How do you answer this question: do you love yourself enough?
A couple of my clients this week reminded me again of the many roles women play. Some of us are mothers to their own born or adopted children. Others have step-children, nieces, and nephews, godchildren and grandchildren in our lives with whom we are so close, they are like our own. And then there are those who adopt or rescue furry-children who need our love and protection because they can’t do it themselves. I happily fall (often exhausted) into a number of those categories.
And, if the nurturer role were not enough, we’re also professionals with busy careers or a business of our own, sisters, friends, spouses, caregivers, volunteers, homework helpers, researchers and so much more.
With all that going on in your life, it’s important to ask yourself the question:
Do you love yourself enough to take care of YOU?
How about a big self-hug before you say …
I Don’t Have Time
Let’s talk about the time it takes to love you—I’ve learned that it doesn’t take as much as you might think.
As you look in the mirror each morning while brushing your teeth, can you say, “Hey Gorgeous! I love you and I’m going to take care of you today!”
Don’t laugh. Try it. This takes no additional time and it begins to set aside self-judgment and opens the ways for you to believe you deserve to be well taken care of. And who better than you know what you need to feel good?
As you pour your morning coffee or tea, consciously set aside 5-10 minutes to sit quietly and think about your day. How can you make time to take care of yourself today? Look what just happened: You’ve just succeeded in carving out 5-10 minutes for you. Good job!
After you’ve dropped the kids at school and you’re on your way to work, put on some soothing music, take some deep breaths and relax your mind as you prepare for the day. No additional time is taken. Time well spent.
A friend of mine put three beautiful orange roses in a vase by her bed so she would see them first thing when she awoke in the morning. An expression of self-love. And it brought a smile to her face before her feet hit the floor.
See what I mean? You can do small things and grab snippets of time while you’re doing other things to focus on your own well-being. This is a loving practice that is easy to integrate into your daily routine.
Make Yourself a Priority
What are some of the other things you can do to prove that you love yourself enough?
Think of doing things that serve different areas in your life that matter to you. You can choose from these areas or add your own:
For me, the times I spend in deep relaxation are the times that re-charge my batteries the most and help me to feel at my best. I love to go to the day spa and get a massage or facial (sometimes both on the same visit—ahhh!). This allows my whole body to relax (physical). It quiets my mind so I can get in touch with what’s important to me (spiritual).
Another passion pastime that feeds my creative soul is designing floral arrangements and accessorizing areas in my home or in the homes of friends and family. As I immerse myself in this creative process, time stands still and it flies all at once. During this time, my mind is free to explore ideas that come into my head. By allowing the free-flowing thoughts, I uncover a deeper understanding of myself.
This creative process, and the time to think, are exhilarating. Plus, I get to enjoy the creations for a long time to come. (Creative plus emotional and spiritual.) Often, when I’m immersed like this, solutions just pop into my head—I get inspired insights into a challenge with which I’ve been wrestling. Bonus!
Taking time to research a topic of interest can take my mind off other matters that are weighing on me, as it stimulates my intellectual side. For instance, I love researching new healthy recipes and testing them out. This shares self-love with the creative and physical sides of me, too.
Spending quiet time listening to music and thinking about everything and nothing, in particular, are good ways for me to tap into my inner wisdom. This easy practice loves on the emotional and spiritual areas of my life like nothing else.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why is Self-care So Hard for Women
Love Yourself Enough
What are the things you can do for yourself that will demonstrate how much you love yourself, and how well you take care of those areas of your life that need to be recharged?
I’m a big list maker and writing things down like new ideas and insights help me to plant a seed that can germinate over time. I revisit what I’ve written to keep nurturing the seed. List-making and journaling are powerful ways to capture your thoughts so they fuel your best self.
You might put several headings on a piece of paper that are the important areas for you to take care of, for instance: Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional and Spiritual. Then list those things under each category that you can do to love yourself enough each day.
Spend time alone, read a book, write in your journal, practice gratitude, take a walk, ride your bike, play with your pets, visit with friends, knit/crochet, write poems or songs, watch the clouds pass by or sit by the river and listen.
Commit to doing at least one of the things on your self-love and self-care list each and every day. Do more than one whenever you can. When you are practicing these loving activities, remember to do them consciously, being in the moment, and reaping the best rewards from them.
Make this a daily practice and you’ll never regret the time you spend loving yourself and taking the best care of you. No one else can do it better than you!
I invite you to share your own loving practices in the comment section below …
Taking the First Step
When life-changing moments flip your world upside down, it can take a toll on you. Your self-love and self-care practices may take a back seat to everything else that is churning in your life. If you need a break, or a guide to learn how to move through the changes with more dignity and grace, my free ebook may help. From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.