2017 is flying by and I'm struggling to catch it, sometimes it feels like I'm running of a treadmill and although I'm just about keeping up, the speed is slightly too high and there are moments when my little legs are struggling to carry me forward. I'm currently half way through my external AS exams in Biology and Chemistry: two down, two to go (wish me luck!) and the little friend that is stress keeps popping up at the most inconvenient of times so June is becoming my month of self love. If I've learnt anything this year it's to start caring for yourself and doing things to make you happy (nurture your mind) and healthy (your body is a temple). Note: happiness and health are no one size fits all and what works for you/me/anyone won't always work for someone else.
Self care, self love, self anything is really really difficult. I try to put so much help and energy into other people that I often forget to take time for myself and I don't think that's the best way to go about life because at the end of the day we are all we have and there's only so much someone else can do for you and you can do for them (most things work both ways). Life is a balancing act and I'm a set of scales, on one side it's just me and on the other side it's everyone else.
I've come to the conclusion recently that how we think and how we feel aren't that related. Like correlation isn't necessarily causation. Although my mindset does have a little impact on how I react and feel about things, most of the time I can't really help how I feel it's just a part of me and who I am. For someone else that might mean they feel angry when I feel sad in a certain situation and that is perfectly okay. I learnt in May to accept that's who I am: more emotional than most, but that's okay and it's been another step on the ladder up to more self love, which (as I've said) is what the month of June is going to be.
I, like many people I'm sure, have little things in my life that make me happier and improve how I feel. A key one for myself (and as it seems to be with most bloggers, which is great because it's always nice to find people with something in common) is having a bath or pamper night. Sadly, I haven't been able to run myself a bath recently due to work on our bathroom but good things come to those who wait and I have a whole collection of bath bombs, bubble bars and face masks to use when I can and looking forward to that excites me, as small as it is. Learning to love yourself is one massive journey and I don't know if it can ever been 'completed' but it's definitely worth a try and being happy is most certainly a better feeling than sadness or doubt. I very strongly believe that all the little things we do contribute to how we feel overall and although somethings are totally out of control accepting other things leads to more love for ourselves. When we have more love for ourselves I also think we develop more love for the world, something that is very much needed at the moment.
I find I work best when I set myself little targets and goals or things to look forward to. That's when I get things done and see results in all areas of my life. I'm going to apply that logic this month and have set myself three little goals which will, hopefully, lead to more happy feelings and therefore more love and positivity for and within myself.
1 - EAT. Sounds small but for me it's not just going to be about how much I eat but also what I eat. Fruit and vegetables, of course, are an essential. My friend did, in fact, inform me today that Bananas aid in happiness levels (she's doing A Level Psychology - smart cookie!) and I've done a little bit of reading on it. The Vitamin B6 level in bananas aids with the synthesis (making) of serotonin (which some researchers believe is a chemical for mood balance). So I'm going to be eating a few more bananas!
2 - SLEEP. Again, seems basic but is important. Some research suggests that we have a decreased ability to regulate anger and other negative feelings so I'm going to catch some zzzz's.
3 - TIME. Spending time with friends and family and time for myself. I'll set days and times when I know I'll be going out to lunch with my mates or watching a film with my sister or simply having an hour to myself to have a bath!
I would love to know what you do to show yourself self love in the comments below.
much love, Em xo
A few sources I used throughout this post: