In an earlier blog, I mentioned that I take time out for myself. Taking time out to enjoy our own company is therapeutic and refreshing. When we allow ourselves time alone to rejuvenate, we can offer a better version of ourselves to others.
I wanted to share with you some of the things I do for myself...when I hit rock bottom in 2010 (a time when I was laid off, ended my relationship, my house was robbed, and I had to take my cousin to court for hurting my kids), I knew I didn't want to dwell in that negativity caused by unfortunate events happening in my life. So I submersed myself in reading and then I got into painting my nails.
Painting my nails sounds so trivial but that small act really made a huge impact on me. It felt like a form of meditation. For 10+ minutes, I was able to focus on making my hands look nice verses what was happening around me. It forced me to pay attention to something other than the events that were unfolding. Also, I was doing something that made me look more "polished" which every time I looked at my hands, I felt good.
For those 10 minutes, I'd focus on filing the shape of my nails, cleaning my cuticles, and polishing (which was my favorite part). If you don't like color, swipe a clear coat on top. The act of polishing really makes you stay focused...
Painting my nails also made me appreciate my hands. At one point, I took 5 minutes just staring at my hands and appreciating them for the care and love they have provided to my kids. I looked at my hands and gave thanks for their ability to feed, clean, clothe, and caress my kids. We so often forget that our hands are very valuable and take them for granted. Take time to appreciate them and treat them to something nice, like a manicure.
I recently fell in love with Bikram Yoga. That is a great gift I give myself. It takes 90 minutes of my day, but I owe myself at least 90 minutes. We all owe ourselves some time. I've tried almost every activity there is from spin (which I also enjoy) to Zumba (which I didn't care too much for). Bikram by far is my favorite because of the way it makes me feel in class and out of class. So find something you can connect with and discipline yourself to make a commitment to yourself to stay active. Tell yourself you are worth a healthy mind and body because you are.
Like I said earlier, I also read a lot of books. At that time, I read a lot of spiritual books which uplifted me. I needed a lot of positive reinforcement and found them in the books I chose. Recently, I just found out about audio books, and that is the best thing ever. I'm able to do other things around the house while I listen. Also, when I find myself really tired and trying to wind down, I just play my audio book while I lay in bed. There's a sleeper option so you can set it accordingly. What we chose to fill in our lives really determines our mindset. I chose not to watch the news because of all the negativity in it, and I RARELY watch scary movies. These things don't work for me so I eliminated them. See what works and doesn't work for you and edit these external sources in your life. Every one is different, be respectful of that and understand what works for you may not work for them and that is okay. You may like to watch the news. That's great! It's your life so live it the best way that allows you to offer a better version of yourself.
Another indulgence I allow myself are face masks. There's just something that makes me feel good when I do things that help me look better. I look forward to days where I just want to take care of myself even if for just 5 minutes. I also have lunch or dinner by myself. Its actually nice to sit there alone and have your meal. You're more focused on how your food tastes and the alone time outside your home really is refreshing. I don't pull out my phone because I don't want the distraction. I like to cherish the moment and savor it. Movies is another good option of spending alone time. But for me, I tend to fall asleep in theaters. So that isn't really a good option for me. Be creative when you do something for yourself. It doesn't have to be such a grand gesture, it's actually those small gestures that make a large impact. Like for me, it was painting my nails. And with that, I learned how to appreciate my hands. Doing something positive for yourself can only allow more gratitude which in return, the Universe will respond to your appreciation and gratitude and offer more ideas and opportunities on how to create self-love.
A little about me...
I'm learning how to look at everything with love, even if it seems impossible, like rush hour traffic. I want to share my journey of self-love so that others may want to emulate and pass it on into the universe. Ohh...and sometimes people call me Suzie.