This holiday season, to ensure there is more love, connection and care in our lives, let’s put our focus on developing a consistent practice of self-love and self-care instead!
Below is a list of simple and practical ways that you can start practicing now, so you are full of the holiday cheer. If you make yourself the most important person in YOUR world, then you will most likely be able to make those you love the most important people in the world!
1. Affirmations and Mirror Work
A great way to start practicing self-love and care is through positive affirmations and mirror work. Create 3 – 5 positive affirmations that make you smile and feel good when you think and say them. Then stand or sit in front of a mirror and say them out loud to yourself 10 times in the morning and 10 times at night. Some good ones to get you started are: I love myself just the way that I am, I am beautiful on the inside and out, I am worthy of greatness, I am worthy of love, I love you [insert your name], I really love you.
2. Nourish your cells, not just your taste buds
Instead of eating food that just tastes good, try finding the right foods that make your body feel exceptional. A great way to do this is to check in with yourself during and after you eat, see how what you are eating is making you feel. Is your energy high or low? Is your stomach feeling good or a bit off?
A great place to start is to cut down on your sugar, wheat, or dairy intake. These things tend to do more for our taste buds and less for our cells and over all well-being. For more information on how to nourish your cells talk to my good friends at the Living Kitchen Wellness Group.
3. Exercise your body in ways that feel good
Find a form of exercise or movement that actually makes you feel good both during and after and you have fun doing. Often times we think of exercise as a chore or something we don’t enjoy but we do it because it benefits our health.
A big part of self-love and care is feeling good all the time, and what allows us to feel good is having fun. Try out a new form of exercise, break away from the same exercise routine and have fun and feel good while exercising your body.
4. Pamper yourself
A true sign of self-love is treating yourself as if you would treat a loved one in your life. We often put ourselves out for others and forget about our own needs and desires. Give yourself time to pamper and provide ultimate self-care for yourself. Get a massage. In fact, spend the whole day at the spa. (And that goes for men, too.) We all need to be pampered. Develop a consistent practice of indulging in what makes you feel the absolute best: mind, body and spirit.
5. Go on a special date ... with yourself
I know what you're thinking: a date with myself? The reason this is so uncomfortable for most of us is because we're not used to spending quality time with ourselves nearly as much as we are with others. Find something that you really want to do but have been putting off because you haven’t found someone to join you. Go out to a nice restaurant, watch your favourite movie, go to the theatre, go dancing, or go see your favorite sports team or band play. The options are endless!
When we are down or troubled sometimes all we really need is a hug. The challenge is sometimes we can’t find someone to give us a hug. Try wrapping your arms around yourself! Even just simply placing two hands on your heart and taking a deep breath in and out helps the love start to flow again. Another option is to hug a stranger. This not only is an act of self-love but you are spreading that love to someone else as well. You will find most people can always go for a hug, all you got to do is just ask!
7. Write yourself a love letter
Start off by closing your eyes and picturing the best version of yourself. All the feelings you want to feel, all the things you want to accomplish, they are all there. Now write yourself a letter expressing how much you love ALL aspects of yourself, even the ones that you don’t think you feel love for. Let yourself go deeper with every sentence that you write. You can start on the surface characteristics and move your way inward if this is easier. All the things you would want others to say about you, write them to yourself!
8. Forgive yourself
We cannot begin to truly love ourselves until we release any grudges or burdens we are holding onto. In order to be kinder to ourselves we need to release and dissolve the habit of being hard on ourselves. Write out a list of all the things you beat yourself up over, and all the things you may regret ever doing. Then stand or sit in front of the mirror and begin by saying I forgive myself for… the more you practice this the more you will begin to feel a huge weight lifted, and there will be more space for love!