Learning to Love Yourself Better - A Practical Guide!
Welcome to my latest blog!
I just wanted to take a few moments to speak about self love 💗
Sadly we are so out of balance in our society today that taking time out for ourselves is often seen as a luxury, and putting our needs high up on our priority list is seen as selfish. This is simply not true!
Loving ourselves is a way to a happier, healthier and more peaceful life, and taking time out for ourselves along with prioritising our own needs are some of the best ways we can do this.
But, how do we learn to love ourselves better?
How can we learn to silence (or at least voice disagreement with) our inner critic?
If you're stuck for ideas then check out the suggestions below:
✨ Self love is often about the balance between how much time we take for ourselves in relation to others...
Do you work all day and sit eating food at your desk, taking no breaks for yourself at all? This is so common for so many people! We tell ourselves that it will make our lives easier and yet, those emails still keep coming. Why not make a promise to yourself to take your lunch break and get away from the office if it's not possible without distractions.
And, people who are caring for kids at home often do the caring for them at the expense of themselves. Of course a young baby can't occupy itself while you take a nice bath but babies do sleep and if you're doing the washing, the cooking and cleaning while they're sleeping then you'll quickly get run down. Toddlers and older children can occupy themselves so why not teach them the value (early on) of loving themselves by showing how you look after your own needs too. Tell them that it's Mummy's or Daddy's time now to have their own time. This will become their normal and when they grow, they'll be able to do it for themselves as they learned by your modelling. See, it's really not selfish!
When we put our own needs first we will be less crabby and irritated and therefore all our relationships benefit.
✨ Our feelings and our behaviours are the cue to listen out for...
This is where it all goes wrong for people and we can find that we go off on a spiral downwards. If we pay attention to our feelings (or our body, particularly if you're someone with chronic health issues) then we can see the cues quite easily. Physical tension, irritability, snapping unnecessarily, feeling exhausted, feeling down, these are all signs to us that we have to stop and take time out for ourselves as something is out of balance or we wouldn't be feeling this way. If we listen closely we can learn to stop before things get too much and avoid so much difficulty doing so. If you're a journalling kind of person, write down how you're feeling at the beginning and end of the day. This will help clue you up in the morning and release it at night. Writing can be a huge form of letting go for many people. Drawing would work perfectly too, pick up pencils, pen or even paint and just let it flow. What do you feel during this and what do you see after.
✨ Getting to know ourselves...
So many of us don't actually know what brings us joy! How can this be unless life has been out of balance for a very long time? Take time to notice what gives you those little bubbles of joy or smiles and laughter. And just do more of that! Sometimes it's hard to get to when we need it but a good comedy or some music can change mood in moments.
✨ Yoga and other embodying practices...
Yoga is an incredible life tool, it really is! Mindfulness and meditation work too (in fact anything where you get into your body and stay in the moment, not in your head. Yoga can be done at all levels, I prefer the slower styles as I find I feel more present in them and it's easier to release. If you don't want to come to a class because you'd feel uncomfortable then try it online. Try a few because what we like is personal so we need the right teacher.
✨ Yoga Nidra...
Yoga Nidra is a guided relaxation practice, done lying down usually. It is the most incredible tool for healing and when we are unable to sleep it gives us a way to experience the same healing brain wave states that we would do in deep sleep. Take 10 or 20 minutes (or even longer) out of your day to practice Yoga Nidra and you definitely won't regret it! Check out the practice on my Free Content website tab, lie back and enjoy. It's my 'go to' for emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Breathwork is a part of Yoga Nidra and our breath really can change our energetic being.
✨ Doing the little things...
When was the last time you read a good book? Watched a funny film? Had a lovely bath? Cooked (or ate out) your favourite meal? Went for a walk in the forest? Had a holiday, or even a staycation? Made yourself a cup of tea with a couple of biscuits? Saw a good friend? Any other things you can think of that bring you a sense of enjoyment, this is self love.
✨ Getting the help you need when you need it...
Sometimes when we've gotten into a rut, or perhaps have never really been out of one, we need someone else's help. There are so many therapies out there to help us so do you use them if you need them? For me, one of the reasons I earn money is not just to pay the bills but to give myself and my family the resources we need to feel happy and healthy. Everything from getting your nails done through to massage and talk therapy. There are people out there trained to help and even if you don't have the finances to access them, there are lots of self help tools available too. Maybe we can't afford a salon but we can probably afford some nice new conditioner. Maybe we can't afford a therapist but we can probably afford a well-recommended self help book. This stuff really can work!
✨ Stopping the negative self talk...
This one is important! Often we are completely unaware of what we say to ourselves inside our heads and how negative it can get. Of course a talk therapist can help with this but there are also lots of other little ways too. Check out Louise Hay or Tara Brach on YouTube (these are two of my 'go to' people for self help). If you want something a little deeper then try Dr Gabor Maté who is really quite an amazing man, having done so much to help show the world the affect of long term stress and deeper or cumulative trauma. My view - Once we can spot it, we can stop it!
If you'd like to know more about my 'Talk, Embody & Heal Therapy' or attend one of my Yoga classes then just drop me a message 🙏🏼