Self-care, I discovered very recently, is just one strand of self-love. Self-care includes acts and practices such as:
• Bubble baths
• Early nights
• The odd glass of wine
• Chilling out with a cuppa
• Reading a good book
• Spa days
• Hair appointments
• Beauty treatments
Self-care is all about the small ways to give us women and mums a little boost, to make us feel rested and relaxed and to make us feel good about ourselves, whereas self-love (You could say) is on a much bigger scale.
Self-love is more than a cup of tea when you’re feeling down, it’s more than a bit of colour on your nails when you’re feeling a bit low. Self-love is truly loving yourself from the inside out. Its acceptance. It’s setting invisible boundaries for yourself and others around you. It’s forgiving yourself. It’s finding and knowing your strengths. It’s being intuitive. It’s being positive in your truest form. Self-love covers many self-nurturing qualities, and self-care is just one strand.
On 9th September, I attended a self-love day retreat with Infinite Reiki . I cannot speak highly enough of Sarah Varela. She is a wonderful reiki teacher, healer, mother, and all round inspiring person. Sarah and her friend and fellow colleague, Charlotte (who I had met for the first time and who is equally as lovely and inspirational) both led the retreat with such compassion, empathy and grace. I loved every minute of it. I would love to explain more, but ‘’what happens in the reiki room, stays in the reiki room’’.
THE TOOLS OF SELF-LOVE
I’m not telling you to scrap your self-care rituals at all, because these little doses of care all help towards loving ourselves a little more. Bath time for me is my happy place and I will always have time for a bath, a cuppa and a good book. But try adding some of these self-love tools to your day, or even one of these tools to your day. Trust me, they will help you on your self-love journey and help you to become the best version of you:
• MEDITATE– meditation helps your mind and body to relax and unwind. Its proven to affect attention and brain function if practiced regularly. Just five minutes a day can help you and improve your wellbeing.
MIND-OVER-MUM TIP– the next time you have peace and quiet, sit up, close your eyes for five minutes and be still. It won’t come naturally to you straight away, but over time you will learn to be still, be calm and just ‘be’.
• MINDFULNESS– mindfulness is an act which helps you to pay particular attention to the present moment. We are so good at being busy and are often on autopilot that we forget about the here and now.
MIND-OVER-MUM TIP– Next time you brush your child’s hair, pay closer attention to the softness of their hair, the colour of their eyes, the sound of their voice.
• YOGA– Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on the mind, body and soul. Its less about looking good and more about feeling great.
MIND-OVER-MUM TIP– trying to fit in a yoga class can be tricky with a busy schedule. Try downloading a yoga app, that way you can practice yoga in the comfort of your own home.
• JOURNALING– Journaling can help you to get over emotional barriers and hurdles and see the good in a bad day. Journaling is a great everyday tool for developing mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
MIND-OVER-MUM TIP– create a journal in the form of a diary or a note pad. Before bed, write down all of your thoughts and feelings, write down dreams and aspirations. You can even get crafty with doodling and different colour pens.
• GRATITUDE– Gratitude is a wonderful thing and makes you feel better about yourself.
MIND-OVER-MUM TIP-When waking in the mornings or before bed at night, try this useful tool. Be grateful to three people in your life, or three things you accomplished in your day, or the yummy food someone cooked you, or how about the person that held open the door for you today.
• AFFIRMATION CARDS- Affirmation cards can be a lovely gift to ourselves. The words or quotes of inspiration and encouragement teach us to be kinder to ourselves and in turn, treat ourselves with more compassion and love.
MIND-OVER-MUM TIP– next time you do an online shop, add some affirmation cards to your basket, or you could even try making your own affirmation cards.
• LETTER WRITING– letter writing is a great way to blow away old cobwebs and rid yourself of any guilt or anxiety.
MIND-OVER-MUM TIP– You could write down things that you’re afraid to say out loud or things it’s now too late to say. Be it a letter to yourself, a friend or a family member. Just be mindful of getting rid of the letter, a little like getting rid of your guilty or unwanted thoughts and feelings.
So, self-love we have discovered is good for our mind, body and soul. It helps us to stay calm, loved and nurtured. It encourages us to be kinder to ourselves and helps us to live our best lives. Go on… live your best life.