It’s February, the month of love. Of course our thoughts turn to our most precious of relationships: our spouse, our children, our parents. But often we forget the most important relationship of all; the relationship with ourselves.
Just as our relationships with others take great care to remain strong, so do we need to show our own selves that same kind of care and compassion. While you might expect me to suggest taking a long soak in the tub, which I must say is never a bad idea; the problem goes much deeper than that.
As women we are the nurturers, often putting the needs of others above our own. We tend to make family and work matters our highest priority, thinking that makes us a better mother, wife, sister, employee, and friend. The problem is that the longer we go without addressing our own needs, the more depleted we become. Our dreams fade, our goals wither and our passions slowly dry up. As you can imagine, this has a negative impact on us emotionally. Often overlooked however, is the effect this behavior has on us physically, as research reveals more about the connection between belief, emotion, and disease.
What we as women need to understand is that there is a difference between “self-ish” and “self-care”. We have this one life to live and a purpose to fulfill. By not pursuing our passions and dreams we are doing the world, those we love, and most of all ourselves, a great disservice. That is “selfish”.
By treating ourselves with respect, listening to the cues of our body, placing importance on our own dreams, and carrying out our divine assignment for our life, we are empowering ourselves at the deepest of levels. That is “self-care”.
Below are seven tips (an entire week’s worth) for incorporating a little more self-care into your life this month. Try one a day for seven days straight, and experience the difference a little self-love can make:
#1 – Know your limits. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to say “no”. Stretching yourself too thin and dividing your attention among multiple different tasks is not only doing a disservice to you, but negatively affects everyone close to you. If everything is important, then nothing is important.
#2 – Live your passions. Our passions are what make us feel alive. If we’re not devoting time and attention to those things that ignite and inspire us, our lives become dull and dreary. Spending some time each day, even 10 minutes, on our passions or working towards an important personal goal makes us fulfilled.
#3 – Spend time alone. How much time do you allow to just let your mind wander? Probably not enough. Spending time alone gives us the opportunity to let our imagination take new heights. From what we want to do tomorrow, to what we want to do in 20 years, most of these realizations will occur when we allow ourselves time to get lost in thought.
#4 – Maintain healthy relationships. Limit the time you spend with people who exhaust you (I think you know who we mean). Increase the quantity and quality of the time you spend with the people who make you feel great; the ones who inspire and replenish you. Build a supportive and positive network of confidants by starting your own Soulspring group or joining one today!
#5 – Live your values. If we’re not careful it doesn’t take long before or own values are pushed to the side and suddenly, without realizing it, we begin to live our lives in alignment with the values of others. This causes stress and we innately know something is amiss. Make sure your own values are clear, practice them in your daily life, and consider them in your every decision.
#6 – Write in a journal. Expressing yourself in written form can open up much clarity for us. Take the time to write daily. If you find it difficult to get started, use Soul Searching Questions (many can be found within this blog and we incorporate them into each issue of our Soulspiration monthly newsletter), to get you started! Before you know it, the words with easily begin to flow.
#7 – Eat right. What we put into our mouths is the foundation of our physical and spiritual selves. Take care of yourself like the jewel you are; eat more fruits and vegetables and less fat, sugar, processed foods, and caffeine.
While you’re showering affection on those you love this month, don’t forget to give yourself a healthy dose of love. You’re definitely worth it and it is only then that you will have the energy, enthusiasm, and power you need to be and give all you can for yourself and others.
The Soul Sisters