready to work and excited for the day, if we are not putting natural and nourishing foods into our bodies, how can that happen? I have no interest in diet plans or time to explore cook books. I more enjoy the creative process of just winging it myself. Making a meal from scratch and preparing the natural ingredients is such a satisfying thing to do and typically is a lot better for your body to digest than pre-made, processed or preserved stuff.
My pledge for the week is to continue to do at least 2 of these self-loving activities every day. I set this as a goal rather than an expectation which is important in not setting myself up for self-doubt or defeat.
I hope you take some time this week to pave the way for self-love as well. One of the greatest teachers of our lifetime is our parents, if we do not love ourselves, how can we expect our children to?