Self-care without self-love is just going through the motions.

Hey friends, it’s good to be back after a little hiatus from writing.  I want to plunge right in and talk about some stuff that came up for me this weekend.  I seem to often get clarity about things when I leave my familiar surroundings.  (I recommend this, by the way.  Your brain starts thinking differently in new settings, it doesn’t get hijacked by your errands or things you should do around the house.  Instead you are forced to look at the stuff you may prefer to avoid.  Although initially a little scary, pretty powerful in the long run.)  Anyway, this weekend it hit me why self-care is so damn hard!  We often don’t actually believe we deserve it.  Yup I said it.  I can give you all the tricks and tips for squeezing a little “me” time into your life, but you aren’t going to make it a priority if you don’t actually believe that you deserve this.  You may not even know you think this.  I sure didn’t realize it myself.  But if you aren’t practicing self-love and self-forgiveness, I promise you’re going to have a hard time prioritizing yourself at all.  It’s just not going to happen.

So in case it would help to hear someone else say you deserve love, compassion, kindness and care towards yourself, I am happy to be that person for you.  You deserve this.  I don’t care what your past looks like.  I don’t care if you feel like a horrible person most of the time.  I don’t care if you don’t think you deserve it, I’m hear to tell you, you do.  The problem is, it doesn’t really matter if I think this.  You need to believe you deserve this, and I can’t make that happen for you.  So if this resonates, allow me to offer this tip: fake it till you make it.  Pretend that you believe you deserve practicing kindness towards yourself.  Or treat yourself like you would a loved one, or a beloved friend.

Self-love like self-care can be demonstrated in so many different ways:

-Eat healthy foods, that fuel you rather than those that spike your blood sugar and then rapidly depress you

-Forgive yourself for past mistakes- don’t let the shame consume you anymore. Name them, own up, and forgive yourself.  Maya Angelou has a wonderful quote about this, “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”

-Send love to your physical scars- put your hands on those scars, talk to them gently and lovingly.

-Attempt body positvity- don’t focus on what you don’t like about your body, highlight what you do like!

-Stretch! Get your body moving and oxygen and energy flowing throughout it, feel gratitude for it

-Write a letter to your “younger you.”  Be a big brother/sister to them, and write what you wish you could have told them

-Get a massage, acupuncture, Reiki- get the energy moving, and let your body feel pampered, appreciated

-Be aware of how substances make you feel after you partake.  Remember alcohol is a depressant so if you are struggling with feeling down that may not be the best go to.

-Create self-love rituals- ex: taking a bath by candlelight and bubbles

-Be in dialogue with yourself and pay attention to how you are talking to yourself without judgment, redirect where necessary

Everything takes practice folks.  Self-love and self-care are skills, which is great news!  We CAN get better at both.  See what you can implement into your life this next week.  And remind yourself you deserve it.

Take care of YOU.



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