I am a firm believer in the importance of having self care practices. I struggled for decades with lack of confidence and self love. And this all stemmed from me not loving and accepting myself and body. I also struggled for decades with disordered eating and did not love the way I fed myself. I had abused food my whole life and had no idea what it felt like to love myself and my body.
The idea of self care was so foreign to me that I had no idea how to start to love myself. First I started to list all of the ways I loved myself daily. This was very uncomfortable at first, but then became addicting! I now have a list of all of the ways I love myself on my altar to remind me how amazing and powerful I am!
Along with that daily practice, I’ve created a spiritual practice with meditation, gratitude and prayer to help me get into acceptance and faith. Having a spiritual practice helps me stay in faith, trust that the Universe always has my back and know that I am perfect now. My faith and spiritual practice helped open up a path for me to start to heal my disordered eating and start to learn to nourish my body with the right foods. This has been a wild ride and a long journey, one that I am still on each and every day.
When it comes to self care and self love, it always starts with my body and food. I had abused food for decades and did not love or accept myself or body. I realized that if I am going to really love myself without any conditions, then I needed to start to form a healthy relationship with food. If I am fueling and nourishing myself with the right foods, then I feel confident, sexy, healthy and aligned in my body. This took me decades to learn the rejuvenating and powers of fresh, whole, nutritious food! This has been a long journey and am still on it! My intention is always to love the way I feed myself!
My favorite self care practice is meal prepping and planning. Meal prepping is a non negotiable commitment I make to myself weekly. If I do not meal prep and plan my meals, then I am not nourishing my body with the right foods which leads to me feeling tired, bloated, heavy and insecure. Then this usually takes me into a spiral of self loathing and shame because I have not made the right choices with food for my body. When I am not feeling aligned in my body, I feel out of acceptance. And this energy throws me out of self love. Planning my meals has been one of the biggest game changers for my well being, sanity and happiness. It continues to build that inner self esteem and confidence.
When I am nourishing my body and feeling strong, this helps me build self love and acceptance for my strong beautiful body. Self care practices help me build inner self esteem and confidence which all leads to loving myself unconditionally.
Another favorite self care practice is my morning routine. This is also a non negotiable. I like to get up early and meditate, pray, visualize my day and journal. In the morning I also like to stretch, exercise, dry brush, oil pull, dance and chant. I do not do all of these every morning but I rotate through them. My mornings are my most important and set me up for the day. The morning is also a great time to do some self care acts before the day gets started. When I keep my morning routine commitments, my day flows easier, I make healthier choices for my body and I feel happy and alive!
Self Care Practices For Self Love
For the rest of the week, I actually schedule my self care practices like a date or appointments in my calendar. Here are some act of self care and love that I pepper in thru my week and month:
Walks with my dog
Taking an extra day off
Time with friends
Laying outside in the sun
My morning routine
Staying off my phone in the morning and before I go to bed exercise\Tai chi
Creating and cooking new dishes
Not overscheduling myself!
I do not believe we can really let others love us and fully open up to receive unconditional love until we fully love ourselves. This is such a journey and I am still on it! My intention is always to not put any conditions on the way I love myself. And for me, this starts with loving every part of my body. It is from this place of acceptance and love, I am able to make better choices on how I nourish my body. My ultimate intention always is to love the way I feed myself and to eat with joy!
Starting a self care practice does not have to mean big changes! Maybe start with a meditation practice or a gratitude list. You could also start with meal prepping and planning your meals on Sunday to set yourself up for success for the week. Maybe it is adding in exercise a couple days a week or committing to drinking more water. Taking extra time to be outside or to rest are acts of self care. All of these small changes will start to add up and fill you up. Soon these acts will become addicting and you will feel empowered, alive, confident and full of love!