Recently I ran some workshops on the topic of self love. What is self love? It sounds a bit self indulgent and rather egotistical, but actually it’s something we, as a busy stressed out society, don’t do enough of, especially busy mums. Our needs often come at the bottom of the list, somewhere after changing the sheets, making packed lunches, organising the family’s social diary and feeding the dog!
When there are 101 things on our to do list, anything more than a cup of tea, whist reading a magazine can leave us feeling incredibly guilty with that nagging little voice at the back of our heads telling us we should be doing something on our list instead.
Self love, or another way of putting it **whisper** “putting ourselves first” is actually essential to our very life force. Rushing around from pillar to post at a hundred miles an hour, feeling that there is not enough time do do all the things that you need to do can eventually take its toll on your health. Your body’s fight or flight responses are on high alert, which can lead to adrenal fatigue.* Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include- general fatigue, even after a good nights sleep, irritability, feeling anxious about trivial matters and weight gain. If left unchecked, the prolonged stress that your body is under can lead to even more serious illnesses. It is a well known fact that many diseases and illnesses have their root cause in stress.
Why should we put ourselves first?
In a nutshell, if we don’t look after ourselves, both physically and mentally, we won’t do a very effective job of looking after the people around us who are dependent on us. To begin with small steps should be taken. One of the first things we should do is to tune into our body’s messages, what is it saying? Are your eyes strained? Yes? Book an optician’s appointment. Do you need to lose a few pounds? perhaps its time to reassess your diet, or start some form of exercise.
Top five ways we can love ourselves more
1. Don’t say yes to requests for your time when you actually would rather say no. Say no graciously
2. Take time to pursue a hidden passion, this may be something immediately obvious, or it may take some time to unearth, e.g. join an amateur dramatics group, adult dance class, joining a sports team, by continuing to bury a hidden passion, you are not realising the full you.
4. Take some time out to PLAY, forget the to do list, play with your children, your partner or your dog. Be in the moment and enjoy!
5. Take a nap, even a short 10 minute nap can energise more effectively than a cup of coffee.
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t , couldn’t or simply don’t have the time to do any of the above, but what are you doing instead? What do you have to lose? You may just find that that you have an extra spring in your step and a bigger smile on your face.
Be kind to yourself, be your own best friend and love yourself just that little bit more.
To explore the subject of Self Love in further detail, I recommend reading The Art of Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson.
(*This happens when the body produces too much cortisol and adrenalin which are your body’s stress hormones, this strain on your adrenal glands can lead to adrenal fatigue) Please do not diagnose yourself, if you think you may have adrenal fatigue, consult your doctor.