The Month for Focus & Love.
It might still be pretty cold outside but as I write this, there is a white blanket of snow that’s fallen and a stream of sunshine is just about to blaze through the windows. It feels warm, light and comforting which lead me to write this post dedicating it to focus and love.
It may seem cliche to write about love in February seeing as its Valentines, but bear with. I’m not talking about the mushy love – I’ll save that for my boyfriends V-Day card.
In the same sentence though, I’m not a cynic. And whilst I don’t tend to celebrate V-Day, it does remind us to say ‘I love you’ to our nearest and dearest. We don’t say it nearly enough, so next time you see a friend or a family member, why not let them know just how much they mean to you.
And whilst we are on the subject of love, I want to also extend this to self-love. A buzz-phrase at the moment, but we all need it.
Self-love is highly linked to our feelings of self-worth. So let me ask you this, do you think you are a worthy person? Are you worthy of your love? Or another’s love and time?
If we don’t first of all believe that we are enough, how can anyone else?
I’m super super skeptical of writing and saying that aloud because it’s definitely something I struggle with a lot. Feelings of self-doubt, self worth and I’m quite a self-conscious person. BUT, I’m trying to have more faith in my abilities.
I have always liked to measure my ‘worthiness’ against concrete things. Results, grades, numbers… But what I’m learning the older I get is that our worth is based on so much more than that. (We’ll come back to the numbers bit shortly.)
Some days it might not be the case that I get everything I want done. But if there are some ticks and crosses on my to-do-list, that’s enough. Maybe it’s that I’m learning to FINALLY take a chill pill, or maybe I’m just a lot more content with my life. Every day is a worthy day. We each have the ability to make it a great one, so let’s vow to do just that.
There is no one-size fits all solution to increasing your feelings of self-love, but I wanted to share a few that I personally find helpful.
1. Write down what you LOVE to do.
What genuinely brings you pure joy and happiness? Have a think and write it down.
Now I NEVER thought I’d be able to get on board with this one trust me. But since reading ‘Just Eat It’ I’ve started keeping one. If anything, it’s a log for you. You decide what goes it in.
Another thing I’ve always thought was a bit lofty but now I’m appreciating the value. In my kitchen, I have a few posters on my notice board. One says ‘I strive for progress not perfection’. The other says ‘All bodies are beautiful’ – you get the idea. They’re purposely pinned there because I have to walk past the board every morning, and every morning I take note of them.
4. Treat yourself.
I’ve started getting monthly manicures – a gift from me to me. An indulgent one sure, but its 45 minutes of me time. I don’t justify it to myself or anyone else, I make the appointment and then I go. It sounds silly, but when I look down at my hands and my nails are neatly painted, it makes me smile because it’s something I’ve done for myself.
There are so many ways that can help with increasing self-with and self-love, find ways that work for you and keep doing them. I’ve written another post here about alternative self-care tips and tricks.
And before I sign off, I want to take you back to the part where I started to discuss numbers. In particular, measuring success by numbers. Immediately when I say that out loud, I think of numbers on the scale. And whilst it’s not necessarily right, it’s also not wrong. This is something I’ve learnt from the amazing book that is ‘Just Eat It’. If you’ve not read it, I really recommend you do (full review here).
It’s not just a book about overcoming an eating disorder or disordered eating. It’s a refreshing way to look at how ‘diet culture’ has been ingrained into our brains. The more you read, the more you realise it really has.
Diets teach us that there is a right or wrong way to eat and this extends to whether our food choices are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ which in turn, dictates how we feel about ourselves. Vicious circle right?
These rules, regulations and restrictions govern our thoughts and put us into categories of ‘successful’ or ‘failure’ based on how we get on with said diet. Basically, how much weight did we manage to lose.
Which is why I feel comfortable writing this and admitting that I only felt success when the numbers went down because (at that time) I needed and wanted it to be as low as possible. That was how I measured my success.
I don’t allow that to be the case anymore. Which is why I’ve labelled the theme of this post as focus and love.
February has been about improving my relationship with food, re-finding my love of food again and finding more love for myself.
I hope your February has been filled with all kinds of love and happiness, shared with others and extended to yourself.
P.S if you’re after a yummy love themed treat, try these Vegan Jammie Dodgers – guilt free of course.