Loving yourself has nothing to do with being narcissistic or self absorbed. Loving yourself has a lot to do with getting to know yourself better, value your unique qualities, learn not to compare, and push beyond limiting beliefs that have often been thrust upon us growing up or through life experiences.
I know practicing self love can be daunting. Often we are raised with a mindset of that we shouldn’t pay much attention to ourselves but always be there for others. While being there for others and showing compassion plays an important role in life, not having learned to love ourselves, cherish ourselves and value ourselves is a common thread in the life stories of so many. So here are a few routines and tips that have proven very helpful for me on my journey towards getting better with ‘Self Love’.
Set the Tone for the Day
Set the tone for the day by develop a calming and grounding self care routine in the morning (see example). You may want to incorporate breathing exercises, meditation or movement exercises. Cherish the time you spend with yourself and for yourself. Enjoy creating an inner resource of strength you can draw on throughout the day by starting your day feeling grounded and balanced.
Taking time for self care = self love
Great essential oil choices to accompany a morning routine:
Frankincense, Sandalwood, Balance Blend, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Heart & Soul Blend, Lavender, Rosemary
Nourish Body & Mind
Another form of self love is nourishing your body with good food and all the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids your body and BRAIN need. Yes, it’s not just our body that needs those wonderful nutrients, our brain and emotions are very much influenced by how we nourish our body (read “The Brain Mood Nutrient Connection”). Take some time to put together your meal plan for the week. After your beautiful morning routine with some “me” time, reward yourself with a yummy smoothie or shake, packed with everything your body and mind need.
Great choices for nourishing body and brain:
LLV supplement, protein shake, greens, Turmeric (love to add that to my morning smoothie), Probiotic
Music & Movement
Moving your body to music can help boost self love. Put on some tunes that uplift your soul and spirits, move your body, dance, sway, exercise to music, whatever feels natural and comfortable. Create little breaks throughout the day and simply move to your favorite music.
Great choices for supporting your routine:
Cypress, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Wild Orange – use a single oil or mix and match
Hugging & Affirmations
Have you ever hugged yourself? It might be a strange concept at first but it actually feels really good. Especially when living during a time where social distancing is necessary. Try it! Cross your arms, hug your shoulders and just hold tight for minute and repeat a self love affirmation while doing it. Here a few sweet affirmations:
I am enough.
I am grateful for being me.
I am worthy of love and joy.
Affirmations can become very powerful tools. Especially when we are able to “hook” them into a repetitive task we perform several times a day. Find a positive affirmation that speaks to your heart and repeat it every time you brush your teeth or wash your hands (for the entire duration of the task). Hook it in and stay consistent.
Great essential oil choices to support self love affirmations:
Neroli, Bergamot, Rose, Jasmine, Geranium, Ylang Ylang
Choose words wisely, not just the words you speak out aloud but pay attention to how you “talk” to yourself and about yourself. Don’t say anything to yourself you wouldn’t say to your very best friend. Be encouraging and try to replace “negative” words with “positive” alternatives. This may not seem easy at first and may take some practice but it is very effective and powerful in shaping a more positive self image. Instead of saying “It’s too complicated” say “I’ll try a different approach”. Instead of saying “it won’t work out” say “I will try my best to make it work”. Try and put a positive spin on your words and add some humor if you can. Let’s say you are struggling with an issue, instead of saying “that’s a problem” say “I’ll have to get creative with this one”. We don’t become optimists over night but by paying attention to our self talk and consistent practice of using more positive words, we can lesson self criticism, become more self accepting and self loving.
Great choices to support positivity:
Bergamot, Orange, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Clary Sage, Cardamom, Cypress, Basil
Let go of comparing yourself to others. We are all unique. Your unique qualities are what make you “YOU” – a beautiful human being inside and out. Cherish that thought. Learn to cherish everything about yourself. Practice gratitude for all your gifts and focus on your personal strengths. Try and increase self awareness and when you catch yourself comparing, imagine a big red STOP sign. Turn your focus on all the things you do have, all the things you can be grateful for. We tend to compare to what we “see” and tend to “inflate” that but are not aware of someone else’s struggle, illness, life challenges “within”. So don’t compare, turn towards being grateful for the blessings life has given you.
Great oils to help “let go” of tendency to compare:
Combine Bergamot or Neroli with Cypress or Black Spruce
Surround yourself with people who love, support and encourage you. Let go of toxic relationships and be mindful of who you reach out to when you need loving support. Some people are good at listening, some people can show compassion. Some people simply don’t. Recognize that they are not trying to be mean but it is just not one of their strong qualities. When you need loving supporting, make sure you reach out to someone you know is compassionate and a good listener and will support and uplift you.
Great oils to boost awareness:
Clary Sage, Frankincense, Rosemary, Peppermint, Lemon
Be Proud of Yourself
Be proud of your achievements, no matter how big or small. Reward yourself. Praise yourself. It is an important part of practicing self love. You don’t need the approval of others. Don’t even look for the approval of others. Praising ourselves and feeling gratitude is all we need to boost our self confidence. Perhaps take an opportunity to do something outside your comfort zone! Praise yourself for even trying and should you succeed, enjoy the amazing feeling that you’ve done something you thought you couldn’t do before. If you make a mistake, see it simply as a learning experience and that you’ve gotten smarter and stronger because of it. Even something negative can become something very positive, it just depends on how we look at it.
Great oils to boost courage and confidence:
Bergamot, Jasmine, Cypress, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Black Spruce, Cassia, Cinnamon, Lavender
Sometimes life, friends, family, work and life situations can drain us and make us feel like we don’t have any time left for self care. Learning when to say no and expressing limits is an important step in setting boundaries that are healthy for our own personal growth. Boundaries also help us feel less stressed, less drained or resentful. Important is that we are clear and direct in communicating our boundaries, honoring our own feelings and needs.
Great oils to help express boundaries:
Vetiver, Frankincense, Clove, Bergamot, Rosemary, Juniper Berry
Free Your Mind
An hour or so before bedtime it feels good to write down thoughts, anything that has been occupying the mind during the day. Once we write those thoughts down, it frees the mind from having to think about them. This simple routine can make us feel like a weight was lifted off our shoulders and can also help clarify things. It may help us process emotions better and allows us to perhaps look at a very emotional situation more rational or from a different angle. Writing is a form of release which also supports a better night’s sleep.
Great essential oils to inhale while writing down thoughts:
Rosemary, Vetiver, Frankincense, Lemon, Cypress, Black Spruce
Revisit a Good Place
When having a bad day or a negative experience or encounter, it can be very helpful to find a quiet place, close your eyes and revisit a time and place in your life where you felt happy, peaceful, positive, and resilient. Try and remember it using all your senses – smell, sensation of your skin, sounds, light surrounding you. For me it’s standing on my skis going downhill, feeling the cold wind on my face, the sound of the snow below my skis, the sun reflecting on the snow crystals, feeling eternally free and happy. Find your place and go to it while breathing in a citrus essential oil like Wild Orange, Bergamot or Lemon from the palms of your hands. It will help uplift your spirits and give you renewed energy.
Great essential oils when having a bad day:
Wild Orange, Bergamot, Lemon
Release and Let Go
Try to let go and release negative thoughts, feelings, and attachments that can make you feel stuck. Professional counseling and health practitioners specializing in this area can offer great support with helping us move out of feeling stuck and forward, releasing what no longer serves us. Personally, I’ve had wonderful success using the Forgive Blend which I use daily on my aromatherapy bracelet simply to get past little things that might come up during the day that I don’t want to emotionally get “stuck” with. Forgive helps release and move stagnant energy but I don’t just use it for my daily challenges, I had a major emotional trauma I was dealing with and using this oil blend in combination with taking RIM sessions (regenerating images in memory) I experienced the most wonderful progress. If you are interested in learning more about this, just reach out to me and I’ll be happy to send you more details.
Great oils to support release and letting go:
Forgive Blend, Cypress, Black Spruce, Juniper Berry, Bergamot
Be patient and consistent on your journey to loving yourself more and more. Every change takes time but what we practice daily will become routine and start feeling completely natural.