“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~ Lucille Ball
We are so often told to love and care for ourselves.
Why don’t we ever do anything with that advice? I usually wait to take care of myself until I’m basically on the floor crying, because I’m so ‘effing exhausted. I feel this is the case for so many of us.
It’s easy to direct our energy into school, work, friends and loved ones, which is a genuinely beautiful thing. But, we rarely give that same kind of attention to our own mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Why not devote more time to self-care?
Maybe at this point we may be saying to ourselves,
“Yeah, I know, I know…but I just don’t have the time.”
This statement was once my go-to excuse (and it really is just an excuse). Think about it: when we claim to “not have time for ourselves” it disempowers us and it cuts us down, on a very fundamental level.
Our lives become emblazoned with the belief that we aren’t even worth our own time. Is that really how we deserve to live?
I know that many of us are very busy, but we really can make the effort to care for ourselves, for even one moment. Even a small effort makes a great difference.
I used to spend my days thinking about what everyone else needed, how I could do more for them and how I could make them happy. I never took much time to think about what I needed, how I could do more for myself, or how I could make myself happy.
Not surprisingly, my life sucked.
I constantly abandoned my needs and refused to make self-care a priority. Finally, after becoming extremely frustrated, I came to an understanding within myself that I had to be worth more than this. I had to love myself more. I had to make myself a priority.
Using this newfound self-love as inspiration, I began to craft a life that was about me and honored my deepest needs. Because, as I came to realize: I deserve that. We all do.
So, I propose the following:
Let’s declare today that we are the unquestionable center and foundation of our lives, not anyone or anything else.
Let’s declare today that when life gets tough, we will never again reject or neglect ourselves.
Let’s declare today that we will love ourselves fiercely.
The more we commit to these ideals, the richer, brighter and more beautiful our lives can be. But, we, and we alone, have to make that happen.
Here are some ideas I often turn to for self-nurture.
They may seem simple, but as I’ve found, simple is wonderful. Try them out—for real.
>> Turn off our phone and/or other electronics for one entire hour.
>> Cook ourselves a healthy, nourishing dinner.
>> Pick up an inspiring hobby that we’ve always wanted to try.
>> Reconnect with a friend that uplifts our spirit. Relish in the feeling of human connectedness.
>> Pour ourselves a big cup of tea, and look out the window. Just observe, sip, and enjoy.
>> Go for a walk and observe the sights, smells, and sounds of nature.
>> Schedule time with ourselves like we would with another person. Make the plans official and put them on our calendars.
>> Take a long bath. Make it a whole experience with yummy bubble bath, oils, and music.
>> Do a meditation. We don’t have to know how. Just turn on some relaxing music, close our eyes, and follow our breathing.
>> Say “no” to a social obligation we don’t feel like attending.
>> Absolutely anything else we can think of that will leave us feeling cared for and loved.
Want to go steady with elephant?
Apprentice Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Juliana Coutinho