You know what today is. The day we share lots of cards, hugs and chocolates to celebrate the universal language of love. Valentine’s Day. While I’m passing around flavored kisses, I can’t forget there’s someone who wants to know if I will let her love me. Myself. If there’s anyone I need to extend tenderness to, it’s me.
Here are 10 things I do to love on myself (and refuse to feel guilty about doing them):
1. Sleep – There’s a reason I put this first, because if I don’t get my required sleep, which for me is like 9-10 hours a night, then after about 2 days I turn into The Hulk. I scream, throw things, and mow everyone down in my path, so I look at it as doing my family a favor when I take a nap. When my kids were small, 4 hours was about all I could expect, but I quickly found out the dishes and laundry would still be waiting for me when I got back from my nap. So even now, if I need to take a nap, I take one.
2. Forgive Myself – This is a very difficult thing, but I’m learning to forgive myself for gaining the weight and then never losing it, for losing it with my kids, for keeping a messy house, for not doing the things I said I would do, and for doing the things I said I would never do. I forgive myself.
3. Trust Myself – When it came to my emotions, I always believed they were NOT something I could trust, but in reality they were, so now I take time to listen and trust what I feel going on inside of me.
4. Speak kindly to myself – I would never say to my children, “You idiot”! Yet, over and over, I’d say cruel and mean things about myself. It feels weird and uncomfortable, but I’m practicing speaking/thinking only kindness towards myself. I sing Bruno Mars’s song, Girl You’re Amazing, to myself all the time. 🙂
5. Do Something I Love Everyday – For years, I played the martyr that I never was able to have time for myself, so I’d punish everyone around me because I was completely empty. Now, even if it means just a cup of coffee in my favorite chair with no interruptions, then that’s what I say 132 times to my little ones, “Mommy is having mommy time, please do not interrupt me”.
6. Time Out – This is what I need when I realize my top is about to blow. You know, when the kids are wild at bedtime and you’re done. I used to just keep going until I blew my top and then I’d sink under the guilt of losing control. Now, I don’t care how much it seems like I’m needed, if I need a time out, then I take one. Awhile back, Matt was gone, and I was about to blow, with all the energy I had left I announced that I was going to bed and all my kids (2-7) could put themselves to bed. And would you believe it, they all helped each other brush their teeth, get on pjs and went to bed. While I slept.
7. Daydream – The delight of my soul is to dream bigger than myself. I love letting my heart wonder to the far off places that I used to roam as a little girl.
8. Dress Up – What better way to love on yourself than to dress up before walking out the door?
9. Let God Love Me – There’s nothing more that God wants than to be with me. I’m learning to let him.
10. Get Away – By myself, with my besties, or with my husband. Whatever time I need away to fill my tank, I take. For so long, I made excuses why I couldn’t make it happen, and I found that so much of my life was empty of rest and recreation. Getting away doesn’t seem so important until the day comes that you may lose everything you love. I’ve learned not to make excuses anymore, so I’ll call everyone in my contact list before I miss a date night (so if I have your phone number, I may be calling you).
What are you doing to love yourself?
Happy Valentine’s Day!