Actively applying self love and self care principles to your daily life
We all have the same 24 hours in the day. So why do some people seem to manage their priorities with greater ease than others? One theory is that those who are best able to handle all the challenges are taking the best care of themselves. Self care can be critical to shifting your perspective and assist you in shifting your day in ways that bring peace and calm.
“The deepest meaning of self care practices and rituals is learning how to manage your energy so that you do have the presence and the confidence and the resilience to make an impact”, Elena Lipson.
Getting enough sleep
This is the first, critical step to managing your daily life. Studies have shown that a lack of quality sleep has the following negative impacts:
· You get sick;
· Your cancer risks increase;
· You can’t think clearly;
· You forget stuff;
· Your libido lowers;
· You gain weight;
· Your risk of diabetes increases;
· You are more accident prone; and
· Your looks suffer.
· Your heart suffers;
Are you convinced yet? Getting enough sleep is critical to self care. While that is an excellent first step, there are other ways you can build self care into your day.
As a preliminary matter, building self care activities into your day is critical. It’s not enough to say, “I’ll try to do that today.” Rather, love yourself enough to schedule these activities into your day.
Listen to the interview with Elena Lipson, Divine Self-Care Mentor, as she discusses The Magical Morning Practice, a daily ritual that she both practices, and teaches her students.
It's a great way to start adding rituals into your own day.
Meditation is scientifically proven to reduce the amount of time you spend worrying about the past and the future. Meditation has effects that rival the effects of antidepressants for both depression and anxiety. It also enhances the brains ability to regulate emotions, and decreases the area of the brain responsible for anxiety, stress and fear. Meditation increases the ability to focus, and memory skills, in just a few weeks.
All of these benefits, taken together, will assist you as you tackle the tasks each day presents. Find a time that works best for you – first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, before you go to sleep. Write it on your calendar. Make yourself a priority. You don’t have to spend a large amount of time meditating. Start with a one minute meditation. They are all over the internet. When you are ready, increase to two minutes, five, or ten. Whatever works best for you and your lifestyle. Check out our five minute self-love meditation below.
In addition to the physical health benefits of daily physical activity, regular physical activity can improve your mental health, your mood, and increase your chances of living longer. One of my favorite ways to get in physical activity is through yoga, which is a great self-love practice.
Review your daily calendar and figure out when you can insert 15 to 20 minutes of brisk walking. You don’t need to spend an hour at the gym to gain a benefit from physical activity (although if you have that luxury and the time to do so, by all means, go ahead!). Physical activity is an excellent way to cultivate self-care.
Journaling has many benefits. It can help you clarify your thoughts and feelings. It can lead to self discovery. Interestingly enough, writing has been proven to reduce stress and stay in the present. Journaling can also lead to solving problems more effectively.
Writing every day has no negative side effects and many benefits. You owe it to yourself to take the time each day to journal.
Personally, I like journaling my goals out using a technique called Pray Rain Journaling. You basically journal as if you've already achieved your goal. I find it relaxes me, and helps me achieve my desires.
Be a fierce guardian of your time
Many people are demanding of your time every day. When you take the time to schedule things that provide you self care, it can be easy to overlook them if someone approaches you with a problem. Consider shifting your perspective. If your plan is to meditate at noon, first, set your timer to remind you. When your timer goes off, close your door if you are in your office. If you are at a cubicle, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign. It will take a while to train your co-workers and family that there are some times that you need to be alone and not interrupted. If someone says, “Can I talk to you for a minute,” say “Yes,” and then offer a time on your calendar that is NOT during your scheduled meditation time.
As you guard your time and protect yourself as you exercise self care, you will find you have a better handle on your day.
Know that it gets easier in time
Particularly for those of us who are new to the concept of self love, self care, and actively and protectively applying these principles in our lives, it can take a period of adjustment. Give yourself permission to learn on the journey. Each day, schedule your self care activities. Each day, engage in your self care activities. You will be calmer, healthier, and more productive. Remember, self-care isn't selfish, it's essential.
Listen to the full interview with Elena Lipson. She talks about her self-love journey, and how she left her corporate career to pursue something different.
She also discusses challenges, such as illness, that she faced along the way, as well as practical tools that she uses regularly.