Because you have to fill your cup before you can fill others.
I was challenged to go on this Self Love Journey by Lana from PrettyBraveMom. As soon as she mentioned it to me I was on-board. I love any excuse to look after myself a little better and something like this, that is an actual structured challenge, works so well for me, as I don't have to think about anything (no Mama has time for that and this way it eliminated any excuses for me to back out.) All I had to do was...just do the task set out for me each day. Easy peasy!
So the challenge was structured in such a way, that each week you concentrate on a different part of self love. Which was really smart because self love is not just about getting your nails and hair done...no, its so much more that just that. So the first week concentrated on The Mind, the next week, The Body and the final week was The Soul. The point of this challenge was just to do something small each day for yourself. It did not have to be elaborate or result in you checking out for hours, because let's be honest as a Mama, who on earth has time for that?! As long as each day you did something that recharged your battery, that's all that mattered. The challenge also gave you a task to do each day, like a suggestion. You could change the tasks and do something more suitable to you and your life style, but I found that I usually followed these suggestions to a tee, as it made my life easier to do so (less thought and less decisions, which suited me just fine).
This is the Journeys breakdown:
Monday- Love letter to yourself
Tuesday- 10 things you are grateful for
Wednesday- Buy yourself flowers
Thursday- Read a book
Friday- Create a vision board
Monday- Have a pamper session
Tuesday- Take a walk in nature
Wednesday- Take a relaxing bubble bath
Friday- Have a home-cooked meal
Monday- Create positive affirmations to live by
Tuesday- Slow down, concentrate on being present and mindful in all you do
Wednesday- 10 Things you love about you
Thursday- Unplug from social media for a day
Below is my journal of each day during this journey
*So, for the first day of the challenge I wrote myself a love letter. In the beginning it was a bit weird and to be honest I felt a little silly. But afterwards when I read over what I wrote to myself, I felt really strong and proud of the woman I am and the things I do as a wife and mother. It was a nice way of reminding myself that I am actually a bad ass!
*On day two I wrote out 10 thinks I am grateful for;
1. My family
2. My daughter
3. The beach
4. My health and health of my loved ones
6. My job and money in the bank
7. My bed
9. Good food
This was just the best reminder on how lucky I am and how many huge blessings I have in my life. When we stop to think about it, there are so many things to be grateful for every single day. No matter how bad things get, there is always something that we can be thankful for.
*On day three I bought myself flowers. Just because. I didn't wait for anyone else to buy them for me. I didn't have a reason. I just did it, because I love flowers and they make me feel happy. Something so small, yet something we can all easily do to brighten our day.
*On the fourth day I sat down and read a book. It can be a book you love and have already read before or a new book, it does not matter. The main thing I think, is to just take some time to sit in silence and dive into an alternate world. This was an easy way for me to take a step out of my busy life and forget all the days problems for a few minutes. It helped me clear my mind and gave me a much needed break. Reading has always been a great stress relief for me and I need to constantly make time to do this. It is good for my mind and my soul.
*On the last day of the first week, I created a vision board (you can find my board on my Pinterest account). I love vision boards and I don't take the time often enough to create them. They are inspiring, fun and help give me a visual goal to achieve. As a creative, visuals and aesthetics are hugely important to my mood and doing this kind of thing really lights up my soul and is super inspiring for me. My board has things like, save more, more family time, more holidays and memories, more healthy options and more just general kicking ass inspiration!
*On the first day, of the second week I had a mini pamper session. We were ment to go out and get a mani and pedi, but too be honest I knew I had a lot on my plate and I knew I would never be able to fit this in. So Me and my Sunshine, sat down at home and did our own manis and pedis instead. Sure it was not the relaxed pamper you get when you go out and have your nails done by a professional. But doing Mommy and Mini matching nails was so much more fun, I created a beautiful new memory with my daughter and my nails looked fab. So it is like a double win!
*On the second day we were ment to take a walk in nature. But once again I knew I could not fit something elaborate in, like to mission to the beach or a trail path. So I simply took a walk in our complex gardens. It was a perfect day. And I walked barefoot on the grass and picked flowers with my Sunshine, it really was such a treat. We both enjoyed it so much and decided to venture out of our own garden way more often from now on.
*On the third day I got to take a nice, long relaxing bubble bath. This is literally one of my most favorite things to do. I do it often. And enjoy every single second of it. I waited for my Sunshine to fall asleep so I would have no interruptions. I filled the bath with bubbles, lit a few candles and soaked till my fingers and toes got wrinkly. Bliss.
*The forth day of the body week, calls for a workout. This is not my best. I know it is good for me. I know it's healthy. But I don't like exercise. I am just not a sporty person, I never have been. Anyway, I decided to go for a run...well fast walk, on the promenade. And to be honest I hated every second of it. I am reeeeeally unfit. So of course I got a stitch. I struggled to breath and was exhausted the whole way. It sucked. But let me tell you once I was done, I felt amazing! I was so proud of myself. I felt like I had just completed Iron Man. ( And the little burn I had in my muscles the next day was also pretty fabulous) There definitely is something to this whole exercise thing.
*On day five, you need to enjoy a home cooked meal. I cook. I enjoy cooking. I am fairly good at it. But when you are a working Mama, with a full time job and a toddler, the last thing you want to do is cook a home-cooked meal from scratch when you get home in the evenings. I try to cook healthy, balanced meals most days but some days it will just be fish fingers and oven fries, or store bought soup, the easier the better. But on this day I cooked a chicken and veg stir-fry. It was super healthy, super tasty and not that much more work than the easy meals I throw together.
*On the first day of the last week, I had to think up positive affirmations to live by.
This was fun as I am a very positive person. I enjoy creating upbeat affirmations to live by and I do find them so helpful in getting me though tough patches. Here are mine for this week, or month, or for as long as I want :)
-I am love, I am kindness, I am joy.
-I believe in my potential.
-My cup is always full, it is always overflowing and I am always grateful.
-I am fierce, there is a fire in my soul.
-Every step I take is forward, even the smallest steps count.
*Day two I concentrated on slowing down and concentrated on being present and mindful in all I did throughout the day. So when I was working I really concentrated on the task at hand, without distraction. And when I got home, I had some fantastic bonding time with my girl without distraction, I didn't cook, we didn't put the TV on, we simply sat and played together. During bath time I soaked, I cleared my mind and just enjoyed the hot water on my skin. It was fabulous. I am now constantly reminding myself to be present and mindful in the moment I am in.
*On the third day of the last week I had to think of 10 Things that I love about about myself. This was fun. See the 10 things I listed below.
-I am fiercely loyal
-I am a fantastic Mama Bear
-I am a really good wife
-I am so strong
-I am creative and smart
-I am kind
-I am honest
-I am organised, neat and motivated
-I am a positive and happy person
-I am a family girl
*On the fourth day of this week, I had to unplug from social media for a day. Guys, I struggled with this. Like big time!! It was actually a bit of a shock and scare to know how dependent I have become on social media. And how I am drawn to it and open it up without even thinking most of the time, just on reflex and out of habit. With this blog and my Instagram account I try to constantly be present and there when people have comments. When they engage, I try to engage and stay in contact with my followers as much as possible. So out of habit I want to check in on Instagram like, aaaaall the time. At work, at home, in the bathroom, while eating lunch, while cooking dinner, while watching a show...like all the time. So I really struggled with this. I did it where I could. I must admit I did have a scroll through once or twice (come on guys, I am only human) For me Instagram and my blog are like my side job, so during the week I am always on there, but on the weekend I normally take a break and don't really post and engage. Because the weekend is my family time. I am, pretty happy with this balance and it seems to work for me.
*On the last day of the Self Love Journey, I meditated. When I was young, the pre-mom me, used to love mediation and self reflection. I was really zen. But when my little Sunshine came along there was no space for zen in my life. My world was turned upside down and it became beautiful, chaos and that was that. But now, because my Sunshine is older, I am finding small gaps in my days to find my zen again. Not for long, maybe 15 minutes here, half an hour there. And these are the perfect little snippets of time for me to meditate and take a step out of the chaos. I really enjoyed clearing my mind and connecting with my body and soul. Meditation is fantastic for me. I really find it beneficial for my stress levels and state of mind.
And just like that, as fast as it started, it was was done. I must say I so enjoyed this challenge and it was not half as difficult as I though it would be. I though I would struggle to find the time to fit something in each day. And I though with the stress of trying to fit it all in, it would have the opposite effect and could leave me more stressed and feeling less of the self love feelings I was hoping to feel. But it was just the opposite. I easily found the time. Even if it was just 15 minutes stolen for myself while Daddy did bath time. Or the hour later I stayed up in the evenings to do something I loved. If there is one thing that I take away from this Journey, is that, it doesn't have to be something big and elaborate, it doesn't have to be hours on hours of doing these tasks to feel the benefits. Even the small 5 minute snippets of self love, help top up that tank. And doing a little something each day helps this become a habit. It makes it easier with each day that passes.
So if you are needing a little boost of self love, if you are feeling a little low or depleted, take this challenge. It will open your mind up to all the quick little things you could and should do to keep your self love tank nice and full.
Let me know what is your favorite go-to Self Love task? I think mine is for sure a good, long, bubble bath and paper session. Oh and also me time with a few friends and a big glass of wine :) Yasssss!
Ps. Please let me know if you are going to try out this Self Love Journey and how you find it. Either comment below or tag me on Insta. Thanks lovelies and happy self loving.
"If you are searching for that one person who will change your life, just take a look in the mirror" - Unknown