Loving yourself and putting yourself first!
The last year has brought us all so many challenges: working from home, entertaining young children indoors, home schooling and possibly supporting older family members. Perhaps you have also been the person everyone turns to for optimism and to help keep their spirits up. You are probably feeling exhausted and have little energy left in reserve! Perhaps it’s time you started putting yourself first for a change!
We’ve just seen the end of February, the month of love. So, I’d like you to consider this for a moment: do you love yourself as much as you love others? When we are always rushing around putting others’ needs above our own and getting stressed out, our sleep can be affected. We may exercise less, and our immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses is reduced. If you should fall ill as a result, who will be there to look after your family? Self-care isn’t just an option we should give ourselves; we should start seeing it as obligatory! Just remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
Getting into the habit of looking after your mind and body should be a priority. Filling yourself with love and happiness means that you can then share it with those around you.
Do you find it difficult to put yourself first, or do you feel like you don’t deserve it? Maybe your confidence has taken a bit of a knock and needs boosting back up.
Boosting your confidence
Perhaps you find it tricky to say no to obligations or to stand up for yourself and get your feelings across. Over time this can really lower our notions of self-worth and power. Practice believing in yourself and standing up for what you feel is right. You owe it to yourself!
When times are tough, it’s easy to wallow in negative emotions. Focus instead on what you are grateful for by jotting things down in a journal or just by sitting and being mindful. Affirmations or mantras are also a great way of boosting our confidence. Sentences such as ‘I am strong and capable’ or ‘I achieve what I put my mind to’ can be immensely powerful and motivating. Once you start practising positive affirmations, you should begin to believe in yourself more and see your confidence growing.
Do you worry about the what-ifs and find that these feelings hold you back? It’s absolutely fine to be afraid of something, but doing it anyway is a fantastic way to show us how much we believe in ourselves. We all face ups and downs, and we all make mistakes. Our past experiences can teach us so much though, and by continuing to stand tall despite these obstacles, our past experiences help us feel powerful and strong.
“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
Five easy ways to practice self-care
If you are used to putting others above yourself, and you’re unsure how to start practising self-care, here are five ideas for you to try. We all feel refreshed and replenished by different activities, so experiment to find out which ones work best for you.
1. Being unavailable
Give yourself permission to not be responsible for anyone and be unavailable so that you can do whatever you want to do! This is particularly important for parents and carers, and can be the most relaxing practice of all!
This could be simple stretches, yoga, walking, light jogging or cycling. To find out more about incorporating movement into your daily routine, why not have a browse through this blog article?
3. Fresh air
Connecting with nature can be so restorative and gives us a renewed perspective on life.
4. Rest and relaxation
This could be a long, hot bath, reading a good book or watching your favourite film. Perhaps you find creative activities relaxing, such as painting, writing or knitting.
5. Saying no to obligations and putting yourself first!
If you are the type of person who loves to help others and finds it difficult to say no, this one may need some practice! Putting yourself and your needs above those of others is important though, and remember self-care isn’t selfish!
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Until next time.
Look after yourself.