This week I’m so excited to present part 2 of our self-care series, with a very inspiring post by a special guest blogger! This week one of my dearest friends, Olivia, gives us a glimpse into a journey she has been on for the past year all about self growth, discovery and most importantly being kind and loving towards the amazing person she is. I think Olivia’s journey and advice is something a lot of us can relate to and can benefit from hearing, so please enjoy this beautiful post all about giving back to ourselves!
A Journey to Greater Self-Love
Not too long ago I was feeling like I had done everything right. I checked all the boxes and done all the things I was supposed to do. I graduated college, found a full-time job, moved my life to a different state, settled in an apartment, paid bills…but why did I have this overwhelming feeling of numbness, like I was just going through the motions each and everyday? There had to be something more to this whole “life” thing. I sat down determined to figure out how to make my life more meaningful, to figure out what I was missing. I found out It was ME. I was missing from myself. The person I wanted to be, the person I always saw myself being was not present. Why was that? Where was the ambition and drive to be a better version of myself? Truth is, it flew out the door with all the love I had been giving others around me but neglected to give myself. Giving yourself as much love as you are willing to give others is just as important. The journey to feeling fulfilled had to start with me. It had to start with digging deep inside myself and figuring out what it was that made me happy.
Self-love is one of thee most important kinds of love there is, and at times, one of the hardest to receive. Some people may think “well of course I love myself, I am okay with who I am, after all, I kind of have to be, it’s me.” Until recently, I thought that way too. Ask yourself this, what do you love about yourself? I’m sure your friends and family could list dozens of things that they love about you, but how many of those things would you list about yourself? Why does it seem so hard to come up with things we love about ourselves? I challenge you to dive deeper, look harder, to do what it takes to truly fall in love with yourself. I think you may be surprised by how great of a person you really are. Trust the journey.
Below is a list of things I have incorporated into my life and the impact they have had on my self-love journey so far. I will note that, it is necessary to make a conscious decision to put in the effort it takes to make a positive change in your life to truly see benefits. Feel free to incorporate any or all of them into your daily routine to start giving yourself a little more love.
Silencing all Technology
I feel that this works particularly well when doing so a half hour to an hour before bed, it leaves your mind less distracted and you will get a better nights sleep. I usually do this before I start my nightly routine.
Create a Space Unique to Yourself
Inspired by Meghan’s Wall of Happiness on this blog, I created my own wall of happiness where I hung inspiring quotes and pictures of locations that hold many memories for me. Next to this wall is where I spend an hour of my day focusing on me. It’s a place I love to be, a place that makes me happy.
For me yoga is many things. One of which is a time to focus solely on you and your body. To inspire a deeper connection between the physical and the soul. My favorite app to use is called Down Dog which has different sequences and levels of guided yoga to choose from, it’s a great place to start!
This isn’t for everyone, but I do encourage you to at least give it a try, if not for the many health benefits it provides. There are many apps out there that will give you with techniques you can use daily when you may be feeling overwhelmed or tense. Meditation has become something I am able to incorporate into my day more than once. (Here is a link to a past post about different types of meditation 🙂 )
This has become cathartic for me, a person who thought whenever she were to journal it had to have a very specific purpose. But, I have found that by writing down my thoughts/feelings it frees my mind from having to dwell on those things. It also helps me to reflect on what happiness I found during my day.
Create an Emotion Log for the Year
I saw this idea floating around Facebook and thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. Keeping a daily emotional log surfaced new but obvious conclusions for me. Having to reflect on how I think I felt that day, resulted in the understanding that I have a choice in the emotions I feel daily and how long I dwell on each one. Yes, things may make us sad but giving your entire day to feeling sad is a choice. This log helped me realize that everyday is a new day and you start with a clean slate to build from.
Doing Something You Love
Make sure you take the time to do something you love everyday, whether that be reading, painting or singing in the shower. Do each of these things with consciousness and immerse the senses. Notice the feeling of the paint brush in your hand as it glides across the canvas, take in the smell of the book as you flip each page, enjoy the feeling you get when your voice bounces off the walls of the shower. You have always loved these things, but try to discover what about them makes you so happy.
Create a Ritual/Routine
Set aside a time each day for yourself and only yourself, no distractions. For me, this is before bed. I usually start an hour or so before I hope to be asleep. It allows my brain to start relaxing and calms thoughts that have been racing through my head all day.
Here is an example of my routine:
- Turn my phone to silent
- Fill out my emotion log
- Do yoga
- Read or journal
- Go to sleep
Choosing to be happy everyday really is just that…a choice. When I made a conscious effort to choose happiness, I started to notice little things in my day that would have otherwise been glossed over.
It is my hope that some of these things inspire you to take the leap toward a greater self-love, to truly loving yourself, beyond what appears on the surface. To seeing in yourself what others see in you. You absolutely deserve it.
Peace and blessings,