Friday, 23 February 2018

The importance of self love x

As romance still lingers in the air following the highly anticipated Valentines day I wanted to talk about something that I only came to terms with this year. The art of self love. In my opinion self love is an art. Its something that doesn't come naturally to most and takes time , effort and patience to perfect. In reality its an art that one will never fully master due to the heavy weight of the worlds pressures and anxieties on our shoulders.

Up until this year the words "Self love" meant absolutely nothing to me. I would mistake the term with a large ego, or overbearing confidence. The type of confidence that would make you out to be cocky or thinking your better than anyone else and oh how I was wrong.
For the majority of my life I placed all my love and encouragement in others and spent my time building the ones I loved up which eventually meant that I was breaking myself down in the process. It was a paradoxical cycle. I abandoned myself and completely underestimated my self worth and what I could offer to the world. I am sure this is the case with many people.

In todays fast paced society it is so easy to get caught up in the never ending cycle that we call life. As humans I think we forget how important it is to love ourselves and take time out to rejuvenate and revive ourselves. Our worlds' most dominant and influential people have always placed an emphasis  on the importance of being kind and loving to thy neighbour but they always seem to forget the most important part. As the saying goes 'one cannot pour from an empty cup', and this could not be any more true.
There is so much hate, bitterness and hostility that prevails over our planet, and the stress of this could ever so slightly be relieved by teaching our people to start small. An act of self love is a miniscule step but a huge step in the right direction. The way I look at it is, if you feel good within yourself you will want to do good and express good to others. It's a win, win situation, don't you agree ?

In modern day society people are often compelled to abide by a strict and timely routine and find it very hard to make time for themselves. However self love doesn't have to be time consuming. I have learned this particularly over the last year when life has gotten a tad bit more hectic due to college, social and wellbeing commitments. For the first time in my life I feel like I have balanced the weight of looking after myself and working hard and it has done wonders for my mental health.

I have mastered how to incorporate certain things into my day that make it far more enjoyable. Whether thats taking time in the morning to sit and drink a cup of tea in the peace and quiet, or listening to a motivational podcast on my walk to college, self love is all about making life more enjoyable for ourselves and creating harmony and happiness from within. After all if you have love and happiness within you can project it outwards to the world. There is nothing more threatening to ourselves and the world than a spiteful and angry heart and mind. By making simple changes life can be that bit more wonderful!

It is so important to look after ourselves and treat ourselves like we treat others. Self Love isn't just as simple as buying ourselves a bar of chocolate. Its the little things like constant words of encouragement, having patience with our mind and body and most of all fuelling ourselves with nothing but positivity, good food, exercise and happiness. These tiny things tend to be overlooked ( this was the case with me in the past anyway), and if we make a change and invest in these things our lives can be that bit better!

How I incorporate self love into my day 

1. As I mentioned already I love to listen to motivational podcasts walking too and from college or whenever I have a spare moment really. My favourite ones to listen to are ones based on the law of attraction, mindfulness or simply people sharing their stories about mental health and positivity. My all time favourite podcast is by Lavendaire she is so inspiring and well worth a listen. 

2. I love the idea of nourishing myself from within and have recently really focused on having a healthy and clean diet. I don't like using labels as I find it very restricting so I wouldn't call myself vegetarian, but recently I have tried my best to cut down on meat products and incorporate more fruit, vegetables and whole foods into my diet. I have noticed a huge difference in my energy levels and my mood since. Of course I still love to treat myself to some chocolate because i absolutely love it, and in my eyes life is too short. Don't you agree ? 

3. Of course eating well and exercise go hand in hand and I am a huge advocate and believer in the power of exercise. It does absolutely wonders for my mental health and never fails to put me in a good mood and increase my positivity. I try to incorporate some form of exercise into my daily routine, whether thats a light yoga class or an intense HIIT class. However I am always conscious not to over work my body and the most important thing is to listen to your body and never over work it! 

4. One thing I have tried out in 2018 is meditation and it is now my favourite part of the day. I absolutely love it. Its the one time where i totally switch off, focus on my breath and let the worries of the day fall from my shoulders. I love using guided meditations and I couldn't recommend Jason Stephenson's channel any more. It never fails to put me in a good headspace.

5. Lastly right before I go to bed I spend time doing something that will completely relax me for example watching an episode of friends on netflix or reading the book I'm reading at the moment. It is so important to reward ourselves after a long day at work, school or college and surviving the challenges that the day has thrown at us. By celebrating the little things life is a bit more enjoyable!

Loving ourselves is so important. After all our relationship with ourselves is the longest and most committed relationship we will ever have, why not make it the most meaningful and loving it could possibly be ? As the quote goes " To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness".
So I urge you to do something that brings you happiness and peace at least once a day! Trust me you will watch your life gradually change and your mindset and mood shift to a better place.

Love Rach x 

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