This Valentine's season, take the opportunity to practice self love. I hear moms saying that they put their kids first. I was one of those moms once. Truthfully, if you honor the being within and the sustaining life-force it provides you; you will put yourself first. You can't give authentic love to others without loving yourself. You can't continue to provide for others if you don't replenish and rejuvenate. You can't care for those you love, if you don't take care of your physical and mental health and well being. Is this being selfish? Maybe, but the alternative is running on empty and that should never be an option.
Moms drive themselves crazy with guilt. We spend our days at work and when we get home depleted and exhausted, we're not able to connect with our family and we feel guilty. If we travel for work or work late hours the guilt is even stronger. It's difficult to reconcile taking time for oneself in these circumstances. But as difficult as it may seem, it's necessary and doable.
Here are a few tips to express self love:
- Create a space in your home and spend some time alone to read, meditate and connect with you. Surround yourself with things you love. It's rejuvenating and replenishes my soul. I try to do this daily, but it's not always possible, so I committed to doing it 3 days/week. I like doing it late at night since I'm a night owl. I love the dead silence of the night. I could hear myself pray and the rhythmic sounds of my breaths keep me centered. Early mornings are great too, but my husband is an early riser and I prefer to be alone. Not to mention, I'm not much of a morning person.
- Enjoy a meal alone...date yourself. If you take your kids to an extra-curricular activity, steal away to a coffee shop or bring a snack to munch on and sit away from everyone or in your car, turn on some soothing sounds and relax. Taking yourself out to dinner is also great. I like preparing myself a simple meal and if my husband took our kid to practice, I enjoy a meal alone (even if I'm writing the next week's menu and shopping list). It's still my time.
- Workout and eat well. For some, this is the toughest challenge. During my son's soccer practice, I notice moms walking the track to fit in their exercise. For those who can, join a gym. There are also many workout videos online. Pull it up on your smart tv, phone or tablet. I guarantee that you'd feel better in body, mind and spirit. Commit to a couple days for 30 mins. Eat well. I've been practicing mindful eating lately. I'm present when I eat and I'm in tune with my body's needs. If I feel for ice-cream...I eat it. I'm learning to take my time and enjoy each morsel (work in progress). I love eating clean most times and because I'm one for balance, I feel no guilt when I eat junk. I'm not into impressing others but I do impress myself from time to time. I try to not put any pressure on myself because I love myself too much.(smile)
- Pamper yourself occasionally. Whether you go to the spa, hair salon or have a DIY session at home, or buying yourself something beautiful. Nothing says self love like a pamper day. I love my trips to the hair/nail salon and the occasional spa outing. I feel brand new when I leave. It lifts my spirit and I feel special, every time. And of course retail therapy is just that...therapy. Buying something that makes you feel beautiful and/or sexy is a great way to show self love.
Self love means to accept ourselves and who we are, both inside and out. Being authentic and speaking our truth even if it makes others uncomfortable. Just express it lovingly. Choose carefully the words we use when we speak of ourselves. Be positive. Make time to take care of ourselves and being conscious co-creators of our destiny. Learning from our past mistakes, forgiving ourselves and accepting our present. Do things that facilitate our growth and happiness. Allow ourselves to dream and dream BIG, while ignoring the naysayers. Take care of our physical, mental, and spiritual well being by exercising, getting rest, eating healthy and connecting with our soul through prayer and meditation.
This Valentine's Day fall in love with you and make the changes necessary to express self love. Be bold, be inspired and be mindful, as you embark upon your journey of self love.