So apparently self-care and self-love are all the rage right now, they have become the current buzz words, but I’ve known for a long time that they should be high on the priority list for each and every one of us. I also know that time and cost can feel like obstacles that we cannot overcome and so we focus our energy in other areas of life, work life, home life, family life etc, and we neglect ourselves.
But what if self-love and self-care could be things that we don’t have to invest lots of money in? What if they were things that didn’t need to take up hours of our time? Could we then find ways to focus on ourselves? After all, as the saying goes, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup.’ So rather than trying to do everything, and be everything for everyone else, try to find ways in which you can be the priority for a change.
What are self-love and self-care?
Well, firstly they are not mutually exclusive, but neither are they tied together, it is very possible that you have/do one more than the other as they also aren’t the same thing. Usually though, if you can work on one then the other will follow along and improve as well. Your definition of these things may vary a little to mine but I’m sure there will be some cross over.
Self-Love – now in my book this is not about loving every inch of your skin every second of the day. Instead, it is about having respect for your body and an appreciation of all the incredible things that your body does. Over time you may increase your levels of self-love and this could be due to a number of reasons but there may always be certain parts of yourself that you don’t fully love and that is ok. My boudoir photography shoots are designed to help increase your self-love and self-appreciation as you see yourself in a completely different light – metaphorically speaking.
For more on self-love check out this great article from PsychCentral.com
Self-Care – this is where you can really have some fun, you can focus on yourself and do things that are entirely just for you. Women often think that self-care is selfish, we can get stuck in this pattern where we have to put everyone else first, it’s in our nature as caring beings. I’m not telling you to stop looking out for others, or to stop taking care of your family, or to ignore requests for help, but maybe it is time to start listening to your own requests for help and support. Your physical and mental health both require your attention. Self-care can be the smallest of things, like closing your eyes as you stand in the garden listening to birdsong, or it can be the big things, like a weekend away with the girls or a day at the spa. It just has to be something that is for you and puts that smile back on your face.
For more on self-care here is a great articlepublished by Healthline.com
5 Tips for Increasing your Self-Love
Stop comparing yourself to other people! You are unique and you should celebrate this. How another person looks has no bearing at all on your self-worth and your value.
Stop comparing yourself to a previous version of yourself. 18-year-old you may have had a set of super perky boobs and they may have travelled south a little since then but that does not make you any less beautiful.
Practice gratitude – rather than letting negative thoughts rule your mind think about all the incredible things your body does. Has it been a safe home for your children? Have you run a 10km race or trained for a marathon? Do you wake up healthy each day? Do you have an incredible laugh that caught the attention of the love of your life? I think you get the gist of what I’m saying here.
Use affirmations to help you reinforce all the positive things you want to feel about yourself. Here are just a few examples:
I am beautiful
I am worthy
I am smart and capable
I am kind and compassionate
I am in control of my destiny
Buy a set of matching underwear that makes you feel incredible and invincible when you put it on – this is your power set. No one else knows you are wearing it but when you do you could rule the world.
5 Tips for Self-Care you can do at Home
Run a bubble bath, light some candles, and grab a book. Then shut the door and enjoy some much-needed time to yourself to relax. Maybe add a glass of wine or cup of tea, and how about some rose petals in the water.
Download an app to your phone for meditation and spend 5 minutes in the morning and evening listening to it. Allow your mind to clear, forget all those lists of endless tasks you need to complete, and just breathe.
Stand outside in nature and close your eyes as you listen to all the sounds around you. Can you hear birdsong? Focus just on that and its beauty. Or is the wind rustling the leaves on nearby trees? Listen to how nature is creating music. Slow down, listen, and breathe.
Give yourself a little pamper. Get a face mask on, treat your hair to a deep condition, file and polish your nails, dig out that foot spa, and put on your favourite movie.
Do something that makes you smile! Turn the music up and dance around the living room, do a jigsaw puzzle, restart an old hobby, reconnect with old friends and have a long catch up.
Book in for one of my boudoir shoots and work on both your self-love and your self-care at the same time.