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Love Thy Self

Love Thy Self

Last month we committed to doing one good thing a month, starting with our neighbours. This month, we take a further step back and think about how we can squeeze in more self-love. 

If you’re wondering where in the ever-expanding world of self-care to begin, we would suggest time. Modern life is a busy one, with social obligations, work and family responsibilities all competing for our time. This is why we think squeezing self-care in to a tight schedule is the ultimate (and necessary) indulgence.

What you do in that time is completely up to you, so long as it nourishes your soul, spirit or heart. There is no single recipe for self-care that will work for everyone so it’s important to listen to your mind and body and do what you need.

If you’re stuck for inspiration we do like the Dutch idea of Niksen which is the art of doing nothing. More specifically, doing things that one might think of as ‘unproductive’, like a crossword puzzle, watching MAFS, meditating or painting by numbers. It’s time to create space in your life for joy, rest and play.

If the thought of dropping everything to do nothing is anxiety-inducing, take a deep breath and relax. We’re all about small steps remember? So in the spirit of playfulness, we’ve collected a few ideas for how you can spend a sliver or chunk of time loving thy self.

1 minute

  • Write down one thing you love about yourself
  • Read an affirmation or quote that you love out loud
  • Give yourself a hug
  • Light your favourite candle or diffuse your favourite essential oil and take a few delicious deep breaths

5 minutes

  • Put your favourite song on and sing or dance like nobody’s watching
  • Lather yourself in your favourite indulgent body oil
  • Get all those worries and anxieties out of your head by writing them all out
  • Cuddle your cat, dog, kids, plants…

10 minutes

  • Sit down with your morning tea or coffee drink it away from your desk, in your favourite cup, with your favourite book!
  • Spend a few extra minutes picking a flattering outfit, styling your hair or nourishing your skin to make you look and feel your best
  • Flick through your old photo albums (online or printed) and reminisce about old memories
  • Phone a friend or family member and have a chat

 30 minutes

  • Take a power nap
  • Sneak in a 30-minute episode of your favourite sitcom or indulge your guilty pleasure with a bite of reality tv
  • Get your energy flowing with a quick walk, yoga session or workout
  • Spend time honing a craft you’ve always wanted to dabble in – knitting, ukulele, DIY skincare, calligraphy…

Lots of time (1 hr or more)

  • Bake or cook something fancy that you would love to eat, just because
  • Take a class and learn something new
  • Create an at-home spa experience by giving yourself a facial, hair treatment and soaking in the bath
  • Spend some time taking in nature
  • Play video games, board games, card games or do a puzzle
  • Get a massage
  • Listen to a podcast and get into an adult colouring book
  • Sit in your favourite chair, park bench or in the backyard and read
  • Watch two movies in a row
  • Set a timer, tell everyone that needs to know that you’re taking time out and do whatever you want!

Some days it will be easier to find time to spare than others – that’s just life. But just remember that whatever you can fit in is all you need to do. The first step is to reframe self-care from ‘selfish’ to ‘must-do’ – this might help making time for it less guilt-ridden. To do good deeds you have to tend to yourself because it’s impossible to fill from an empty cup.

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