There are 1,440 minutes in a 24 hour period. And if roughly 480 of them are spent sleeping, that leaves 960 minutes awake. Have you ever given thought to how little you spend them on you? If you’re like most people, the majority of your day is focused on others, household chores, meals, driving, watching tv, checking social media and preparing for the next day’s or week’s events.
Let’s begin with how you start your day. Some people tend to wake up before they need to get up while others wake and immediately arise and get moving. If you tend to be the former, try to take 1-2 minutes before your mind and body commence the daily checklists and routines to invite loving and nurturing thoughts into your head. Develop and repeat fun and simple phrases like, “I am love” or “I am worthy of love” or a favorite verse on love to charge your battery for the day. You may add a visualization such as a warm sun or ocean waves to enhance your experience. Use those same phrases over time (if you like) until new ones want to surface. Take at least 3 slow, deep breaths as you bring God’s love for you front and center before planting your feet on the floor. If you’re the latter, choose either the shower or the time while brushing your teeth or blow drying your hair to do the same.
While we would like to believe that such a ‘self-love session’ will carry us through our day, the reality is that by the time you get to your car, much of it is probably lost. There’s still hope! Use as many red lights or traffic jams on your way to work to take a deep breath, invite peace and a sense of calming in as you release the tension in your neck and shoulders. Remember to revisit this practice on your way back home. Shift your awareness back to the warmth in your heart.
Throughout your day, use your trips to the bathroom to keep the self-love momentum flowing. The act of flushing can become so much more than a simple, mindless task when you consciously send away any negative thoughts that are lurking or brewing in your head. Follow that with a quick, positive affirmation while looking in the mirror and washing your hands.
Let the act of removing your clothes at bedtime also double as a time for stripping the negative emotions brought on by your day. Have your pillow come to the top of your shoulders to support your neck (not just under your head). Allow the slight weight of the sheets to remind you of God’s loving arms wrapped around you. Take 3 slow breaths and let the entire back or side of your body melt into the mattress. Invite loving thoughts in…
As you practice these, feel free to substitute any of my ideas for your own. The purpose is to make it comfortable so that it becomes a habit and you find the love for your “self” more easily and more often.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how loving yourself more throughout your day will change your life! How do you find time to recognize, celebrate and love yourself?