On Valentine's Day, most people get super focused on what they can do for their significant other, but I want to throw the reminder out there that it’s important to show ourselves a bit of love too. As a fellow mom, I know all too well that we tend to put ourselves last on the priority list, resulting in feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and exhausted. And when we do finally take time for ourselves, we end up feeling guilty...what's up with that?!
To get us started on the road to prioritizing ourselves, I've put together a list of 7 acts of self love:
Reflect on YOUR needs: Make a list and use this to guide your decisions on whether to take on outside obligations.
Accept help when it is offered: Because I will often get a feeling of "I don't want people to feel like I'm taking advantage of them if I accept their offer," I have started asking them, "Is 'acts of service' your Love Language?" A yes answer tells me that I am actually giving to them by allowing them to give to me.
Take a nap: Let's face it, in order to make more time to complete all of the things that we have taken on, we will often sacrifice sleep which, as we know, ends up doing more harm than good in managing the overwhelm. Even if it's just a 15 min lie down where you don't actually fall asleep, your body will be grateful for that little reset and give you a small boost of energy for a little while.
Journal: Take 20 minutes at the end of the day to record your feelings and impression of how that day went. There are, of course, phone apps that you can do this in and several of them even have templates that can help prompt what to write if, like me, staring at a blank page causes you to draw a blank about what you want to record.
Affirmations: Write love notes to yourself, listing the traits that you are proud of and peek at these for a couple of minutes in the morning each day.
Read for leisure: I know...what's leisure?! But, by this, I mean pick a book that isn't something you're reading for any other reason such as personal development, work, parenting, etc. Pick a fiction book and, like your kids, try to spend 20 minutes a day reading...in fact, read when they're completing their school reading time...the laundry can wait!
Say "I love you!" to yourself: Just like you do when you say goodnight or goodbye to your family members, end your interactions with yourself with this phrase (even if you feel like you don't mean it right then).
If you want to kick things up a notch, you can try something out that is actually part of my 2021 resolution, which is to track the number of times you have sacrificed your own needs for the sake of others over the course of each week. Then, during the following week, make a goal of prioritizing yourself an equivalent number of times. I will be totally up front and share that it is darn hard to switch that mindset of occasionally putting yourself first, but it will be so totally worth it as we become more balanced and better cared for.
I care for you all, so please reach out if you need some reassurance or help! Love to you all!