my top 5 ways to show self love {and change your life}

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{If you missed my last post on my adjustment to motherhood resulting in a lack of self love, you can find it here.}

I accidentally bumped my head on an open cabinet yesterday while looking for something and now my forehead  has a little red square spot on it and it hurts. And I was thinking about it (as I sit here touching the same spot on my forehead) that maybe self love is the same thing as getting smacked in the head.

Everything seems fine until something hits us in the face that something isn't right.

For me it is in the form of bald spots. (If you haven’t read about that, please, feel free to bask in my baldness here and here and here and here.) 

Being a mom is by far the greatest privilege I've ever had and I constantly feel like my heart is walking outside of my body - but it's made me seriously slack in the self love department.

So! Here are some ways I've recently shown my self some love (feel free to chime in and comment anytime)

1. Meal prepping.

I feel like this word is SO DAUNTING so I like to call it "What I'm so stoked about eating this week." You’re probably thinking, 'girl, I can’t even spare the time to make a piece of toast why are you talkin’ to me about meal prepping’? Because FRIEND, take it from a girl who drank hot cocoa all day for months until I lost my hair, meal prepping is life changing. I used to do it faithfully before becoming a mama, but fell out of practice. 

It's so easy to forget to feed ourselves well - but my method for meal prepping is maybe a little more approachable. It's intuitive. I think about what I really want to eat the next week and I plan a few days at a time, and reserve only a few items for the whole week. (Like for example, "items for the whole week" include: chopped carrots + hard boiled eggs + sweet potato. I make/buy 1 salad dressing + hummus + yogurt dip and I use it all week. Whereas marinated chicken, is for 1 dinner and 2 lunches. Buttered brown rice is used wherever I need it, herbs are ways to refresh left overs + for dressings etc. Then I pick a couple recipes I cannot wait to make for dinner and dive in on that day.)

I still shop for produce, make tons of scrambled eggs + seeded toast and green protein smoothies and still eat out at reasonably-priced places a few times a week. (I also still eat dessert like, no question.) I plan on sharing loads more about this soon because it's important and I'm crazy passionate about it. Eating is so so so good. 

2. Meditation. 

I know. You’ve probably heard me talk about this before but it is the gosh dang truth. Meditation and the simple practice of re-focusing and breathing deeply gives me greater clarity, purpose and productivity than I ever could have imagined. I use headspace. 1. Because I have a thing for British accents, 2. The animations are fantastic + informative and 3. It covers every topic from stress, to pregnancy to self confidence to productivity to cooking.

It's like a meditation guru in my pocket and it's amaze. I've even meditated at the airport you guys. Like with people looking at me sometimes and everything. It's officially a part of my life. 

3. Eye cream.

Yup. I know. You probably totally already do this. Or maybe you don’t need eye cream. But investing in a few good clean products for your FACE can make you feel like a new woman. This is a new discovery for me. Like can we talk real quick about how I have the worst crinkle-smile lines around my eyes now that I’ve entered my 30’s? It’s humbling. I miss being in my 20’s and every day I want to say I'm 27. I kept avoiding spending a little more money on good stuff because I’d allocate my money elsewhere, but now I really see the value in a little self pampering. Also, I wear make up + do my hair every day. Every. DAY.  I can't tell you how good it makes me feel. 

4. Get rid of things that don’t make you feel good.

Clothes, food, shoes, books.… Clean out the crap. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long in life to embrace that fact that just because I liked something once, or just because something FIT once, doesn’t mean I need to still hold on to it, especially if it’s the clothing item I NEVER EVER grab anymore. My hips have changed since giving birth and some stuff just doesn’t quite fit the same and when I wear it I feel ugly. So why am I holding on to it? Because it has feelings? ANYWAY. I’ve learned this brilliant practice from the book “The Magic of Tidying Up” - and you’ll laugh but truly this has helped me get rid of so much stuff - I thank the piece of clothing, or book or whatever it is for being a part of my life and then get rid of it. Having that attitude of gratitude is everything. I feel happy to give something away because I acknowledged that item’s purpose and now feel good about giving it up to someone else.

5. Affirmations.

This might be the most important one to me. I mean, go crazy with these. Affirmations are writing down positive things that you repeat to yourself. For me, they also contain my craziest wildest dreams, pats on the back for being "an amazing" mom and wife and reminding myself of my talents. I love that I am forcing myself to say positive things about myself first thing in the morning that no one else has to hear. My whole day changes when the sun rises and my productivity and optimism go way up. I never knew how many discouraging, disheartening things I'd say inside my head until I forced myself to write affirmations. Do it. I cannot stress the importance of positive thinking enough. 

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Bonus ways to boost your soul:

Yoga. My little sister is now a certified yoga instructor and I couldn’t be more proud. Seeing her dive into yoga has made my heart burst with happiness and also embrace the importance of a good stretch and slowing down to feel your body move.
 

Dark chocolate. It really does help reduce stress and boost our endorphins because: antioxidants. But. Drinking 10 cups of hot chocolate a day is probs not the best thing for you. Take it from the expert. Just sayin'.  
 

Getting a professional massage. No explanation needed but ask for recommendations. 
 

Going to bed early. Honestly this has changed my life. I no longer try to work or be productive every night but just go to bed. It's as easy and as hard as that. 


Date night, party of one. But really you know what I LOVE doing but haven’t done by myself in forever? Getting lost in the cookbook section at my local bookstore. Like, I miss that. Recently I took some time to do just this and walked away feeling so inspired. (Thank you husband for watching our boy). 

Get spiritual. I don't know what you believe in, but trusting in God brings so much more peace to my soul than I could ever achieve by myself. I feel so different when I get on my knees and ask God for help or pour out my greatest dreams and struggles to Him.

Listening/ reading a good book + podcast. This practice saved me when I was going through postpartum depression. Plus I am obsessed with learning. So listening to good stuff really keeps me on my toes and sane. For me it's kinda like eating every day. If I'm not listening or learning something, I feel out of it.

Please feel free to share your favorite ways to show self love! I'd love to hear them. So much love to you. xo