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Day 5 - Self Love

Ok so today the book says its time to commit. To self love, to ourselves. And this commitment is to be life long - no pressure -big commitment! But before you run screaming in the opposite direction, repelled by the mere thought of the overwhelm of that, considering we are quite literally stuck with ourselves for life maybe this is in fact the best and most important commitment we will ever make?

Firstly I'm glad it says not to ignore the nagging doubts, the "well it might be possible for other people - but really? - what have I got to love myself for?" It recognises that actually the real strength is in realising they are there but ploughing on past with the positive affirmations instead - read back to yesterday if you need a little help with that!

It then asks to acknowledge 3 key areas that need some self-loving improvement.

For me it immediately jumps out one key area is my relationship with time - I constantly feel the need to be active, making things happen and actually this weekend is prime example - tucked up in bed poorly and I still struggle to sit still, even though I know I need to rest up and get well to be able to be and show up as the best version of myself. Instead I spent ages yesterday working on the computer and wondered why I felt rather exhausted at the end of the day as a result! So today time and self love need to be my top priority.

How can I be more self-loving in my relationship with time? Sheepishly I think it's rather obvious really - listen to what my body needs, if that happens to be an afternoon cat nap sometimes- great, if it suddenly needs a 10k run also great (I feel the latter is slightly less likely - but you never know!)

How else can I improve my relationship with time? As a self-employed person I am working on my need to spend my time in a "useful" productive way all the time and it would do me good to remember to schedule in the down time for myself too - its ok to have an afternoon or weekend of nothing work-related every now and then. I read once productivity is actually improved the more breaks you give yourself - I know this to be true - yet sometimes I plough on expecting to drive the best out of myself when I am already on my knees. Does this sound familiar?

Lastly I could actually review how much I put on my to do list everyday - instead of about 20 items which would involve some serious multi-tasking, I could limit it to a more realistic 4/5 that allow me to feel I am more productive and making headway with my time without falling in to overwhelm. I may be the queen of multi-tasking but actually mindfully working would be a much healthier way of getting things done and being present whilst I do. Also having recently read "eat that frog" it is perhaps most important to eat the biggest frog first, and make sure my to do list has the 4/5 most important, most valid tasks on it to progress me most efficiently and effectively towards what I want, rather than spending all day doing lots of little things that at the end of the day have had very little overall impact.

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ” – M. Scott Peck

(Wise words Mr Peck - I love a quote to really hammer home a point and be part of my mantra!)

Ok so now - draw up our vows! Yes I did say vows - to ourselves, similar to marriage vows, so we cement our commitment to ourselves and this challenge of self love.

Well mine certainly need to include

I promise to be loving towards myself at all times! - not just when I'm celebrating my worthiness and successes when I've achieved something - but even when I'm tucked up in bed ignoring the alarm and deciding today is the perfect day to hibernate and avoid the world.

I promise to listen to myself, my mind and body and what it needs and feel my way forward with self love.

I promise to believe in myself and my worth at all times! (very similar to the first - think they go hand in hand really but it jars - which means it needs to be done!!)

What promises do you want to make to yourself? Or rather what promises feel hard to make to yourself? - sometimes those are the ones we really need to make!

If it feels ever so slightly daft and rather daunting, think - well if someone else were to write them for you - what would you want them to write? If someone else were to send you this little life line in vows what would you want them to be?!

Have you identified your own struggles and bad habits with self love?

If someone were to save you from these bad habits with self love what would you need them to write in your vows for you?

Once written make these promises to yourself and put them somewhere you remember to look at them so you can stay true to them. Good luck until tomorrow and much love! It seems being more self loving has actually started giving me a greater capacity for love for everyone! Who knew how important starting with the self can be?! So I'll leave you today with this quote...

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”

Parker Palmer

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