By Angela Simson, The Gratitude Project
I love that the words ‘self love’, or ‘selfish’ are no longer being used as a negative in my mind. Being selfish, in a way that doesn’t take away from others, is crucial to me and my happiness.
But I wasn’t always like this. I used to people please my way through life.
‘No’ wasn’t a word I used often. I would sacrifice rest, my free time, things that made me happy to please and serve others. Now? I come first. And the result? I’m serving and helping more people than I ever thought I could, my family is happier and more fulfilled than EVER and most importantly to me – I feel at peace with how I act, never looking for validation and always acting from a place of self-love.
“But how?” I hear you ask. It all starts with awareness and action. If you’re aware that you’re like I was, always putting everyone else ahead of you, it’s time for you to take action. And I’m going to show you five super simple ways you can get started!
1 // GET ENOUGH SLEEP
I can’t stress this enough and I’m sure you’ve heard me say it before. Sleep is so important. Wind down your night by putting your phone and computer away. Don’t fall asleep checking Instagram. (I’m guilty so I’m just saying!) Sleep is essential to your health. Get enough. Start tonight.
2 // PREPARE MORE MEALS
If you cook, you are going to pay attention to what you are eating. It’s difficult to feel nourished if you’re constantly eating take out meals with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Just start really simple, get into the kitchen and commit to making a healthy breakfast smoothie each morning. You can get so many delicious ideas from this site and eventually start making your own variations. Or check out these recipes for some simple ideas!
3 // SCHEDULE YOUR TIME
I use my virtual calendar to structure my time so I have freedom. Sounds like a mixed message but when I’m organised, I have more time for what’s important to me. I colour code my iCal so that I can look over it and see if there is too much blue (work) and not enough green (self-care). I can make sure that there is lots of purple (time with friends and family) and a good amount of red (exercise and movement). This gives me the freedom to know that I’m not neglecting any important areas of my life. Give it a try!
4 // PUT YOUR HAPPINESS FIRST
This part is always the one we resist. Because so many of us put our happiness down to what we have and what life looks like. Start by focusing on what it feels like. Do you feel good going to the gym in the morning? If not, would a beach walk with a friend fulfil you in a more effective way? Do you feel happy when you’re spending time with certain people? If yes, see them more! Don’t wait for something to happen or stop happening for your happiness to begin. You only have this moment, use it!
5 // REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE AMAZING
Yes, YOU! You’re an incredible miracle that is here for a very good reason. There is no reason that anyone in the world is any more deserving of happiness or love than you are. You are the reflection of how you treat yourself, remember that your health and life aren’t goals, they are constants. Enjoy this one precious life you have been given and nurture yourself.