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

Monday, February 20th, 2017

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!

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