I‘ve just sent an email to my clients about a retreat I and my friend are running this May (you can find details here) and the main focus of the weekend is self-care and self-love. And I wanted to talk about this and share with you.
I like it to be a reminder. I love reminders. This note today is a reminder for you the reader and me the writer of the importance of self- love and self- care.
Whether you are a mom with a full-time job, an entrepreneur, in a high-stress working environment, whether you love what you do or you are on the verge of changing your carrier path, whether you are in a relationship or are single,
self- care is indispensable and a must if we want to be of service to others.
We find ourselves caring for our families, our friends, our work, our neighbours, our activities and during all these concerns we totally forget about looking after the most important person – our self.
Loving yourself isn’t being self- centred or self- obsessed – quite far from it, actually. It means putting effort into self- care and making sure that we are healthy, happy, and looked after. Remember you deserve and need as much of your own attention than perhaps your partner does and when you feel happy in yourself, you will make the people around you happy, too.
It is very easy to always be giving and allowing your engine to almost run on empty. How often have you had one of these thoughts in the past few days:
‘I have so much to do!‘
‘I wish I had more time‘
‘I really need a break‘.
Think about how much you are doing for others versus how much you are doing for yourself?
But the reality is, how much of yourself can you really give to others without resentment, without the feeling of burn-out, without the feeling of frustration when you are not looking after YOU first?
Putting other people ahead of my own well-being (mental and emotional well-being) has always been a theme in my life. When Elizabeth Gilbert -while on her book tour promoting Big Magic- talked openly about being a people pleaser for most of her life, it really hit home for me.
She said she had to learn to say NO to friends, family, fans and people who wanted to collaborate with her after she was hit by burn-out and had no choice but to put herself first.
Putting yourself first takes a lot of focused attention, awareness and commitment.
It‘s a conscious decision I have to make every day, because if I don‘t, then I soon feel myself slipping out of alignment, and when it‘s gone, I can take a while to get back into the groove.
So I want to share some daily ways how you can take care of yourself and how I take care of me:
- I learn to say NO and set boundaries.
If I have been asked to do something and I find it hard to decline, than instead of committing to it I say ‘Let me get back to you on that‘ and I take the time to feel into it and imagine the situation where I say Yes to see if it will enhance my life or hold me back on my path, and I make the decision based on that.
Boundaries at work – it is an act of self- love to apply boundaries to your work and release the unnecessary guilt of not being able to please everyone all the time (which is unreasonable anyway)
With family or friends – usually the hardest when you are used to putting them before you. However, remember to love yourself and keep your unique personality alive. Surround yourself with people who understand and love you the way you are, who are similar to you in being kind and loving and there won‘t be any need to sacrifice your own needs.
- I watch my language.
Language is our most important tool I find. Not just the way we speak to or about one another, but the way we speak to and/or about ourselves. The thoughts we hold every single moment of our lives.
Notice today how many negative things you say or think about yourself and try to stop. I try not to swear and keep my language as positive as possible, in my mind and through the spoken word.
Switch the words ‘I should‘ to ‘I could‘. I find the word ‘should’ can put pressure on us and limits our choice. There is a sense of failure or resentment in it too.
So it‘s about reframing some of the things you say like ‘I should clean the dishes‘ try ‘I could clean the dishes before going to bed, so I wake up to a clean kitchen tomorrow‘. Can you feel the difference?
- I put me-time in my calendar.
I get up early every day so that I have time for me. I journal, I meditate, I practice my yoga or do other exercises. I set myself up for the day and re-evaluate what is important.
I make sure I do nice things every month, be it a massage, a facial, a night away, a dinner out with friends or my fiancé, a walk in nature. Something that I know will put a smile on my face.
Don‘t be afraid of asking yourself what makes you happy and make time to listen to the whispers of your inner voice to follow what your heart needs.
- I ask for help.
I used to think that I had to do everything myself, that it was a sign of weakness if I couldn‘t do it and I didn‘t want to ‘burden‘ others with it. But now I think that accepting that we can‘t and don‘t have to do everything ourselves is part of self- love and self- care. Indeed, many things are much nicer if we do them with other people. And as I realized, asking for help also means less stress, and often things can be done quicker, because the other person has been there and done that, so it wasn’t a big deal to them in the first place.
People who love you and care about you will always be happy to help you. Think about it this way, don‘t you love and care to help others? I know, I do.
Make it your intention to look after yourself and to fall in love with yourself again and again.
Because we are definitely worth it.
With much love,
PS I love to hear from you! Feel free to comment or reach out to me, sign up for my insider newsletter where I share things I only share with subscribers.
PPS The next self-care and self- love weekend I offer is May 25-27thin Kilkenny, there are still some places left if you want to join us send me an email and I will be in touch with all the juicy details.