16 May 2016

Self-Love Energy Hour


As another day rolls into view and the daily grind of life cranks up its' engine once again, take a moment to step in front of the mirror and tell me what you see as the sun shines through and dances across the mirrored reflection? Is it a figure that shines alongside the sun and her rays in a balanced connection to themselves and the world? A figure of emotional, mental and spiritual peace? A figure that is treated with compassionate self love whose nourished in all ways to flourish? 

Didn't think so.



Life is a bit of a free-for-all rat-race and in-between the focus upon expectations, goals, achievements, victories, schedules and deadlines, even the thought showing some love and attention to mind, body and soul becomes a perpetual lurker on your abundant to-do list. You may feel that paying attention to the reflection staring back at you is a self-indulgent reward that you are unworthy of enjoying. Truth is you absolutely are worthy of self-love. Just like we all are. Looking after yourself in whatever way makes y-o-u feel good is as essential to living a healthy life as drinking water is to keeping hydrated. 



Managing and juggling relationships, jobs, money and health is a struggle I know. Life is busy and remembering to look after yourself is easily forgotten and swept under the carpet. Yet forgetting to pay a little bit of attention to the vessel that carries you can only lead to the fire inside burning out. You may feel indestructible and fearless but eventually you'll find yourself battered and bruised by physical exhaustion and battling a mental fog that'll only leave you in mindless suffering.



Giving yourself a bit of love, care and attention will help to lift that heavy fog a little and *newsflash* you're worthy of love, worthy of attention and worthy of making yourself a priority. So with that in mind, let me introduce you to the concept of the 'Self-love Energy hour'. This isn't a completely revolutionary life-haul test but a simple hour out of your daily 24 hours dedicated entirely to y-o-u and improving your wellbeing and relationship with the world. 
Now before I introduce you to the energy hour components, I want to ease the disappointment that this 60 minutes does not include a happy hour of alcohol, mischief and naughty shenanigans....that comes after!



So in honour of mental health awareness week, why not give this energy hour a cheeky shot and see what it can do for you in revolutionising your mindset, refreshing your relationship with yourself and creating a more positive mood and motivation for improving your well-being! By dedicating some time every day to y-o-u; whether that be focused on your mind, body or soul, you'll succeed in rejuvenating your energy, learning new skills, appreciating your worth, focusing on the present moment and giving yourself a bit more well-earned happiness! If anything, by giving yourself an hour to yourself and investing in your needs, even if the rest of your day feels like one unproductive mess of a non-starter then you can go to sleep in the knowledge that you achieved a little but mighty win in showing some self-love! What's there to lose?


Make A Deal With Self-Love

Taking the time to look after yourself and do the things and activities that make your heart smile and put that wiggle back into your step can be tricky but do you ever walk away feeling worse off? Didn't think so. The important thing to remember with committing to the self-love power hour is that self-care isn't something you can nail the once and then wipe off your to-do list. 

To really reap the benefits, it requires you to keep at it - doing something to benefit yourself each and every day so that the notion of being kind to yourself becomes a habitual and rewarding activity. Regularly including a bit of self-care into your daily routine helps to soothe and rebalance your mind, body and soul and reinforces the truth in your worth. Investing in self-care and showing some love to where it is needed strengthens your mindset, resolve and ensures you are living at your optimum potential! 



For this self-love power hour to be fulfilling and worthwhile, take a look at the treasure chest of ideas below and mix n'match the activities that you find fun, exciting and leave you feeling 100% alive!



Start with baby steps or jump right into the deep end (go hard or go home, eh?)...do what makes you most comfortable but just remember to actually s-t-a-r-t. No stopping, no stalling - do this for y-o-u! 


Self-love for the Mind

  • Be Selfish: do something every single day entirely just for you.
  • Get nerdy: take time out to exercise your brain with some sudoko, get wordy with some word searches or embrace your inner child with whacking out a jigsaw.
  • Grab your colouring pencils! Colouring is a fabulous way to relax, switch off and silence your racing mind.
  • Journal: Scribbling down the meddling thoughts swimming around in that head of yours helps to mute their negativity and tune down the burden they have on the rest of your day. View it as a way of taking all the unhelpful thoughts of your head and literately dumping them onto paper to play games with the paper and not your emotions. 

  • Pick up a book: Escaping into the story, shenanigans and world of a fictional character allows you to detach from your own racing thoughts and helps to ease any anxiety and tension that has built up throughout the day. 
  • Learn a new skill: The world is your absolute oyster here! From learning a new language, jewellery-making, archery, art-journalling to face-painting and pottery, putting your head and your heart into learning something new is truly rewarding and shows you just how much potential you have as an individual.
  • Change the way you make decisions: We often respond to offers and questions on an auto-pilot function to what feels most comfortable and easy. Why not try something different by paying attention to how you usually respond and then doing the opposite. Usually the one to always say "No, not this time?" Flip it, twist it and turn it around and become the one that's always willing to try something different!
  • De-clutter and Clear out: Having a mini spring clean in certain areas of your life can do wonders for your emotional and mental stability. Have a blitz of your wardrobe ready to fill it with some summer goodies, clear out your kitchen pantry of built-up impulse buys or simply have a social media cull of mindless follows, friends and numbers. Ridding yourself of physical clutter has a magical effect of ridding your mind of burdening emotional clutter too!
  • Embrace your inner kid: Life can be far too serious and restrictive at times. By consistently trying to be mature, ordered and in control, we miss out on a whole bundle of fun, opportunity and spontaneous adventure. Let your hair down and have a feel-good goof around for five minutes every day. Investing in some childish "play" reconnects you with the wider world and grounds your perspective in seeing beyond your directed and controlled life plan.


Self-love for the Body

  • Plan a simple daily bedtime routine to ensure you get plenty of zzzz's to wake up refreshed.
  • Move and stretch your limbs with Pilates.
  • Retrain your breathing and silence your mind with Yoga.
  • A light, short walk just before breakfast or just before you sit down to dinner will help wake up your senses and balance your mindset for the day.
  • Swing your hips & giggle: Whack on some music and let loose for a feel-good boogie.

  • Close your eyes and sit still for 5 minutes and focus your attention on how your body feels. This body scan activity can help calm any agitation residing in your muscles and extremities.
  • Show some love by having a self-care evening by sorting out the basics - cut, file and paint your nails, shave and moisturise your legs, put on a face mask or have a bubbly bath soak with a magazine, some good beats and an icy glass of vino.
  • Nourish your body to flourish: Your body is an empty vessel and needs the essential fuels to ensure it runs at its optimum power and potential. Your body is a sensitive and powerful tool so treat it with kindness, love and attention and it will reward you with life and opportunity.
  • Have a good chuckle - laughing is such an underrated asset to a healthy well-being. Having a good old laugh either by yourself or with others instantly makes you feel lighter, brighter and that little bit more optimistic. Time to log into Youtube!



Self-love for the Soul

  • Invest in others: Do something kind for someone else such as opening the door for someone struggling with their bags, buying a coffee for the next person who nips into costa or simply smiling at a passer-by. Whatever it is, big or small, the simple act of doing something nice for someone else for no other reason or benefit than being nice can revolutionise your day and theirs. When you make others feel good about themselves, you in turn also end up feeling pretty damn special too!
  • Listen to your favourite music. Music has a profound effect upon our moods and temperament and every person reacts differently to different tempos. Find what works for you and what makes you feel more uplifted and ensure that you pop it on to play in the background as your run your errands.
  • Take a look at TED-talks. These videos are empowering nuggets of life advice, guidance and spiritual direction which can help to amp up your dwindling motivation and oomph for life. 

  • Check in with your emotions. Take five minutes each day to sit still and connect with how you're really feeling beneath your daily composure. Dig around and try to pinpoint the underlying emotion. Name it without judgement and then simply let it go. Don't dwell, don't ridicule or ruminate. That feeling has come, that feeling is there and that feeling will go. 
  • Splurge a little! Life is meant to be enjoyed so don't deprive yourself of niceties for "another time and place". We all need a treat from time to time so be kind to yourself and go after what it is you want - whether that be a nice dinner out at a restaurant, that handbag you've been eyeing for weeks or simply getting the quilted and branded toilet roll as opposed to sainsbury's basics. Allowing yourself a treat or fancy is a way of valuing yourself and reaffirming that you are entirely worthy of being happy. 
  • Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Whether it be big or small, simple or complex, connecting to others and asking for help shows your strength and glory as an individual. Help is never a sign of weakness - remember that.
  • Collect the positive compliments. A lot of us find it difficult to accept any positive form of compliment that we receive but actually trying to process and remember these positives to nurture our soul and esteem, we let them go in one ear and straight out the other. Get yourself a lovely book or journal and keep note of each and every compliment you receive or give - no matter how big, small or insignificant that may seem in the moment. Re-reading the list will open your eyes to how closed off our patience and attention becomes when we get caught in a negative tornado. There is a lot out there to be grateful for and a lot to smile at. Give yourself the chance to open your eyes.


Over to you now beautiful! Just like we have the choice to self-destruct and see the negative, we also have the choice to treat ourselves with love and grace and reward ourselves with a happier existence. Which one sounds more fulfilling?




Join me on the Self-Love Energy Hour challenge by implementing these small and costless self-care ideas every day this week and watch how our lives change for the better! Which one will you start first?

Love, Sarah

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[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterest]

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