Happy ME Day – part 2 (how can one develop self love?)

Last week I talked about how Valentine’s Day is focused on celebrating the love between two people, sometimes the love between family members but very rarely on self love and the relationship that we have with ourselves.

So what is self love and how can one develop it?

I believe that peace comes from truly knowing yourself and being self-aware.  So what about starting to think about areas in your life that are not making you happy? I call this ‘the drains and radiators’ exercise.  What drains your energy and what brings up your vibrations? It could be a simple activity like a walk on a sunny day, or a chat with someone you are comfortable with, your favourite food, pottering around town or having a coffee with a book.  Start to consciously think about what you really enjoy and the simple pleasures in your day. Find out what shifts your mood when you’re feeling flat. To understand yourself more and what can send you on a downward spiral, it’s important to start giving some attention to uncovering what makes you feel bad.  It could even be the smallest thing.  When you become aware, you can stop negative feelings in their tracks and bring in something positive, to reverse the spiral.   This means building up to making new choices, saying no instead of yes when you can’t really commit or you have too much on.  But also saying yes to things that you might normally shy away from.  It’s an exploration.  Some things will work out great, others might make you feel uncomfortable or worse. The key is to try them.

Quick tips for feeling good and nurturing yourself:

  1. Have a go at ‘the drains and radiators’ exercise.
  2. Start saying no when you want.
  3. Or say yes when normally you would have said no! Put yourself out of your comfort zone.
  4. Explore different activities to find out what you like and mix with new people.
  5. Focus on your health – what a great time to be able to get healthy through nutrition and exercise. Through nourishment you will feel good in your mind, body and soul and this will naturally lift your mood and energy levels.
  6. Mindfully choose specific times to relax –  bath night’s, activity/ learning night’s, reading night’s, seeing friends etc.  Set up your week according to how YOU feel.  If you want to stay home all week and relax, go for it.  If you feel you might want some social time, book it in! If you want to save space for exercise then focus on that. It’s your choice.
  7. Why not have a movie night in (or out).  Grab your favourite food, pick a good movie and enjoy it- simply watch what you want. Have you ever considered a movie at the cinema by yourself?  Do it- it’s liberating!
  8. Make a list of all the things you’ve ever wanted to do, go to, learn about and start doing them step by step.  My first solo trip away was to a yoga retreat – I was taking a step by myself and at the same time knowing I was in safe hands and with like-minded people.
  9. Take a new course. Google stuff you’re interested in or look around locally and sign yourself up.  Learning new things is great not only for your brain but also for building confidence, social interaction and enjoyment of doing something you love.
  10. Write a journal in the evenings; we often push back our subconscious thoughts.  Record your thinking.  It’s not only therapeutic to get things out of your mind, but it becomes a support mechanism and you can also begin to see patterns and start working things out for yourself.  You can even take that one step further and start to shift your mindset.
  11. Walking in nature is also a great choice whether alone or with others. It helps to clear the mind and sort out things, without having to write them down.

The above are all the things I love to do to relax. As well as being around dogs, painting, learning, travel and dancing! Find the things you love! Happy YOU day!

Happy Me Day – part 1

When it comes to Valentine’s Day we tend to focus on celebrating the love between two people, sometimes we celebrate the love between family members but very rarely do we celebrate self love and the relationship we have with ourselves. At this time of year if you are without a partner you may feel anxiety, even if you are content on your own, and this sense of unworthiness may creep in because of the emphasis on being happy and ‘in love’.

As with anything, it depends on your mindset and perspective on how you approach things, such as social media and certain TV shows.  You can edit and filter what you are exposed to and engage as much or as little as you like; it’s a choice.

So why the emphasis on this date? Do couples suddenly realise that they acknowledge their love because the date says the 14th? Or perhaps this day is catered more for young blossoming love and is just a bit of fun and excitement? What I do know is that it’s hard to get a table at a restaurant and prices go up! And like any other annually celebration event, the stores get filled with the colours of the theme of the season to titillate your monetary taste buds. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a Valentine’s Day whinge bag, but if you’re a fan of Valentine’s Day or not – whether you’re single or in a relationship, how about taking a moment to look at your relationship with the most important person in your life – you.  After all, it’s the longest one you will have.

Self love if you’re single

Do you allow the time and space for yourself, to relax, have fun or to learn?  Do you take care of your mind and body? Do you look at your needs and desires? Do you know yourself? If you are single, then this is a great opportunity to build this.  Take all the advantages that come with this time to move and breathe and find your own rhythms.  If you’re not single, why not also set aside some time for this?

I was single for quite a few years living overseas away from family, and although there were ups and downs, this was one of the best parts of my life. I really got to know and understand myself, raising my self-awareness and uncovering patterns that I might not have exposed had I not had this opportunity to contemplate, explore and feel more open when I entered a relationship.

There is often an expectation that another person will make you happy or will ‘fix you’, and that another person in your life can really impact it in a positive way. This can be delicate for your wellbeing if you rely on the behaviour or actions of another for your sense of happiness, leading to an underlying unconscious need to be satisfied only through this person. If they do not act in a way that is in line with your expectation then you will find your mood becomes inconsistent and reliant on short-term, feel-good, external influences to feel good.  This can lead to toxic patterns, including toxic relationships.

Self love if you’re in a relationship

Intimate and healthy relationships involve three components;

  1. you on your journey
  2. them on theirs
  3. your journey or experience as a couple together.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, we feel a relationship completes us. We remember the ‘in love’ butterflies and forget the compromises and growing pains that are required to learn and build upon in a solid relationship.  Two people coming together for a real, loving and intimate relationship means a letting down of barriers, developing streamline communication for mutual understanding, moving through trust issues and childhood distortions and allowing yourself a vulnerability.

This isn’t to say that you cannot start a relationship when you still have ‘stuff’ – everyone is on a life long journey and we don’t aim to be perfect. There are many couples where one or both are fragile and working through things together, and/ or on their own.  Only you know if what you’re experiencing is growing pains or unacceptable pain for you and your life, and you can make that choice any time.  Ultimately we hear it time and time again but it is the truth – only you can make you happy.  There’s a beautiful moment of empowerment that comes when you truly realise this. You can read my moment of realisation on my blog called ‘The Graceful Gardener’,

So, if you are without a partner at this time, I only encourage you to make the best use of NOW. Living your life the way YOU want to live it and getting to know yourself in all scenarios and having fun with freedom.  Remember, freedom doesn’t need to end when you enter a relationship either, it’s about finding the right type of person who shares the same values and who is ready to open up and support each other’s real sides, and not just the fuzzy beginning bits.

The next post is about Self Love and giving you my top tips on feeling good and nurturing yourself!

If you find yourself struggling, not feeling good in your own company or anxious about meeting in groups, then perhaps take some time out to work on your self-esteem. Hypnotherapy can help with this and soon we will be introducing a monthly group called Anxiety T & T (tips and techniques with meditation).  Nicola also shares meditations online and soon will be introducing the 10 day mindfulness online retreat to support your daily activity and to help you rewire and reset your thinking.

Nicola also holds weekly yoga and meditation classes, monthly sound healing, yoga retreats and 1:1 sessions (yoga, hypnotherapy, NLP coaching, reiki and  Indian head massage).

© Inspire and Rewire 2020