For the month of March I am partaking in a little project called the #selflovechallenge. Each day I consider what choices I have made in my day that deeply cares for and nurtures me.
It is harder than I thought!
Turns out, despite a huge number of self care strategies that I live by, my life is mostly absent of the deep care and nurturing inherent in self-love.
Join me as I re-inspire myself (and hopefully some of you) with some very special self care ideas and activities.
1. Get to bed early (how early?)
Trust me, I know how tempting it is to stay up late to ‘get the most’ out of your free time in the evening. But consider the possibility that your next day actually starts at 7pm. The sleep we get between the hours of 9pm and 2am is some top notch Zzzz. At that time the spleen gets an energetic spring clean and your kidneys (our anatomical batteries) get fully recharged. So if you want to regenerate faster than a Tesla at a supercharger, get to sleep by 9pm.
2. Make your morning spacious
With these early nights come early mornings (after a while), so enjoy having more time and space to get ready for your day. Enjoy each step; the shower, the hair, the makeup, the dressing, as the quality of energy that moves your activities builds a virtual self care safety blanket that will wrap you up tight for your whole day.
3. “Eat light to be light” – Serge Benhayon
Turn the food pyramid on its head; if you want to feel great you need to eat foods that support your unique body and life. This requires regular check ins with yourself – does a food make you feel heavy, tiered or sleepy, does it make you sniffly, some foods even heighten anxiety or bring on depression. Evolve your diet after each meal to learn what’s best for your body.
4. Be ‘work fit’
Most of us sit at a desk, so how fit do we really need to be? Well ‘work fitness’ means having the body that can support sitting comfortably for the whole day. That means our muscles need strengthening, lengthening and stretching in our own time. Being work fit means supporting good posture and easy movement.
5. Move & stretch
Even if we are 100% work fit, it still pays to have little breaks during our day. These can be as quick as a millisecond (draw the shoulders back, raise the sternum) or longer such as a walk at lunch time. Even regular jobs, like fetching a document from the printer, can turn into fun interstitials that breath fresh life into your muscles and joints.
Being a bit of an A type personality, I know what it is like to become fixated on a task. Da Vinci is famous for his self care quote “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” (he was also the guy who first invented perspective drawing & painting, so he knows his stuff). My barometer for obsession is gentleness, if I start to lose it I know it’s time to take a few steps back.
7. Live by cycles
I learnt this one from the expert, Natalie Benhayon (founder of Our Cycles) who says “Everything in nature has a cycle, and so do you”. This is more obvious with women but men have cycles too. Indeed, we are all cycling around the sun, and around the earth, so life is full of cycles. Yet, there is a common attitude that each day should be the same as each other day. But that simply isn’t true. Some days are easy and some days require a lot more self care. By nurturing our awareness of the cycles we live under it is so much easier to be caring and delicate with ourselves when we need to be.
8. Graduate to self love
There are many self care ideas that inspire, but let’s not stop at just care. Graduate to self love: and enjoy feeling the difference. Say no to thoughts that are unkind or self deprecating and internally talk yourself up on a regular basis.
Each time we look after ourselves, care for ourselves and indeed, love ourselves, we build resilience from the inside out. Then, if we happen to have a tough day our centre remains strong, wrapped in a blanket of self love that warms us against the world.