Do you find it easy to show love for others by saying "Yes!" or by putting
Your needs aside to attend to theirs?
While it is a gift to help others and to go above and beyond to take care of the ones you love, it is an even bigger gift to do these things for Yourself. It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that self care is selfish and taking the time to pamper or care for yourself is unnecessary. As a result, most of us suffer from a severe lack of Self Love practices and can even struggle with feeling Guilty for taking time for ourselves.
If that's you, it could be because, somewhere deep down, you hold a belief that you don't deserve it. You may even convince yourself that if you do something extra for yourself, it will somehow diminish your ability to take care of others. There are all sorts of ways we can de-value ourselves, making us unworthy of the love and care we so easily give to others.
Think about the ways you express your love to others.
What would it be like if you took those same actions towards yourself?
You see, the self-care actions we take for ourselves are a direct reflection of the level of Self Love we feel for ourselves. It is one thing to say, "I love myself", or to say, "I know I need to love myself". But HOW do we actually show that love to ourselves in tangible forms?
Here are a few of my go to Self Care rituals that always help me come home to myself and nurture myself with Love.
1. Massage - Massage is so much more than luxurious pampering. It's a wonderful treat for the body and soul and can really boost your self confidence, relaxation and overall happiness. Massage reduces tension, anxiety and alleviates the symptoms of depression by improving circulation and calming the nervous system. Massage opens the body and can prevent muscle cramps and spasms and can alleviate pain associated with arthritis and sciatica.
2. Make yourself a meal - Often times we eat out of convenience often because, let's face it, life can get crazy busy. However, taking the time to make a meal for yourself can stand as a beautiful act of self love. When you prepare a healthy meal that you know will fuel your body with nutrients and provide you with the energy that you need, you are caring for your most basic needs. With a well fueled body you can take on any challenge of your day.
3. Exercise - All too often I've seen people exercising as a form of punishment; to somehow force the body to become better and hoping that brutal hours at the gym will somehow finally give way to a sense of self acceptance and love. But when we begin to appreciate our incredible body and all that it is capable of, exercise and movement become an act of celebration and joy! You can take a walk, go for a jog or a swim, do some push ups at home or meet a friend at the gym or a yoga class. Getting out and being active can be a way to show so much love and appreciation to your body and yourself and it becomes a lot more fun when you look at it that way, too!
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