Not only are we in the midst of the holiday season (which is a busy time for just about everyone), but we’re also entering Mercury retrograde, which means self reflection and hitting the pause button on our always-on-the-move lifestyle is that much more important.
I’ve recently started a ritual self-care practice that has shifted my life in crazy ways. Every Sunday, I set aside at least 3 hours of time for “self love”, which includes a warm bubble bath, journaling, reading whatever I want to, deplugging from social media, and genuinely giving myself the space to slow down, quiet my mind, and reconnect with my truest self.
Here are 5 reasons that setting aside self-care time is so seriously important:
1. It calms you down.
When we’re always on the go, it can be easy to get wrapped up in our list of to do’s and lose sight of the tiny victories we achieve on a day-to-day basis. Practicing self care and setting time aside for yourself allows you the space to deplug and slow down. Meditation, journaling, practicing yoga, shamelessly watching a chick flick alone, plugging in headphones, taking a bath, going for a walk… these are all good ways to tune out the loudness and chaos from our outside lives, and give us the chance to relax in some much needed silence.
2. It’s so much fun!
Truly, I look forward to my Self Love Sundays more than anything else in the week. It’s. Freaking. Awesome. There is a sense of empowerment involved in doing literally anything you want to do for that set amount of time, simply because you can! When you start to design your life in a way like this, it opens you up to living a life that you actually WANT to live. You start to view things from a place of soul-centered creation and purpose driven action, instead of reactivity to what’s happening around you. It’s also a great way to reflect back on your week, and prepare for the week ahead.
3. It reminds us that it’s okay to be alone.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our social lives that we forget what it’s like to just be by ourselves. My job involves talking to people all day long, and I spend most of my time after work around my friends, family and boyfriend, or going to yoga classes. So when I stop to think about it, I basically have zero alone time during the day.
By setting aside a chunk of self-care time each week, you’re allowing yourself to remember that it’s okay to be alone. Challenge yourself to experience what it’s like when you are your only responsibility. What things can you do with that freedom? Take yourself to a movie, go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, go for a stroll through your neighborhood. Start playing with doing things alone to see how it makes you feel, and notice what comes up for you. Are you okay with the solo time, or do you feel out of your comfort zone? What thoughts are going through your head? Are you focused on what everyone else is thinking and doing? Could you pay more attention to what YOU are thinking and doing instead?
4. It adds more balance to your life.
I believe that we need to be comfortable being alone in order to thrive later on in social situations, whether it be at work or in a relationship. I also believe strongly in the idea that you can never be happy with someone (or something) else until you’re happy with yourself first! By allowing yourself that time of self-love and appreciation for all the amazing things you are capable of and all that you’ve achieved, you are reinforcing the natural balance of putting love in to get love out. We need that time to decompress in order to do well in other areas of our life!
5. It brings you home to your truest self.
A self-care practice helps you get into a habit of tuning in to yourself and truly listening for your deepest desires. Only by knowing how to listen for that inner voice will you ever be able to act on it. Self love sets the stage for taking personal responsibility in your life – not just for the few hours a week that you’ve set aside, but in all the external areas of your life as well.
Just like anything, you’ve got to really practice at it until it becomes a natural behavior. I believe that by permitting yourself the time and space each week to slow down, quiet your mind, listen to your truths, and give yourself some credit for all the freaking AMAZING things you’ve done and continue to do, you allow your mind to feel at peace and more aligned with your purpose. By continually practicing this, you’ll start to notice shifts take place outside of your self-care time that improve just about every other aspect of your life.
Since I started this practice, I’ve felt more at peace in my relationships, less anxious, more centered, and less stressed than I have in a while. I feel valued and appreciated. I know that I am supported, I feel whole, and I’m consistently realigning with my self love throughout each day.
The best part about it? That knowledge is coming from a deep place within me. I’m here to tell you: you’ve already got the answers inside of you. You’ve just got to start listening for them.
Love over everything ❤