A Lesson in Self-LoveFeb 15, 2021
Chad and I have never been the biggest Valentine's Day people. I mean, to be honest, it's just a holiday to monetize on romantic love, when the focus should really be on self-love because that's what needs to happen before you can ever be in a relationship. And the best part, it's absolutely free! There is all of this pressure to be with someone and think that when that happens you'll be complete. But the truth is, no one can love you until you really love yourself first. So here are some things that I like to do to continue to foster that loving relationship with myself, no partner required ;)
Be honest with yourself - At the beginning of my healing journey with food, movement, and hormones, this was REALLY hard for me. I wanted to just pretend that I could continue to live this life that was honestly not sustainable. But what I realized after a while was that pushing down my feelings of loneliness, fear and anxiety were just making it that much harder for me to process them. I became aware of my inner dialogue and noticed how often I was telling myself that I wasn't enough (ouch!). I got so real with myself, and honest with other people like my own coach at the time and a therapist too. Just saying what I was internalizing out loud allowed me to feel like a weight had been lifted. You can use a journal too - it's like free therapy. More than half of the shit we tell ourselves isn't true, to begin with, and when you actually open up and become honest you can name the feelings and allow yourself the permission to feel them rather than pushing them down. There is no shame in that at all and it's a critical part of taking care of yourself. Then, you have the opportunity to choose a loving thought instead. Because the more you tell yourself something, the more likely it is to come true.
Set boundaries - As a former people pleaser, setting boundaries was really hard for me, but it is one of the major ways I take care of myself. I was the girl who was constantly saying yes to everything and anything whether it was a dinner with friends or a speaking engagement. Doing things like saying no when something felt overwhelming or taking time off my phone or stepping away from social media have allowed me to feel more present and at peace. So if you're feeling like you're overwhelmed or anxious often, know that it's perfectly OK to create some new boundaries that aren't necessarily things you've adhered to in the past. Through this act, you're creating trust by listening to yourself and what you really need more often. You aren't the same person you were last year or even yesterday - you're constantly growing and changing and need new boundaries to protect your energy and your heart during each new period of your life.
Focus your energy - I really had to get super clear on what was important to me. I used to be the queen of trying to do it all when I quickly realized that's NOT possible. Where your attention goes, the energy grows. Personally, I let go of scrolling social media or watching TV at night to make more space for things I love (and that doesn't mean they have to be related to work - sometimes it's calling a friend or reading a good book). For me right now, I'm focused on my 1:1 clients, my family, and my personal relationships, writing a hormone healing course, and getting back to a season of rest. And by prioritizing things like rest it means I might not be creating as much content on Instagram, or going live all the time like I was a couple of months ago, or spending every free moment building my brand and I'm perfectly OK with that because that's where I'm at for right now. We only have the bandwidth to do so much every single day and I truly believe when you focus greatly on a few things rather than a little bit on a million things - your efforts are so much more valuable. So ask yourself where are you spending your time and how do you feel afterward and then from there begin to prioritize what's most important.
Surround yourself with love - My parents always told me, you become the 5 people you spend most of your time with, and it's seriously so true. You take on their energy! The same is true for social media, if there's an account that makes you feel triggered, UNFOLLOW! No matter if it's virtual or real life, if there is someone who is dragging you down, you have the opportunity to choose to spend less time with them. To choose to be around people who lift you up and make you feel good. If you're around someone who is gossiping or talking negatively all the time it's a serious drain and you'll naturally start picking up on those behaviors too. So ask yourself are your friends and family supportive? Do they inspire you to do more of what makes you feel incredible or keep you complacent? No judgment with whatever the answer is, just know when it's time to remove yourself from a relationship in a loving graceful way.
Let go of control - The constant need to be in control is what causes disappointment, guilt, and shame to come up when things don't go our way. I used to have every moment of my day planned out to a tee from what I was going to eat to each meeting and to do - it was all scheduled. And ya know what, when it didn't go according to plan I had a freaking meltdown. If something in your life isn't going your way, know that it's OK. We can't control everything and the sooner that you're able to let go of unrealistic expectations that you put on yourself, the less often you're going to let feelings of shame and overwhelm flood in when you don't get it all done. In just shifting that perspective, there is so much peace waiting for you on the other side.
So not just on Valentine's Day, but every single day, choose to practice more self-love. By taking stock of the things that make you feel good, and the things that you're grateful for you can keep coming back to them. Personally, for me, it's the little things like waking up with West and Chad and having breakfast together without our phones, it's getting a meditation in and having a few minutes of peace and quiet, it's getting in some gentle movement (again away from my phone), its truly helping my 1:1 clients feel better in their bodies and minds. Continuing to show up for the things that make you feel like your best self is the greatest form of self-love. I used to feel so guilty doing things for me, but it's truly the only way that you'll be the best version of you to show up for everyone else. I hope these 5 things really help you to return to self-love and help you to take care of the most important relationship you will ever have, the one with yourself.