Dear Wonder Woman, how many hats are you currently wearing today? Are you the nurturer among your friends and family? Are you a mother, sister, wife, friend, confidante, employee, employer, and or entrepreneur? Chances are you have answered yes to several of these roles. And as a woman who serves many roles in relation to others, you must make caring for YOU a top priority. A while back on the blog we discussed self-care and how important it is to have a self-care plan. But did you realize that a key component of your self-care plan involves self-love? The ways in which you practice self-love are a direct reflection on your emotional health and well-being.
So what is self-love, exactly?
Self-love is defined as the "regard for one's own well-being and happiness, chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic."
And why is it so important, again?
In order to be our best selves for those who need us most, we must take care of ourselves first. If you're running on empty, it's impossible to give a single thing to someone else.
As a stay-at-home mom, I sometimes catch myself slipping when it comes to making my emotional well-being a top priority. So for my sanity as well as my family's, I make sure to do these seven things each week to stay in-tune with self.
1. Spend time each day with my Heavenly Father. When I spend my first waking moments in prayer and studying my word, I feel prepared to face the day. I have clarity, I have purpose, and I have direction. I allow God the opportunity to order my steps and I am trusting him to be the head of my life. Now when I don't do this, however, it shows. I'm worried. I'm a mess. Things are imbalanced. And it seems like I just can't get anything in order. This makes me irritable and stressed. That's why I always remember to go back to the source of my strength and "get wired on Christ" before making any moves.
2. Call a girlfriend. Let's face it, girlfriends make life much easier. Your girlfriends can be your sounding board when you need to free your mind of thoughts. Sometimes those things that are bothering you sound completely different once you voice them with another loving, caring person who could help reel you in when you're feeling down. So reach out to your tribe, even if it's just a phone call to "check in." And whenever time permits, be sure to schedule lunch dates, girl's night in and nights out on the town when you can. Time spent with girlfriends is better than therapy when your circle is full of love, compassion, and support.
3. Enjoy a great movie or book. The sweetest (and cheapest) escapes can often be found in the middle of a book or a movie. I often find myself whisked away to foreign lands when perusing my Netflix queue or reading list. Within both of these lists, I'm always able to find something that makes me laugh, or lifts my spirits instantly.
4. Get all dressed up--even if there's no place to go. I won't lie---I get the greatest surge of energy when I'm planning to go out. I get all dolled up, lay out items for my beauty routine, my hair, and my outfit before I even hit the shower. I put my "stepping out" playlist on to get primped in the mirror and it brings the biggest smile on my face. And sometimes, I even do this when I have no where to go AT ALL (which is often the case when you spend most of your time in the home with the children). I'm not ashamed to admit that I do, either. It makes me feel good to put forth the extra effort to get myself all cute. That's right---it feels good and it does wonders for my self-esteem.
5. Do something out of my comfort zone. The comfort zone is a cushy place we are often told to step out of when we need to grow. And more often than not, we aren't mentally prepared to take super strong strides outside of it. I get that, because I am unashamed to admit that I am one of these people that does not like to climb out of my comfortable space. But because it's in my nature to retreat to the safety of the comfortable usual, I must MAKE MYSELF get out there and try something new--even if it's scary. Sometimes getting uncomfortable is as large a task as starting that new business venture you've dreamed about. And other times it's as small as finally sharing that blog post that's been sitting in your drafts for months because it's not perfect. Once getting uncomfortable becomes proving to myself that I'm more of a badass than I give myself credit for, I begin to feel great about myself.
6. Teach myself something new. There is a wealth of easily accessible information + education at our fingertips these days, guys! You can learn nearly everything about anything your heart desires, from entrepreneurship to decorating on a dime, thanks to countless bloggers, vloggers, and infopreneurs. So I take advantage of this at least once weekly by learning something new (which is usually making something beautiful for someone). As I type, I am learning simple ways to decorate my daughter's room and how to work my new camera. There is a great sense of pride knowing you have learned something new, added items to your skill set, and can now do something new very well.
7. Get adequate rest. Oftentimes in the wee hours of the night, I start power-cleaning, doing laundry, or prepping a meal or two. But every now and again, I remind myself that my daily to-do list will still be there after I get some sleep. Until then, I need to get the best rest I can so that I'm able to perform better (and be less cranky) when I'm awake. Besides, there's a renewed and refreshed feeling that comes from adequate rest that coffee just cannot compensate for. Sure coffee helps me stay alert, but it doesn't stop me from being a cranky beast like a good night's rest does. And that's for real.
What are some ways you practice self-love weekly?