February, the Month of Love. This is the time when we traditionally spend extra time and effort telling special people just how much we love them–our husbands or “significant others,” our children, family members and friends. But for women: how often do you tell yourself that you love you?
Loving yourself means giving yourself permission to focus on YOU FIRST.
As women we are raised to think it is selfish or proud to put our own needs before others, that we have to take care of everyone else before we can focus on ourselves. But to generously give of yourself with joy and enthusiasm, first you must be physically and emotionally charged. When you are depleted, you may get resentful about the things you do for others, and you may end up so exhausted that you get sick. It is okay to nurture yourself so you better care for others. In fact, it should be non-negotiable!
Loving yourself means caring for your body, mind and spirit, filling your own cup before you take care of others.
- A healthy body will give you sustained energy and vitality to live at peak performance. Take time for rest, eat right and strengthen your bones and muscles. Your overall health and well-being must be a priority if you are to take care of others in return.
- A healthy mind will give you clarity and keep you focused. If you operate on mental overload, then you will be going in too many directions at once, and you won’t accomplish anything effectively or efficiently. Exercise your brain with creative activities, reading or mind-building games. Spend some time every day in peaceful reflection, allowing yourself some down-time.
- A healthy spirit will give you direction. Spend time in prayer and meditation, seeking wisdom and guidance, shutting your mind down while allowing your inner-self to guide you. Practice being still and listening! Get in touch with your inner desires and dreams.
Loving yourself means recognizing and celebrating the things that make you amazing and unique.
- Spend some time to really examine the things that make you special—your extraordinary skills and gifts, your values, the things that set you apart from others. If you have trouble with this, then ask your family and friends! So often others see things in us that we cannot see.
- Write these things down, and review them often, relishing in the joy that you have so much going for you!
- Accept the wonderful person that you are, including your flaws, and contentment will follow.
- Throw off self-doubt and eliminate self-criticism, allowing yourself to shine! Your light will be a blessing to others, and it will give you a sense of power and self-confidence.
- Recognize the value of your gifts so that you can share them generously and graciously.
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