I saw the phrases 'self-love' and 'self-care' a lot before I understood their meaning.
The terms are pretty self explanatory, but I didn't truly get it. Now, I encourage self-love as one of the most important (if not #1) ingredients for a fulfilling life.
We take care of ourselves everyday, yes?
We feed ourselves, dress, shower and do the basics of what needs to be done to be a regular functioning human bean, (most of the time).
There are times when even the basics can be difficult. Stress and mental illness are obstacles many of us face. I myself battled with different forms of mental illness throughout my life. My whole journey is detailed in my book. You can read a little on the back cover below.
When we're not feeling our best is often when self-care takes the back seat, (if it was even in the car to begin with). I believe this is THE most important time to pull your car over to the side of the road, open the back door and invite self-love to join you in the front seat. You might even be let them drive.
"But how? And what does self-love really mean?"
I'm so glad you asked!
regard for one's own well-being and happiness.
the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
You could say these two phrases are cut from the same cloth and used interchangeably. My interpretation is:
The intention of consciously making your health and well-being a high priority
The other phrase often expressed is "filling your cup first" which means to fit your own oxygen mask before helping others (you know, the famous airline safety message.) Smart advice! Without your oxygen mask fitted, how are you supposed to help others? Clawing at their face while gasping for breath? Nobody is going to enjoy that.
The same goes for your own health and well-being. If yours is in a gobblefunk, how can you give your best to yourself and others to the best of your ability?
It was first explained to me like this: If your cup is empty, with dregs of coffee or tea (or wine) at the bottom, that's all you can give. The bottom of the barrel quality. Not great. However, once your cup is filled and overflowing, you feel great, have more to give and the quality of what you give is your best. There's plenty to go around. Everyone get's the best of you."
That conversation changed the way I saw myself and the quality of what I was giving to my children and husband.
I always put everyone else ahead of myself, my happiness was really the last priority (if it was a priority at all).
The age old feeling of mothers guilt whenever I wanted (or did) something for myself always kept me reluctant to do what I wanted, especially if someone else wanted or needed something.
I felt selfish wanting something for me.
After learning about my cup, I realised if I didn't take care of myself, I couldn't give my best to those I loved the most. I was actually doing them a disservice, and I came to an understanding that was more selfish than wanting time to myself. So I vowed to:
Make it a priority to make yourself a priority.
It took some time for mother's guilt to subside, and then something magical happened.
The house became brighter, everyone was happier, and the only thing that had changed, (aside of what I just mentioned) was me.
I was tremendously happier, and the increase of my health and well-being, was contagious to all those around me. The following areas improved substantially:
Patience (oh lord!)
Because I was happy, my family were happier, which made me even happier and the house was just a whizpopping bubble of joy (except when the girls were bitching and even my best yoda attempts couldn't stop the cat fight. Or I had to ask for the gazillionth time to put their shoes on so we're not late for school) but it was still more peaceful than it had been in the past. #winning
Learning to consciously breathe also really helps!! Woosah.....
But how? How can I love myself/more?
And the answer is different for everyone. But the most important thing is to focus on what is important to YOU.
There are many things you can do, and a common list of things people do, however the recipe has many ingredients, and your self-love soup should be brewed with all your favourite ingredients, ready to slurp at your own convenience.
There is no one size fits all, but download my free list of self-love tips for busy women from my website and start, expand or deepen your self-love straight away #selflovesunday (or any and every day of the week).
But I don't have time!
This is one of the biggest objections many of us have when we think of doing something for ourselves, or adding something more to our seemingly endless list of things to do.
The better your state of mind is, the more efficient you are. So... carving time out for yourself will actually help you focus and action your to do list in better time than it would to continue without a self-love regimen.
Life is busy, I get it! 100% and self-care doesn't need to be (and shouldn't) seen as a chore.
It can be as much or little as you need, as long as you're feeling relaxed, fulfilled, or whatever you need in that very moment, or each week. You'll see the simple self-love tips for busy women can easily be incorporated into your life. You might like to save it to your phone so you can easily refer whenever you need.
Whenever you need to, take that moment for you, or 5, whatever time you can, and just do or be what you feel you need. Listen to your body and ask yourself "what do I need right now" and trust the answer that comes.
Don't wait for someone to tell you you can. You deserve it!
If it's wine, so be it! Whatever it is, let it be something that truly makes you happy and fills your cup. (At least pour the wine in the cup, then you can say your cup is filled.) 😂
Ok, maybe not too much, I don't drink wine (anymore), but I did, and I remember how much and often that was my thing!
These days, my cup is filled with meditation, yoga and essential oil filled baths and any other wanky things you can think of (especially on a Sunday). That's my jam, and it's oh so sweet. My mental health is better than it's ever been.
My cup get's drained every so often, because I have been doing too much stressy stuff and not taking care of myself, it happens, such is life, but it's only temporary. When I feel my cup is drained it signals a reminder:
You're doing yourself a disservice by not making time for yourself.
Do you carve time out for yourself? What are your favourite things to do?
Leave a comment or hit reply and let me know. I'd love to hear what serves you.
I hope this serves you and your cup is filled with the most delicious self-love soup. With Love