This is a post about love.
Nope. It is not that kind of post.
Yes, I realize it is Valentine’s Day. But, this is not a post about Valentine’s Day love. This is a post about loving yourself.
I am not here to preach to everyone today. Self-love and self-care is something I am still working on myself. Learning to take care of myself first is something I had to learn how to do the hard way. The very hard way. I am still learning and will probably have many more lessons to learn over the next few years. It is a large part of the reason my blog, (this site) has remained without a decent and consistent update for over 3 years. My focus was elsewhere. My focus had to be elsewhere.
I am here today to tell you that there is nothing, and I do mean NOTHING wrong with taking time to focus on self. Try it. It actually feels pretty darn good!! Self-care takes practice though. You will need to make it a daily habit. Like exercising or brushing your teeth, the benefits of self-care and self-love are seen over time and not all at once. But just like exercise and brushing your teeth, practicing self-care and self-love can NEVER make matters WORSE – it can only make life and living feel better.
So, if you are like me, you are currently side-eyeing my blog post and thinking to yourself, “Yeah Danielle, sure. That all SOUNDS nice but I am busy and I can name 100 other things that I can add on top of busy that do not allow me to do all of this ‘self-care and self-love’ of which you speak. So what am I supposed to do?”
Well doubtful person! I have a few tips for you that are small but significant changes and things that you can do to increase your self-care routine little by little, which in turn will help you increase your level of self-love. Let get in to it!
- Find Your Muse
By “find your muse,” I mean, find your inspiration. Find the people, places, things and stuff that makes YOU happy. Use those feelings of happiness as a part of your self-care routine and build inspiration into every day.
- Focus on the Finite First
Making self-care a habit can be hard. Really hard. But there are a few ways for you to battle through the tough parts. Start wtih the easy stuff first. Find the finite tasks that you can accomplish and cross of your list quickly and do those first. Self-care could be as simple as going grocery shopping for yourself and getting your favorite wine. It is still something you did just for yourself. Find the quick tasks – things that may seem simple and insignificant but they aren’t. A task towards self care, is a task towards self care – regardless of how small. Take those small taks and let them pile up to the larger ones. The next thing you know, you are taking more time for yourself and it you won’t even realize it.
- Make Love To Yourself
Treat yourself with the love, forgiveness and kindness that you extend to others in your life. Pay attention to your heart, your health, your mind and your body. Sleep more, eat healthy foods. Give your body what it needs to be great and rest, rest rest. I cannot stress that one enough. Love the ‘self’ you are now, even if it is not the self you want to end up being in the future. Learn to love your faults and your shortcomings – because they are truly YOURS. Learn to love being alone with YOU and just YOU. Love is not just being able to be proud of the person you are on good days, self-love is also about being proud of the person you want to be on your bad days.
I think this one is the hardest to start, but the most important of all of the items on my list. Prioritize yourself and your self-care. Making yourself first can often make you feel guilty or leave you feeling like things are being left undone. However, this is probably the farthest from the truth. You will never get to the point where your new self care practices are habit if you dont prioritize doing them in the first place. Make yourself first. Make yourself important in your own life. Find the time to give back to yourself just a fraction of what you give to other people all the time. Just like you prioritize work, family, kids and a lot of other things, learn that making yourself a priority is not a bad thing. Ever.
- Date That Darling in the Mirror
No one should be more in love with you, than YOU. The biggest part of self-love isthe LOVE part. It is not always easy! I get it! Trust me-I do! But learning to really love yourself, at your high points as well as at your low points should be a habit that you create and re-create for yourself every single day. One way I do this for myself is taking myself on solo dates. I put forth the effort to get all dolled up, makeup and clothes, hair and the whole thing. I take myself somewhere or to do something that I would not normally think of doing alone. I order the best thing on the menu, I buy that thing I have wanted for months (within budget) or I do that thing I wouldn’t dream of doing with out a friend or significant other around. This one tip has helped me discover more about myself that just about anything else I have ever done towards self care. And if you are SUPER budget conscious, it doesn’t have to be something expensive. Dating yourself could just be more about the experience than what you are doing ON the date. Go to a museum you have never gone to before. Find a flea market you would only dream of driving to by yourself and go and explore. Everything can be done within reason and within budget. But, it is about dating the Diva within and letting her know she is the bomb 🙂 .
- Girl, (or boy) Put Your Records On!
When I am all “emo” or “in my feels,” I love to use music to help change my mood. I believe music is not only comforting but actually healing. I even use it to get rid of headaches sometimes. You can d the same thing with music. One day when you are feeling COMPLTELY on top of your game, make yourself a playlist of inspiring and happy music on Spotify. It is important to do this on a day when you are feeling great about yourself and life so that the songs you pic really apply to you at your best. That way, on your worst days, you can play this playlist of remind yourself of the day you made this playlist and the mood you were in at the time. You can remind yourself that these are the songs that you decided make you happy and make you feel loved and amazing. That is the goal. 🙂
If you want some inspiration, take a look at a few of my favorite spotify playlists:
- Travel Tunes: https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/bnardfranklin/playlist/4837Or3W4a7rPjihR3JUsM
- Great work playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/ldbwork/playlist/5dVXjdJoL21ywmKLuoSodx
- Summer Feeling playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/ldbwork/playlist/1fZQaSkEcfk2u8esnJ2qJ3
- The cookout: https://open.spotify.com/user/ldbwork/playlist/2pFKirlIPLHCNNHOSvzEOD
- Feeling a little full of myself: https://open.spotify.com/user/ldbwork/playlist/12HEJ6R7tQ16ydf35SPro2
- The Work Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/ldbwork/playlist/2AZwR32Bp4eiqO78lrUmPb