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When I was young, I was optimistic about life, and how it would turn out. My career would be amazing, earn me plenty of money and bring me satisfaction. I would meet my soulmate, we would get married and live happily ever after. And, as in every optimistic fairytale, I would bear intelligent, loving and beautiful children.
Fast forward 20 years and some of the above has come to pass, but not in the way that I expected! Life’s twists and turns demand resilience – you’ve got to stick at it and keep going – and that’s how I deal with things that count. Celebrating the small wins really helps me, whether it’s being thankful that I had a nice hot morning shower, or simply enjoying the fact the sun is shining. I have also learned that talking to myself in a kinder voice has a positive effect on my mental health.
I remind myself that we are all human, and we all make mistakes, and as long as we try not to repeat them again and again, we are doing our best.
10 Self Love Tips to Turn Your Life Around
I’ve come up with 10 Self Love tips designed to help you feel happier and more content. As women, we often put ourselves at the bottom of the list – and everyone else (children, partners, parents, friends, pets) above us. As a result, we don’t prioritise our own needs, and our self-esteem and self-value suffer as a result. Learn to love yourself more with these simple tips!
Introduce a morning yoga routine or self love meditation
Whatever time of day you choose to practice meditation, you’ll reap the benefits. However, research shows that the ideal time to meditate is first thing in the morning. You can start with as little as 1 minute. Just 1 minute of concentrated ‘thought’ does you more good than you can imagine. You could also add some self-love affirmations at the end too. I find that it helps to build up my resilience to anything that might drag me down during my day.
This is true of meditation and yoga, both of which help me release pent-up emotions, stop me feeling sorry for myself, and generally, make me feel calmer and more relaxed. Another benefit that I’ve noticed is the more that I practice yoga and meditation, the ‘nicer’ a person I become! My vibration becomes higher, and I become the best version of myself.
If you feel yourself thinking a ‘bitchy’ thought or that you want to make a negative comment about someone, try this simple exercise below.
- Is it necessary?
- Will it benefit anyone knowing this?
- What is it about this person that makes me feel inferior, jealous or angry?
Reviewing my behaviour helps me to keep my negative thoughts in check, and myself in line! Give it a go.
Turn off the TV, step away from your computer…and pick up a book
It sounds simple enough. Flicking a switch from on to off. I’m guilty, on a regular basis, of saying that I’m going to do this, but I don’t get around to it enough! Reading takes me to a wonderful place, and really holds my attention, whereas watching television, browsing social media and working on my computer tend to narrow my concentration span, so that I can only take in ‘magpie’ bites or a few lines.
Reading a book helps me to deepen my concentration levels and helps to keep me grounded. It also helps me drift off to sleep more easily too.
Practise Self Love by keeping a gratitude journal
In my recent post on gratitude and the benefits of being grateful for what we have, I explore how gratitude helps us to rise above cynicism, entitlement, and anger, how to relish positive experiences and build strong relationships.
Psychologists have shown that gratitude helps us to cope better with life’s dips. It rewires our brain to increase our willpower, promotes feelings of calm, and increases our vibration to attract more positivity into our lives. Give it a go!
Find an inspiring podcast to listen to while you drive
How many times have you switched on your car radio – only to hear the same 80s tunes and adverts on repeat? It’s frustrating! Instead, take the time to find some inspirational podcasts and listen to these while you drive. Or you could also listen to talking books.
Traveling to and from work or racing to do the school run can be really stressful, so why not use the time to listen to something that will calm, entertain or even motivate you?
Take up a creative hobby
Knit one, purl one! Crochet away! Or get sewing for self-care! There are so many creative classes, workshops, and hobbies that will take your mind off daily stresses, as well a giving you the satisfaction of making something yourself.
- Make do and mend. Why not join the sustainable fashion brigade and get involved in some ‘make do and mending’ or up-cycling? Recycling giants Veolia are hosting workshops across the UK aimed at preventing clothing waste while promoting the therapeutic benefits of crafting and up-cycling.
- Get knitting. I also love the look of the giant knitting craze where you not only benefit from creative therapy, you have a cosy blanket or sweater to keep you warm! Check out Wool Couture Company! It’s been proven that when we concentrate on a creative pastime, our focus is taken away from ourselves and our problems, and is transferred into something physical which gives our brain a rest.
- Invest in a colouring book. Mindful colouring has also been shown to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, and to increase dopamine (the happy hormone) levels. Emma Farrarons’ The Mindless Colouring Book is a best-selling pocket-sized colouring book that you can pop in your bag and use whenever you have 10 minutes to yourself and need to unwind.
Make a vision board
Creating vision boards is one of my favourite pastimes. Visualising how I want my future to look helps me to identify my ‘vision’ and to make it clearer. It also reinforces my dreams and keeps me focused on the desired outcome. Think about what you would like your life to look like, invest in a pinboard, then print out, or tear images from magazines, that illustrate your desires – and pin them to your board.
If marriage is your goal, pin a photo of a beautiful wedding dress or a ring that you would love; or if you would like a particular style of house, pin pictures of homes and interiors that inspire you. In my experience, vision boards really work for self-care, and the process of pinning things makes you feel good, as well as the simple process of looking at beautiful, inspiring pictures every day.
Get some fresh air!
Sometimes, when I’ve been working on a blog, or sitting at my computer for hours, I become grumpy, especially if I’m trying to do something techy! And yes, I have been known to stomp around the house muttering obscenities! But there’s one constant in my life – my dog – who always wants his walk.
Sometimes, this feels like a chore, but it’s a blessing in disguise. As soon as I’m outside surrounded by green, or by the sea, I feel myself relax, unwind, and start to feel human again. Getting out into the great outdoors is great for self-care, it also diffuses electrical energy, has a positive effect on your mental health, and has been proven to reduce crime – and negative thinking!
Make a lunch date with a friend who makes you laugh
I have a friend who really makes me laugh. He has an innate comic ability and a brilliant sense of humour. Whenever I see him, I find myself having to hold my stomach, quite literally, and belly laughing. This is an amazing quality and one that I wish I had. He can see humour in everything.
We all have ‘negative Nellys’ in our lives, people we try to keep at arms’ length. There’s a difference between helping a friend who’s going through a hard time, and spending time with a person who just drains your life force. So, it may sound mercenary but choose your lunch date wisely.
Find a friend who makes you laugh, who energises you, who you love to spend your time with – and with whom you can enjoy a genuinely ‘healthy’ lunch. Someone who nourishes your mind, body, and spirit.
Have a clear out and a clean up
Nothing disturbs my sleep more than a messy bedroom. I remember listening to Lewis Howes’s podcast one evening talking about the fact that millionaires always make their beds and keep their bedrooms tidy. This really struck a cord with me! I believe in Feng Shui, and when everything is in disarray, I feel ‘stuck’ and can’t get myself together. So, have a clear out.
Give all those old clothes you never wear or have grown out of to charity, treat yourself to a few new items that fit properly – and enjoy looking good again. I have bought myself so many beautiful clothes on Ebay for £10 to £15, and if you sell your old items first, you won’t even have to spend any money. Sustainable living or what!
Another thing I love to do is to clean and overhaul my fridge and kitchen cupboards. It doesn’t stay organised for long, but it does feel great to while it lasts.
Introduce a self care routine a couple of nights in the week
When I was young, weekdays were just days to get through to get to the weekend! To make the week go by quicker, I introduced self-care evenings. It sounds so simple but it makes me feel so good! I run a hot bath and add a few drops of bath oil – Olverum, (full review here) is – my favourite pre-bedtime treat. Expensive, but worth it, it’s a blend of Juniper and Rosemary extracts to boost the circulation and Lemon and Lavender to reduce tension and help you sleep better.
I apply a face mask (I love Aloe Vera Hydrating Mask), light a candle and listen to a podcast or acoustic music – it is sheer bliss! I then massage in some soothing scented body lotion, apply a nourishing night cream, get into bed early, diffuse some lavender oil by my bed – and I have the best night’s sleep. Nurturing yourself is a real definition of self-love.
Hope you like these tips, or perhaps you have some tips of your own you would like to share?
Let me know in the comments below.