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How to show yourself some love

2012-09-06 14:49:57

Published on 2012-09-06 14:49:57

A recent article by Dr Christiane Northup, a leading authority on women’s health and wellness, reminded me of the incredible importance of ‘self love’. Northup states that “If we had a rampant epidemic of self love, then our health care costs would go down dramatically.” Having spent a lifetime studying self care, she is of the firm belief that self love is the single most important aspect of health care. This made me realise that recently I’ve been devoting less and less time to my own self care. Northup believes that many of us are programmed for self sacrifice, leading us to expend less effort caring for ourselves. With multiple demands on our time from families, homes, jobs, and businesses, it’s no wonder that we sometimes end up the last priority. Given the importance of ‘self love’ to our health, how can we incorporate more of it into our day to day busy lives? Here’s the list of simple things I’ll be doing to show myself more love:

Meditate

Meditation helps reduce stress levels and increases productivity and effectiveness. You can meditate at anytime, anywhere and for as little or long as you like. A simple meditation involves sitting quietly with closed eyes, focussing on your breath coming in and going out of your body. Thoughts will come – let them pass and bring your mind back to your breath. Just doing this for 5 minutes a day will help you feel calmer and refreshed. If you find it difficult to meditate on your own, try a guided meditation audio – I like Meditainment.

Self-pampering treats

When I’m busy I can easily get out of my usual routine of performing small pampering treats such as self manicures or pedicures. When I miss out on doing these things, I notice how neglected I feel. The simple act of putting a bright polish on my toes not only provides much needed ‘me time’, but it also sends the message that I’m worthy of love and attention. What are the pampering treats that you can indulge in at home? They don’t need to take long, but they must be something that you enjoy and make you feel good.

Simple pleasures

I have a few simple pleasures that get sidelined when I’m juggling priorities: going out for a coffee in a cafe, reading the paper or a novel, or catching up on my favourite soap operas. What are yours? What things are you telling yourself you can’t do because you don’t have time? The simple act of taking just 30 minutes out of my day to do any of these things has the effect of making me feel calmer, happier and refreshed, meaning that I can go about all my other tasks with more energy and enthusiasm.

woman hugging herself

Exercise

Apart from the obvious health benefits of regular exercise, I also find that it affects how I think and feel about myself. When exercising I’m being proactive in caring for me and the endorphins (or happy hormones) create an automatic high. It doesn’t matter how long I spend exercising – just taking some time out of my day makes me feel cared for. Exercise can be anything you like – a walk in the park, a bike ride, an exercise DVD or even some gardening, just as long as you are taking some time out to be moderately active, getting your heart rate up and the endorphins flowing!

Say ‘I love you’

Although you may not always find it easy to tell others that you love them, you’re even less likely to tell yourself! To be able to properly care for yourself, you need a healthy love and appreciation for YOU, accepting who you are NOW. Using a daily affirmation such as ‘I love and respect myself’ repeated in front of a mirror for 30 days (the length of time it takes to create a new habit) will help you to believe that you are worthy of self love.

Ask for help

When you’re feeling over burdened it’s easy to think that there is no place to turn for help, and that everything rests on your shoulders. Being loving to yourself is about recognising your limits and reaching out for support when you need it. If you don’t ask, it won’t automatically happen.


Remember, loving and caring for yourself is the only way that you will have the energy and enthusiasm to care for your partner, family, friends, pets, jobs and businesses. Show yourself some love, you deserve it!

 

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