5 Tips + Tricks for Self-Love
A flower doesn't wait for someone to witness it's bloom... it will bloom regardless.
1. ABHYANGA: Physical Touch
Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that involves self-oil massage. Applying oil externally is fabulous for your skin. It keeps it soft, strong, and feeds the microflora living on your skin!
Abhyanga is great for increasing circulation, warmth, tissue tonification, organ stimulation, and relaxation.
Most importantly, it allows us the opportunity to come into positive contact with our physical body. It opens the doors for us to experience self-love and nourishment through one of our most primal senses – touch.
Oils Per Dosha
Vata: Sesame Oil
Pitta: Sunflower or Safflower Oil
Kapha: Mustard Seed Oil
It's simple: grab some oil (warm it up for the crème de la crème of Abhyanga). Start with your feet and work your way up to your neck. Really massage into the tissue and places that seldom get attention, circulation, or stimulation!
There is no wrong way to do this folks, just give it a go.
2. Create a routine: Hold yourself to a healthy standard
Routine: a sequence of action you regularly follow.
What time of the day can you proclaim to yourself? Carve it into stone... same time, place, location, and practices. For most people, this time is in the wee hours of the morning or right before bedtime. Allow yourself time for reflection, exploration, and expression.
Create a routine, in Ayurveda, we call this Dinacharya. Read my article on the Ayurvedic Approach to Anxiery: Dinacharya for a list of 9 practices to incorporate into your day.
My Favorite Practices
Lemon Water or Tea
20 min Reading
Stretching / light yoga practice
List 5 things to be grateful for
Write out your To-Do List… (this is something I suggest for all the Pitta busybodies out there...")
Let it be known, guilting yourself for forgetting these practices/not having enough time is counter-intuitive. Release yourself of all expectation and attachment, especially when trying this for the first time… it takes at least ~7-18 days to build a habit.
3. Be a lil’ Selfish: Say 'NO'!
Instead of appeasing the wishes and requests of absolutely everyone around you, try throwing out a “no” for a change. This action can be incredibly daunting for some – and for those of you thinking, “yes, indeed..” well, you are the first up!
Manipulating yourself into self-guilt is a bad habit… and the time to break it is now. This takes legitimate work and intention. It takes ~30 days to break a habit. Stay patient and persistent.
As humans have evolved the past ten thousand years, our ability to process information a zillion ways has further affected our ability to make impressively deep connections. Although this evolutionary process has allowed us the opportunity for reflection, it has also thrown some of us into a negative feedback cycle of, “If I don’t do this, this person will think that.” Or “If I decide to do this, I am at the will of judgment from so-and-so”.
My greatest life hack: Do Good. Be Well… and go about your day.
You HAVE to serve yourself, or you will not survive... at the end of the day, you have to put your own oxygen mask on before anyone else's.
4. Blind Date with Yourself
If you are type A, this may involve physically scheduling ‘you’ time in your calendar… if you are type B, these moments may come happenstance.
Regardless, it is time you start to pull the layers of yourself back and head on a bit deeper. Whether this involves taking a walk at the nearby metro park or cooking a lavish dinner for yourself – it is essential to let yourself operate outside the considerations of others. Furthermore, it is essential for you to create a healthy relationship with spending meaningful time alone. Tweak the situation to elicit the experience you're looking for.
If you need more joy, throw on some samba music and shake your hips as you prepare yourself dinner.
If you need more reflection, play a contemplative podcast or guided meditation as you take a gander through the park.
If you need more creativity, grab your DIY dream book, a glass of wine, and craft the evening away.
GOAL: pick a quality or characteristic you would like to bring to life in yourself, and center an activity / slice of time around it with the intention of actually doing it.
Consider, and further ask yourself, ‘what are you longing for?’ ‘What do you need?’ And most importantly, ‘how the hell can you make it happen?’
5. Do Something that Scares You
One of my best friend’s once told me advice she was giving to her husband, and it has stuck with me ever since.
“Do something EVERY day that scares you.” I have spent many nights journaling on this concept. ‘Do something that scares you?”Well, you might be like me and think… ‘well, if you induce stress into your nervous system, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol – which are inherently inflammatory chemicals. And you want me to do this every day..? That doesn’t sound like a good idea…"
Alright – I took it literally at first. Let’s go ahead and bench the physiological approach for a hot second.
Let’s dive into a well-established buzzword: PASSION.
Do you have it? Where does it live? How can you make your dreams of becoming a flight attendant, or a brave friend come to fruition? Often, with the elevation of our dreams comes the unavoidable fear of failure?
The question here, my friends…
Is your fear of failure greater than your desire to grow?
If so, maybe re-evaluate your path and what gives you ‘purpose’.
The moral here: You are the only one accountable for your ability to grow and develop into a newly groomed version of yourself. Each day, challenge yourself to act, think, communicate in a way that challenges the living hell out of you. Manifest the situation and JUST GO FOR IT.
Do not coast through your relationships, profession, and life experiences “wishing” things could have rolled out differently.
Hold yourself accountable for your happiness and MAKE MOVES!