When you’re being kind, considerate, compassionate and giving of yourself, your soul will rejoice. You’ve reached the highest level of self-love in this state of serving others. And even though it is good karma to be kind to others, sometimes we forget to include ourselves in the mix. Being kind to yourself is NOT selfish – in fact, it’s entirely selfless because when you feel good, you are more inclined to help others feel good as well. When I’m teaching yoga, I often reflect on this quote from Buddha: If your practice of compassion doesn’t include yourself, then it is incomplete. Find ways to do small and large things to appreciate those kind and generous souls that not only add abundance to their lives but your life as well. By practicing conscious acts of kindness and giving, you can spread the love while also adding positivity to your life. Over time, you’ll realize that the only person who is responsible for your happiness and positive outlook on life is YOU. Sure, people can ADD to our contentment but don’t ever allow yourself to think that you need someone to make you feel complete. You’re complete… all on your own.
Learn to embrace solitude and allow yourself to be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about yourself. Here are some tips to help you fall in love with yourself all over again, every single day:
1. Begin your day with love (not technology).
Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Enfold yourself in the light. Saturate your being in love. Avoid social media and looking at your emails on your phone or computer for the first 30 minutes after waking. We may not realize it, but exposing yourself to gossip or work-related emails in the morning is one of the biggest triggers of anxiety, which can last for hours or even the whole day.
2. Wake up early – mornings should never be a mad dash.
Up until a year ago, I would hit the snooze button at least three times before actually getting up. At the time, I thought I was giving myself 15 minutes of extra sleep, but what I didn’t realize was that I was actually creating chaos for the rest of my day by rushing through my morning routine. My new morning routine now consists of:
- Making my bed (my grandparents always say that making your bed “sets the tone for your day.” My 6-year-old self would roll my eyes at this statement, but my 28-year-old self is extremely grateful for them instilling this habit in me.
- A 15-minute yoga practice full of sun salutations and anxiety-reducing poses.
- Drinking warm water with lemon to help hydrate my body and boost my metabolism.
- A long, relaxing hot shower. Hey, you already did a mini workout this morning, you deserve it!
- My daily skincare routine and applying some light make-up and lipstick. I try to keep this routine as minimal as possible: just cleanse, treat, hydrate and go.
One of my favorite go-to products is the Probiotic HydraGlow Cream Oil. Not only does it hydrate my skin, but it’s also a great make-up base and it gives my skin a nice luminosity which lasts all day.
3. Talk yourself happy.
Use affirmations to train your mind to become more positive. One of my teachers suggested putting a wrist band or rubber-band on your right wrist. When you’re participating in self-criticism, move the band to your left wrist, when you’re practicing self-love, the band can remain on the right wrist. Another great technique? Write down something that you love about yourself on a post-it note and stick it to your mirror or your fridge. Every time you see that note, say the words out loud. This will help you re-affirm what a beautiful soul you are each and every day.
4. Expand your interests.
Try something new. Learn a language. Take a yoga class. Plan a trip to a location you have never been to before. Do things you haven’t done before. Discover healthy foods that are good for you. Turn off technology for a day and spend time doing things that make you feel alive. You have a right to an awesome life and it’s up to you to make it happen. Embrace that power.
5. Live in appreciation.
Make it a goal to live in gratitude every day. A great way to train your mind to love yourself on a daily basis is through repeating positive affirmations to yourself. I have a friend that writes things like, “you’re beautiful” and “you’re awesome” on her mirror with lipstick, so when she gets ready for the day, she is able to SEE those words and really embrace them. Don’t want to deal with a mess? Write encouraging words on post-it notes and stick them on your mirror or throughout your house so you can have reminders of how amazing you are throughout the day. Remember to appreciate your talents, beauty and quirkiness. Love your imperfectly perfect self.
6. Be guided by your intuition.
At the risk of sounding cliché, I’m going to tell you that all answers come from within. Look f
or signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. In my yoga classes, I often bring up the fact that we hear two inner voices when we are decision-making. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with a quieter voice. Nothing positive will ever come out of choosing your ego over doing what is right by YOU and by OTHERS.
7. Do what honors and respects you.
Don’t participate in activities that bring you down. Don’t allow toxic people in your life. In a perfect world, every person would practice love, gratitude, and acceptance – but the reality is, we do not live in a perfect world and we will undoubtedly come across people that take away from your life more than they add to it. The best you can do is to try to love everyone, but be discerning on who you allow into your life.
8. Take time for yourself.
Most of us lead pretty hectic lives no matter our age. Maybe you’re stressed out about your grades at school or that project that has been hanging over your head like a dark cloud at work. Or maybe your stress is more about your personal life – you’re worried about being the best parent you can be or how you can contribute more to your relationships with your partner, family or your friends. Whatever you’re struggling with, please stop being so hard on yourself. Take at least 5 minutes each day to reflect and relax. This is the purpose of Savasana (corpse pose) in yoga practice – to give ourselves a break and to just do nothing. Referring back to first paragraph in this article, you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. Be compassionate towards yourself and to your loved ones.
9. Remember to breathe.
Even if you feel like you are having the worst day of your life, remember that everything happens for a reason. The universe will never throw a challenge at you that you can’t handle. If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, just remember to breathe. When we’re feeling stressed or enveloped in anxiety, we tend to take short, shallow breaths that either make us feel more stressed – or worse, cause us to hyperventilate. In yoga, we utilize different forms of pranayama (yogic breathing) that can help us cope with anything that is ailing us physically and/or mentally. One of my favorite breathing techniques is Adham Pranayama (abdominal breathing) to help stabilize my mood and calm my mind. Another added bonus? You can practice this breathing technique ANYWHERE – even while you’re sitting at your desk at work. How to do it: Place one of your palms on your belly and inhale for a count of 4, feel your belly expand, and then exhale for a count of four. After a minute, try to increase the lengths of your exhales by one count. For example, breathe in for a count of four, then exhale for a count of five. Keep lengthening your exhales by one count each minute, but do not increase your exhalation to more than eight counts.
10. When in doubt, practice a self-love meditation or journal encouraging words.
You can come up with affirmations to say to yourself or write down. Self-help author, Rhonda Byrne, created a challenge for her readers to fill in the blanks of this sentence every day in their journal: “I am truly blessed to have ____________________________, because __________________.” Or, if you prefer meditation, you can use the script I created below…
I am at peace with myself. I appreciate who I am. I value myself as a person. All people have value, and I am a valuable human being. I deserve to relax. I deserve to be happy. I embrace my happy feelings, and enjoy being content. I imagine and believe that all of these affirmations are true for me, right now in this moment, and enjoy the self-love I am experiencing. When my mood is low, I accept my emotions and recognize that the low mood will pass, and I will be happy again. I look forward to the good times. My future is bright and positive. I look forward to the future, and I enjoy the present. I look fondly upon many memories from my past. I accept myself. I care for myself. I take time for myself and enjoy it. I deserve time for myself, and I feel good about taking this time regularly. I handle difficulties with grace. I allow myself to experience and express emotions, both negative and positive. I am perfectly all right just the way I am. I am a valuable human being. I feel confident. I feel secure. I accept and love myself.
Life can be incredibly hectic, but it is important that we remember to care for ourselves. I hope that this list has provided you with some useful information, and self-care rituals that can help you glow from the inside. I encourage you to also take a moment to browse Glowbiotic's products to flow from the outside.