At this point I sound like a broken record, but I am on a journey and I have been for the better part of 2019. I have committed to a path less travelled—being physically and emotionally healthy, starting a business, planning for my future and just constantly working on becoming a better version of myself. And on this path I have found that you need to develop a strong sense of love for yourself or you will most likely end up feeling lost, anxious, or depressed. Not to mention without it, things are hectic and unfulfilling. Life just gets busier and busier. And let’s face it, there are certain areas of your life, like when you are starting a business or going to school, that you cannot delegate or ask for a lot of outside help. Days can seem long and endless—each day tirelessly blurring into the next. I’ve been there. Prioritizing my overall health–both mental and physical–helped me get out of that cycle. I made a plan to practice self-love and self-care and followed through on it. Here is a sample of my self-love plan.
1. Wake up earlier than the people in your home.
This is no easy task, in fact some days it feels like death, but it’s the best way to start and I rarely regret it once I am fully awake. Doing this allows you true alone time. No screaming kids, no spouse, no noise, no work– just silence. By having this time you can slow down a little bit and think. You can use this time to meditate, journal, exercise, meal prep, or read. You don’t have to do this everyday, but even a few times a week can make a huge difference. I am more likely to stick to my goals, focus, and stay on track when I wake up earlier because there is less distraction and I look forward to my alone time.
2. Now that you have time, you can start to write out a plan.
In my experience, making a vision board or writing down my 5-year-plan made a difference and things really started to change. They started to fall in place. I will admit, most times things will not go as planned, but just the act of writing things down can help you stay motivated, consistent, and positive. Why? Because visualization is important and powerful. You are more likely to remember and follow through with something you wrote down.
3. You should set self-love days.
I’ve said this before and I will say it again! Set time for yourself at least once a month. Go for a hike, run a marathon, have a spa day, or go to the movies. The list is endless. The more time you can set aside for yourself the more you can focus on loving and appreciating yourself. Working hard and having goals are important but so is taking a break. We all need to step aside from all of the roles we play at work, at home, and in our families and to do something simply for ourselves.
4. Say positive affirmations.
I start my day with a list of things I am grateful for on my mind, as a way to remind myself of how fortunate I am just to be alive. I also do my best to remind myself of all of the hard things I have already accomplished or overcome. We often don’t appreciate how much we really have been through. If you repeat all your accomplishments you will feel like nothing can stand in your way.
When starting your journey to self-love and self-discovery you may get some pushback from others who might feel abandoned or feel that you are being selfish or even rude. That is OK. Communicate your needs and put a plan in place so that you can meet those needs. When you take the time to love yourself, you will come back to the people who are important to you as a happier, healthier, and more at peace person. I am a true believer that you cannot pour from an empty glass.