The power of (self) Love.
At this most romantic time of the year, where love is on display everywhere, for many it’s filled with chocolates and flowers, prosecco and passion. Today is “the” day to shower our beloved with cards and kisses. We focus on our true love, reminding the that they hold a deep and irreplaceable place in our heart.
Around 110 million Valentine’s roses are sold 2-3 days leading up to February 14th, mostly red of course. Out of those 110 million, 73% are purchased by men and only 27% are purchased by women.
Valentine’s day is the second biggest “event” of the calendar year following Christmas. It has been estimated that the UK will spend around £880 million on valentine’s day. Averaging that men will spend a staggering £611 million while women will spend around £269 on their partners!
All in the name of LOVE!
How do you show that one person how much they mean to you? (other than buying them chocolates and roses!)
I would guess these include:
- speaking kindly and lovingly to them
- investing time and energy, so they feel nurtured, nourished and treasured
- listening to their needs and do your best to see they are fulfilled
- remembering what they care about and showing them you know with your actions
Am I right?
Here’s the thing, even for those who don’t have that someone special, I would like to say you do!
I believe every person has one true love. And finding ‘the one’ changes everything.
But how many realise that the one true love, that life altering person, is that person the mirror.
Your one true love is…. You.
Today is all about love. But I’m referring to Self love. And how prioritising it – You – can and will change your world.
Self-love is the most life-altering love you will know.
I hear over and over how stressed, stretched, tired, no actually the word is often exhausted, or shattered, women are. Infact we all are. The thing that sets the genders apart in my experience is that women still put themselves and their own needs down the list of priorities.
So much time is given to taking care of everyone else, and juggling all of the various roles and responsibilities – mum, wife, business owner, bread winner, daughter, friend, home-creator, house-co-ordinato – sometimes they don’t even make it on the list!
Today I’d like to encourage you to consider how you feel.
What words come to mind?
On top of the stressed, stretched and tired I hear overwhelmed, worried, overweight, wrinkly and more and more, lonely.
My heart breaks.
Do you know that it is estimated that the global Personal Care, Beauty & Anti-Aging Industry now equals $1,083b
Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss “insudstry” equals $702b
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) first measured the wellness economy in the 2014 with its Global Wellness Economy Monitor. It estimates that since that time, the wellness economy grew from $3.4 trillion to $4.2 trillion, or by 5.8% annually. This growth rate is over five times as fast as global economic growth (1.1% annually) from 2013-2017.
So in a world that is more connected than ever before, people are more focussed on looks and the pursuit of the “perfect and pretty” life per what is displayed on the online world. And in the media. We’re told who to be, what to think, what’s right and what is acceptable; what ‘perfect’ is and that we all need to aspire to it. Each day I am witness to the devastating affects on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
In a world that feeds and then profits from your insecurities – let us change things from today!
This Valentine’s Day – and every day thereafter – I encourage you to be a rebel and find ways to love, honour and cherish yourself! Let today be the starting point to taking kind, mindful and loving care of you.
I invite you to make this February 14th Self-Valentine’s Day.
Health and happiness is not merely about eating optimally and exercising regularly. It is dependent on creating connections of the heart, feeding your soul, nurturing the spirit. It’s about fulfilling ambitions. And being very gentle with ourselves. Where we humans continually ignore our own needs, our spirits shrink. Our soul loses its energy. When we ignore ourselves, sadness creeps in. We get sick. I see it regularly in women who are “doing it all” and yet nothing for them. “I don’t matter” appears in various way in their life. How we treat ourselves is often how the world treats us.
The saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is something to hold close. You cannot give and give and give and do nothing to nourish and nurture yourself. It’s a recipe for ill-health.
Sadly, self-care is looked upon as indulgent and almost selfish in our world. Tsk. Tsk.
Well, here I am, as ever, encouraging you to ditch this paradigm.
You know how you feel when you spend time doing something you absolutely love. Whether that’s knitting, running, sewing, baking, going to the movies with a friend or fuelling your passion with research/study. Whatever it is that lights you up and makes time stand still… That thing where, at the end, you feel lighter and brighter, more optimistic and well, just, happier.
You smile more easily and things, even for only a short while, feel more ‘right’ than they were.
THAT is self-love.
And you need to bring it back into your world.
Self-love is a life changer. It’s the thing that will liberate you from any baggage dragging around behind you. It will release you from negative patterns. It will elevate your goals and aspirations so that you light up again. It will put that sparkle back into your eyes and show you that dancing in the rain is the only way!
So, let’s look at self-love for novices! 😉
What is the most basic step you can take to get back your glow?”
1/ EVERY SINGLE DAY, DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOUR HEART SING ~ MARCIA WIEDER
Sounds simple. And it can be.
Doing things that make you happy is the highest form of self-care.
So start by grabbing a pen and paper and think about those things you love to do. Remember what you once did that made you laugh and smile, filled your soul with sunshine and write them all down. Some may no longer be possible, so find alternatives. Some will be possible so find a way to go back to them. Include then in your world again.
Prioritise things that YOU love.
This is about YOU! The real you.
I ask, What. Do. You. Love?
For example, I love nothing more that starting my day before the household is awake, pouring a cuppa and sipping it in the still of the start of the day. It’s so quiet. In the warmer months I have a sunny spot from which I adore watching the sun rise. In winter my morning cuppa is enjoyed snuggled in a favourite chair under my favourite blanket. Either way I find 15 minutes just for me, in the still of the morning and it is calming and relaxing. I truly love it. I get to clear my mind and breathe before the ‘busy’ sets in.
See? It can be really simple.
Honouring you is about reconnecting with those things that make you exhale fully and see the joy in the world. It’s calming, nurturing and rejuvenating.
What makes your heart sing? What’s missing? Now is the right time to bring it back into your world.
2/ FIND THE FUN
Remember the young child, stomping through puddles in wellies, rather than grumbling about the rain, having a wonderful time, laughing with pure delight.
Life can be a very serious thing. Which is why it is even more vital that you give time to throw off the worries and embrace simple pleasures. In finding the fun in your world, you can break the cycle of “the daily grind” that can chip away at energy and block out the sunlight.
Finding the fun is about remembering simple pleasures. If you are presented with opportunities to pause and laugh or stay serious and consider the consequences, choose the former.
This ‘find the fun’ is about letting go a little and finding ways to not take life – and every little detail in it – quite so seriously.
If life is to be joyous there must find opportunities for your soul to shine and laughter is the music of our soul. So ‘fun’ is the stuff of life!
As a mum I have caught myself too concerned about dirty clothes rather than enjoying puddles and piles of leaves with happy abandon and joined in the muddy fun! I have been overly concerned with a mess in the kitchen rather than delighting in the developing culinary skills of my daughter, so joined in, understanding that a bit of mess is actually creating lasting and precious memories. I have been too focussed on my freshly styled hair to truly enjoy the wind in it and the amazing beauty of a wind-swept beach or whizzing down a windy road in a convertible, so wound down the windows and/or run along the shore enjoying the clean sea air!
These things are priceless. They are the important things after-all.
It’s time to pause and re-visit childhood activities like roller skating (no, don’t laugh!), skipping (great for the heart too!), reading comics, watching a favourite movie, finding and dancing like a maniac to a favourite song. Having fun is a great way to renew and recharge your spirit. And remind you of the good in your world. Vitamin F must be taken daily. It will elevate your mood, lighten your load, re-energise your spirit, recharge your soul. It is the epitome of self-care.
3/ Get Connected
In this always-on age and hundreds of “friends”, never before has society been so disconnected and individuals so isolated. And it’s a danger to our health.
In a study by Cigna Health Care, Douglas Nemecek, MD, Cigna’s chief medical officer for behavioural health, said the findings of the study suggest that the problem (loneliness) has reached “epidemic” proportions, rivalling the risks posed by tobacco and the nation’s ever-expanding waistline. “Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.”
Loneliness does not depend on how many friends or relationships you have. Loneliness depends entirely on the subjective quality of your relationships—on whether you feel emotionally and/or socially disconnected from those around you.
As a health and confidence coach you might be surprised how often I suggest “book coffee dates” as a way of supporting my clients to reclaim health, confidence and happiness.
Like never before it is imperative that time is given for healthy, strong social connections.
We are social beings – in the sense that we have evolved from within a network of people and connections, building strong emotional bonds and sharing and caring for one another.
Making the time to be “with” a person, is now of vital importance or in my opinion we lose some very basic abilities including creating lasting and meaningful connections, lack communication skills and we risk ignoring core needs that are fulfilled when we spend time with our tribe.
So, who do you love but haven’t spoke with in ages? Who is it that when you spend chatting and sharing and putting the world to right with, you walk away from feeling happier and more balanced? When was the last time you enjoyed a cuppa with a friend, shared a meal with a favourite group of people or gave yourself the chance to recharge your soul with the energy of connections of the heart?
Why not now?
Pick up the phone, make a call, book a date and keep it. This day, this month and this year make a promise to reconnect with people you love but don’t see often enough. Your 2020 will be so much better for it. YOU will be so much happier and healthier for it.
Like anything else you prioritise, make and commit to time to recharge your batteries and nourish your soul. Put it in your diary. It really is that simple.
You matter too.
If you must start small, write in ‘an appointment for self’ into your diary – a half hour walk or a scheduled break to clear your head, reading time, create a ‘calm corner’ where you schedule your own timeout!
It can be as simple as enjoying a bath – and don’t tell me you don’t have time!
I challenge you to shush that repetitive ‘no time’ patter and see that even at full-stretch you’d find time for a friend in need.
That friend is now you.
Make. Time. For. You.
When we take the time to renew and replenish ourselves, our capacity to give, grows.
Making time each day, or at minimum each week, for yourself and your own needs is not selfish. It actually allows you to show up as the very best version of yourself. It’s vital, fundamental, to ensure you are the very best you can be.
So in reality, in neglecting your own needs by NOT nourishing, nurturing, honouring and loving YOU, it is actually an act that is not only self-limiting, and opens you up to sadness and illness, it is robbing all those around you of the most magnificent version of you.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Happy Self-Valentine’s Day.
This month if you would like a copy of my Self Care Secrets Guide, simply leave your details and I’ll send it through to you. Beyond that, please then promise to take steps to put you back on the list of your priorities. 😉
Transform Your Life For Real!
I provide stressed, (often silently) sick and stuck Executives & Entrepreneurs knowledge and tools to re-calibrate and create clarity, calm confidence and control, a body they adore and the energy to embrace and chase their dreams. When they work with me, they have the know-how to transform a life of “fine” so they Live, Look and Feel Fabulous.
If you would like to book a chat, please email me directly or leave a message here https://simonegilbert.com/contact-me/