Struck with a strong surge of emotions when I entered my private spa room; Love and of Acceptance hit me like a wave when I stepped inside. You see, to be honest, I struggle with self care. I put others first before me every time. And while that is not a bad thing at times, when it's done day-in and day-out it can become relentless and difficult. 

Because really, I am neglecting myself when I do that. Then those times when I do focus on my self care, I meet myself with judgement.  So, rather than feeling selfish, I ignore my needs and set them aside. And when I inevitably feel unsatisfied, unloved, un-adored, not taken care of, and exhausted, all my other tasks become harder than they should be; which is stressful and it's a never ending cycle that feeds on itself. 

Where there is Love, there is no question.
— unknown

This year I decided I wanted my word to be Love. I want to feel more love toward myself, give more love to others (which ironically can't happen without loving oneself - logically I know this) and in general feel more of the joy, fulfillment, laughter, healing and all the other things Love brings. 

So I've asked nearly everyone I know to hold me accountable to making self-care and loving myself a priority. We're not even a few weeks into 2016 and I've charged along in my old habits (setting ridiculously high expectations and deadlines for myself, taking care of everyone around me but me, etc.), have had at least one melt-down, and have had my covers pulled on my shenanigans more than once by those around me that I respect to keep me on my intended path. 

Trying to change decades of habits is going to take some work! Especially when those habits have had really great positive outcomes for me in the past. But I am game to see how much Love can enter my life this year. 

So here are my 5 strategies around how to start really making self-care a priority and to start loving yourself more. I’ll share them with you, but know that these are my own experiment. I may not even end up using all of these, but I will experiment to find out what works. I’d love to know what strategies work for you! Please comment and let me know (you made it this far in reading, why not?)

  • Know up front, this is not going to be perfect. Allow yourself to make mistakes, often!
  • Be curious about what works and what doesn’t. Curiosity doesn’t have room for judgement - grateful for that!
  • Schedule the self care - like don’t leave blank spots in the calendar - you know you’ll fill them with old habits. Schedule the spa time, walk in nature, meditation, cooking, taking a bath - whatever you need to take care of yourself.
  • Journal to be mindful of old habits - this one is tricky as they’ve probably become subconscious by this point. So reviewing my day in a journal may help me become mindful of my old habits, help me notice them in the moment so I may be empowered to choose something different
  • Double or triple initial deadlines - Yeah I set ridiculous deadlines for myself. So I’m now going to try doubling or tripling my initial estimates. Just to allow the rest of life to get it the way - it always does.