Love Yourself First

Aristotle said "the most important relationship you have is with yourself".

So, if like many people, your energy is spent on caring for everyone else around you and attending to their needs, I challenge you to totally love yourself for the next month.

If you live by yourself, don't have kids or have kids that have left home, you're probably an expert at self care. Lucky you! If you are like me and have kids or perhaps elderly parents, remember you have to take your personal self care very seriously, especially if you want to continue to be able to look after others.

Here are some tips on how to do so:

1. Kindness. I actually think it is more important to be kind to yourself than to others. This is because if you do not feel nourished and happy yourself, you will eventually burn out at some point and then it will be impossible to give or be kind to others.

Make time in your day to listen to that podcast, go for that walk, write in your gratitude journal, phone your friend or go to a yoga class. My 'me time' is one hour reading in bed every night and one week alone on a Greek island every summer. Whilst I practice yoga morning and evening, go swimming, immerse myself in books and eat divine food, my mother-in-law enjoys having the the kids to herself in Athens. I cannot explain how this recharges my batteries. Not having to think about anyone else but myself is heavenly. I thank my lucky starts for this. Go ahead. Have that nap. Plan that getaway.

2. Forgiveness. Allow yourself to be human. If you overindulge in something you probably shouldn't have, don't be too hard on yourself. Just because you did it once, it doesn't mean it is going to become a habit.

If you felt you should have been more assertive in a certain setting whether it be home or work, make a mental note to definitely speak up next time. Don't beat yourself up about biting your tongue. Next time, don't bite it.

3. Honesty. Do you have a clear picture of the way you treat yourself, your family, your work/life balance? Is there anything you could change that would make you more present or a better version of yourself in each of these areas in your life? Is there something about your personality (impatience, moodiness, fastidiousness) or body (weak wrists, tight hamstrings, weak core) you don't like and can change?

Do some research and see not 'if' but 'how' you can change long held habits or create new ones to build a healthier / stronger mindset / personality and body. Remember, mind and body are inextricably intertwined. Be accountable to yourself.

At the end of the day, it is your well-being and your life which you should focus on nurturing. No one is going to do it for you.