When was the last time you showed yourself some love?
I hope you enjoyed the first All You Need is Love blog post. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, click here to read. To clarify, showing yourself love does not mean ‘retail therapy’, binging on your favourite junk food, reading gossip magazines nor any other indulgent, self-destructive behaviours. These are avoidance techniques that are detrimental to your health & well being. These behaviours distract you from pursuing worthwhile activities. They do not allow you to express true self-love.
Here are some more tips to help you take care of #1:
Listen to Your Body; Give it What it Needs: In our culture, we are constantly flooded with images, sound bytes, ideas from others of what it is we need. The truth is, no one is able to know your body better than you can know it. Not even me as a naturopathic doctor. This is why we do 1.5-2 hour initial intakes – for you as the patient to communicate to us what your body has been telling you about what it needs and doesn’t need. An easy practice to start to listen to your body’s needs is to tune into your hunger signal. Next time you want to reach for food, pause, and check in: Am I actually hungry? Am I only thirsty and not hungry? Am I hungry for food or am I eating because of strong emotions? If you find yourself hungry for food, ask yourself what kind of food does your body need at the moment: something rich and nourishing? Light and simple? Raw or cooked? Sweet or salty? Bitter or sour? Listen to your body and give it only what it needs to care for it in a loving way.
Honour Your own Wishes: When you feel strongly about something, don’t give into to pressure to sway your decision. If you ignore your own wishes, you will resent yourself later. And resentment has nothing to do with self-love! Go it alone if you must – but stick to your guns. Being in alignment with your own wishes will earn you self-respect, the respect of others and it’s something you can love yourself for.
Respect Your own Boundaries: Boundaries are important. Skin is a boundary, if we didn’t have it, our bodies would be a pile of mush on the ground – to put it crudely. Some of you might not understand what I mean by boundaries, as it is a difficult subject to grasp if you haven’t had the opportunity to think about it before. This could be a whole post unto itself (and may be in the near future!). In addition to physical boundaries, there are emotional, spiritual, energetic and mental boundaries to set. One way to check in with your boundaries is to observe your stress. If a situation makes you feel stressed out, you are likely not setting proper boundaries to protect yourself.
Reconnect with Nature: Get your hands dirty in the garden, lay on the grass, bird watch, hug a tree, walk barefoot on your lawn, admire a flower…
Be Patient with Yourself: If you haven’t been in the habit of showing yourself love, adopting new behaviours and attitudes will take time. Be patient with yourself. Smile at your slip-ups. Enjoy the process. Observe yourself evolving.
Conclusion: When you give yourself love and compassion, you are better able to share these values with others. Everything you want to have, give, share and be starts with you!