Self-love. Sounds a bit woo doesn’t it? Self-love is something that we encourage daily to our friends and kids yet when we are asked to apply it to ourselves, we start to get uncomfortable and try to make a joke out of it. Carrying out a few self-love exercises on a regular basis might be just what you need to help get you through a difficult and stressful patch in your life.
You can start by asking yourself five reasons why you matter the most.
What are Self Love Exercises?
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If you are anything like the rest of us, you will dish self-neglect out to yourself on a regular basis. And usually, it goes unnoticed. Swept under the rug that you’ve just vacuumed or down into the waste disposal with the vegetable lasagne that you made yesterday. (The one that the kids didn’t eat).
But be warned. Ignore self-love for too long and you will start to hear a little voice. It will whisper: What about you? Who’s asking if you’re alright?
Who’s asking if you want belly pork or salmon for dinner? Who’s taking you out for a walk?
Who’s making sure you’ve had enough fibre? Who’s arranging a riding lesson for you so that you feel as though you’ve had enough fresh air?
As tempting as it may be to stamp your feet up and down and demand that someone make you a cup of tea, this will only give you relief for a short period.
Ultimately, the only person that can apply the necessary self-love exercise is you.
She’s the one that’s standing right there but who you tend to ignore. She’s your best friend. She will never leave your side. Stop neglecting YOU.
Think of self-love exercises as things you would do for your best friend or your child when they were feeling down.
That friend is you.
The Reasons You Matter The Most Right Now.
- There is only so long that you can keep pushing your own needs to one side.
- Trying to accommodate others needs continuously – especially kids, results in them either being spoilt brats or unable to think for themselves. Leaving you feeling cheated and wondering why you bothered.
- Whoever said that you have to get to the back of the queue? Who made that stupid rule?
- You will eventually start to feel resentful and might run away with the milkman.
- You only have one shot at life. If you spend it continually putting yourself last, you will grow old and wonder why on earth you didn’t give yourself the recognition you deserved.
- What example are you setting to your sons or daughters if you always put yourself last? Be a positive example.
- Nobody will ever thank you anyway. They will just start to expect more.
- You imagine that by putting yourself first, you are selfish. But no. You are not.
How I Recognised That I was Neglecting Myself And Needed Some Self Love Exercises
I would wake up in the morning, and the first thing I thought about was where I needed to be, who I needed to be there for and how much time did I have to make it all happen.
It was only when I’d finished packing the house (we were renting it while we travelled the world with the kids) was over that it occurred to me that although I had given everything I had to make the transition as smooth as possible, the only thing I had given myself over the past few months was neglect.
It wasn’t until I stopped to read a post by one of my favourite bloggers that I remembered the necessity of the self-love exercise.
It’s Easy To Neglect Yourself.
We often use our families as an excuse to push our dreams to one side, but in reality, they are not the hindrance, we are.
We seem to be able to make everyone else’s wishes come true but tend to drop the magic wand when it comes to our own fairytale.
7 Self-love Exercises That You Need To Practice. NOW
I have practised every one of the following exercises so I know that they work. If you can’t do all of them pick one that will work for you. Keep at it for a minimum of thirty days. It has been proven that if you stick at something for a month, the habit will stick.
Even if you think you are rubbish at it. Set the alarm clock for twenty minutes earlier than you would usually get up. Make yourself a cup of your favourite drink and sit and write down three pages of everything that’s on your mind. ‘morning pages’. It’s three pages of just mind dump, but you will love it. Think of it as a free therapy session. With yourself.
Once 5oclock hits you never seem to stop. There’s the dinner, the homework, the washing up, the listening, the sympathising. The advising. It’s usually not until you flake out on the sofa at around 10 pm that you finally take a deep breath.
20 minutes. That’s all you are going to need. Grab the dog and walk. Do not take your phone with you. If they need you, they will have to wait. If you don’t have a dog or you hate walking, get in the car, drive to the end of the road and sit. Again. Don’t take your phone. A book, yes. A magazine. Yes. The phone, no.
Watch what happens when you get home. The kids won’t even have noticed that you were gone. But you will feel a zillion times better for having that moment.
3: Indulge a little.
Pour yourself a glass of wine and go into the garden fifteen minutes before dinner is due. Find a spot. Anywhere that you think is beautiful. Your garden shed, your rose garden, on your front wall. If it’s raining, sit in your bedroom.
Three years ago I established a routine that has stood by me and has saved my sanity. Every day at a certain time I would put a ‘do not disturb’ sign outside my bedroom door, and I would go and meditate for half an hour. They know NEVER to disturb me. I can’t quite remember what I initially threatened them with if they did, I think I probably told them that I was in there floating up to the ceiling and the fear of ever witnessing such a disturbing sight was enough to keep them away from the door for thirty minutes.
Whatever you choose to do, or however you choose to police it, if you have kids at home like me, do it now. Establish the routine, and within two weeks they will know that that is what you do.
5: Make a date with yourself.
Not with your husband and not with your kids. Yes, I know its important to have date nights so that you can keep the relationship alive, and yes, we all know how beneficial it is to eat meals with the kids and listen wholeheartedly to every single solitary word that they say (all the while your dinner is going cold) But.
This is a date for you. Just you. Look at it as though you have a dentist appointment. Or you are picking up an aunt from the airport. Any of those arrangements that you would never think of cancelling. Write it on your calendar. Coffee with M. Arrange for someone to have the kids. Tell your boss that you have somewhere you have to be. Then take yourself off to your favourite café, get a table in the corner where you will be able to people watch and sit and enjoy your drink, or, if you’re feeling plush, lunch. All by yourself. Take your time to appreciate what it is you are having.
DON’T get your phone out. You will let me down if you do.
Take a magazine or a book or some note paper. Sit with yourself and write down all the things you are good at and that you love about yourself.
6: Don’t forget the small things (and I don’t mean your underwear)
Little that you do for yourself will make the biggest of difference. That magazine that you love – the one you only ever get the chance to read when you’re sitting in the doctors waiting room. Treat yourself to it.
Imagine that it’s your daughter or your son that wants it. Buy it and take all month to read it.
The hand cream that your friend uses. The one that always smells so delicious. Order yourself some.
Pretend that you are buying it for your daughters birthday. Take your time rubbing it into your hands – remember how special you are. Spend the extra bit of money on a nice bottle of wine or the more expensive tea. When you are sipping it tonight, you will remember how special you are.
7: Find a little time to exercise
I’m not a big fan of exercise but for the past month or so Brian and I have started a morning workout routine and I LOVE it. Not for the health part in particular but because it means I have some time on my own! We made a VLOG of it, take a look!
Travelling the world and trying to do everything on a budget? Want to keep exercising on the road? Try these free tips NOW!
It is so important that we do these things, that we look after ourselves as we would others. That sometimes, we put ourselves first.
I’m not saying everyone else can take a hike. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I just want you to remember that you count too. You are the one that makes it all happen. You are the one that everyone relies upon. These are the reasons why you matter the most.
It is you that makes the impossible seem possible. So start treating yourself with the same self-love and priority that you lavish upon everyone else.
For years I have longed to see India. I have been fascinated with the place. The colours, the smells, the craziness of the cities. The culture, the trains, the food. The poverty, the extravagance.
I have never been.
No other member of my family has ever wanted to go. Too dirty, too poor, too far, too cheap. Always an excuse to go somewhere else.
This year I will be spending my 47th birthday in India. Brian and I decided that although both of our teenagers would be wailing and whining about visiting this fascinating country, this time, we would be listening to the wishes of someone else in the family. She’s only had to wait thirty years, but now it’s her turn.