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Play is an important part of self care.

We were taught as children that it was important to share and to think of other peoples feelings. We got the message early on that we needed to think about the impact of what we were doing on other people.

We learned that we needed to play nice.

We learned to tie our shoes, recite the alphabet, say “please”and “thank you”.

What we didn’t learn was how to care for ourselves. Sure we learned that we needed to eat our greens, brush our teeth and wash regularly.

But we didn’t learn how to nurture ourselves. We didn’t learn the importance of our feelings. In fact we  may have been told to stop crying because we  weren’t really hurt when actually, we were really hurt. Maybe we weren’t bleeding but our pride had been hurt or we felt foolish or embarrassed or we just needed a good cry.

So we did learn how to shut our feelings down or maybe we learned that we need to sedate those feelings with food ( or when we are older with drugs, sex, alcohol or mindless television).

What if we started nurturing ourselves? What would it look like to put ourselves first? Our wants and need?

What if we started saying “No”when we didn’t want to do something instead of saying “Yes”and then trying to think up ways of getting out of it?

What if we valued our time so we stopped wasting it on mindless activities; constantly updating facebook, scrolling through our emails, posting endless pics on Instagram of food we are about to eat?

Even little things that we do everyday that don’t seem to mean much can have a huge impact on honoring and valuing yourself. Danielle LaPorte wrote this beautiful piece on making the most of your body and one tip hit me: I stocked up on face cloths and use a clean face cloth every night. Fresh and luxy… and better for your skin. Now that is not a big deal, using a fresh face cloth every night
 ( in her case) but I decided that I would make that one small change and see if it made a difference.

It did.

I felt better about myself from the time I got up in the morning until I went to bed at night. I made more of an effort in other areas of my life. I stuck to commitments I made to myself. All from changing one small habit.

10 Tips to Honor Yourself  More

(1) Clean out your underwear drawer
Its a simple thing but it has a huge impact. Well it does for us girls anyway. Throw out all your ratty old underwear – we all have them. They might have been your favorites once but now they are just old and a bit grotty so bin them. then get yourself some lovely new knickers and bras.

When it comes to bras please, please, please get fitted for one. Too many woman are wearing the wrong size bra so if you haven’t been fitted for a while you are probably one of them. Nothing makes a woman feel hotter or sexier than matching bra and panties.

(2) Dress for success

Everyday, no matter how you are feeling or what you are doing dress up. Now I work at home and it would be really easy to just lounge about in my pj’s all day but everyday I get up and dress like I am off somewhere important. No track pants for this girl. It makes me feel special and important ( and my husband loves it – so that’s a bonus!)

Knowing that you look good makes you feel good too and takes no more effort than slipping into trackpants and a sloppy jumper so choose something pretty instead.

(3) Set an intention

Decide that you are worth more; more time, more effort, more love, just more. Set an intention to start honoring yourself more. Write it down. Put it somewhere that you will read it daily and make sure to read it daily.
“Today I will honor myself by exercising.

“Today I will honor myself by making healthy food choices.

“Today I will honor myself by taking time out to meditate.”

 (4) Keep your commitments to yourself
Often we will decide that our diet starts tomorrow or we will exercise for 30 minutes each day or we will give up smoking or start going to the gym but instead we choose the opposite. We decide that it’s too cold to exercise today or we haven’t got time to go to the gym but we have time to waste on Facebook or playing a game on Xbox.
The reason is because we don’t values our relationship with ourselves. If we made a commitment to our best friend to meet up for coffee we would but it’s just too easy to cut ourselves some slack and so we do.Over and over and over again.

Now I want you to value your commitments to yourself.

(5) Create a Sacred Space
Bringing the element of scared space into your home helps you to feel balanced and restored when you come home. You can either create an altar somewhere in your home or make your bedroom a sacred sanctuary ( or both). I have an altar in my walk in wardrobe so that when I am getting ready for my day I can pause and reflect on the things that are important to me.

An altar is just a space that you place a collection of items. You may want crystals, candles, pictures of deities or anything that represents the sacred to you. Each day take a couple of minutes to state your intention at your altar, light a candle and ask your higher power for blessings throughout your day. Incense is also nice as when you return at the end of the day the lingering scent reminds you of your commitment to honoring yourself.

(6) Surround yourself with beauty

Take time to acknowledge the everyday beauty around you; sounds of the birds singing, flowers that are growing, clouds in the sky, whatever form of beauty that you see everyday.

I love to have fresh flowers in my home and it always lifts my spirits to notice them throughout my day. Flowering plants in the home just seem to bring the place to life. I am carefully cultivating my phalenopsis orchids at present and cannot wait until the bids burst forth in bloom. Seeing those buds make my heart sing every day.

Beauty lifts our souls and feeds our spirit so make your home as beautiful as possible. Eliminate or reduce clutter and get rid of any thing that is broken and hasn’t been repaired. If it has been languishing waiting for repair for longer than three months chances are pretty high that you don’t actually need or want it – throw it out!

(7) Love your body
 Keep it well hydrated. Your body is 50 -60% water and it needs lots of it to function well. Water flushes toxins from the body, helps your brain to function optimally and keeps all your cells juicy and plump.

Eat the most nourishing, healthful food you can find. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in the whole rainbow of colors! What you eat today literally becomes the body you have tomorrow.
Moisturise your body from the inside out be eating good quality fats such as  organic butter, coconut oil, avocados, salmon,chia seeds and hemp seeds. All of these contain the right kind of fats for your body.

 (8) Speak kindly to yourself and about yourself

Words have immense power. Don’t believe me?  Say out loud “I have cancer”. I bet you anything you like you don’t want to say it because you don’t want to put that energy out into  the world. Your thoughts about yourself carry that same energy, whether you say them out loud or not.

If you are having a bad day be extra careful with the things that you are telling yourself as you can lead yourself into a downward spiral of negativity very quickly.

Instead keep repeating over and over “I am doing the best that I can.”and watch how your energy shifts. Imagine that you are talking to the younger you and let her know that you are looking out for her.

Pat yourself on the back regularly and celebrate all the steps that you take that are moving you in the direction that you want to go in.

(9) Take time to be still and quiet

Spending time quieting your mind at the beginning or end of a busy day helps your body to relax and unwind. If you do it first thing in the morning it allows you to ease into the day with a greater sense of calm. If you do it at the end of the day it helps you let go of all that has happened throughout the day and unwind ready for sleep.

We tend to surround ourselves with noise and distraction but the reality is we need quiet and solitude to help us reconnect to ourselves, to hear what our internal dialog is saying. Meditation doesn’t need to be long or complicated. In fact five minutes of meditation; following your breath in and out will quiet the mind enough for you to receive some benefit.

A few restorative yoga poses at the end of the day helps kick the parasympathetic nervous system into gear so we relax and let go.

(10) Keep a journal

Making it a daily habit to write down five things you are grateful for, three things you value about yourself and anything that you are proud of yourself for. The simple act of writing things down helps reinforce them into our memories and also makes us pause and think about the quality of our day.

There you have it 10 reasons to start honoring yourself and practising more self care. Which one are you going to try first?

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