The older I get the more I realize that taking care of myself makes all aspects of my life move closer to my dreams. I used to put all of my energy into a single goal at the cost of taking care of myself and I suffered from this as well as all of those that are important to me. When I have nothing to give, I am not my best self. In this post I am going to look at a few ways in which I have learned to take better care of myself over the years and some resource that have helped me on this journey.
“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.”
The first way I have learned to love myself my be the most obvious, but it still needs to be discussed. Sometimes we just need a little pampering. For me pampering can look many different ways. Sometimes it is a relaxing bubble bath with good music, a glass of wine, candles, bath salts, and something I want to read for pleasure. Taking the time to unwind in an intentionally designed setting is so important. I love that this act has nothing to do with my to-do list, it is simply to create more pleasure in my life.
Pampering may also be a trip to the spa. I believe in getting regular facials, massages, manicures and pedicures. Yes, I can do some of these at home, but never as well and when I do they are never relaxing. Sometimes I need to have a professional do their work while I relax and enjoy. I am blessed to be at a place in my life where I can indulge in these pleasures.
“Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body.”
With the many health issues that I fight I have struggled with my weight over years. I am still working on this, but now I focus on eating foods that make me feel good in the long term versus satisfy me in the moment. I have learned to eat very clean and to invest in quality foods even when choosing to eat out. I have Lupus, and have found that keeping processed foods out of my body as much as possible helps me to feel my best.
I have also learned that making many things from scratch isn’t hard with basic technology. I now make my own dressings, cashew milk, almond butter, as well as so many other things. Websites such as www.downshiftology.com are such amazing resources on this journey.
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.”
Another way I love myself is through physical activity. Over the years I have really change my mindset around exercise. I now find ways to move that I love. My favorite form of exercise is yoga! I love everything about it. It is challenging every day and it helps my body and my mind. The yoga community at my studio always makes me feel loved and welcome, and yoga helps me learn things that help me with all other areas of my life.
Right now I am recovering from an injury and I’m having to learn to modify my practice to protect my body. This really requires me to leave my ego at the door and do what is good for me. I love the lesson this is teaching me and I also love watching my body heal and move back towards what it was capable of before the injury.
The other form of exercise I love is hiking. I love getting out in nature and seeing all the beauty in this world. I try to get outside at least once a week, and as the hours of sunlight increase this number can grow. I believe we need time in nature and that it actually changes the brain. One of the books my book club read this week was The Nature Fix, by Florence Williams. This book shared the science behind the affect of nature on our brain. It was a great read and I try to remember this as I decide how to use my time.
How do you take time to love yourself? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.