Start off with Self-Love:
by Noga Vilozny
Did you know that the better you take care of yourself, the better a friend you will be?
Yes, it’s true! Studies have shown that those with happy friends are happier. So, by focusing on what will make you happy… you will in turn bless your friends by increasing their level of joy!
Not that you need to have a reason to prioritize yourself, but in a culture which often glorifies sacrifice, a go-go-go lifestyle, and focuses overly on “productivity”… sometimes we need an extra helping hand in being able to feel OK about putting ourselves first. Plus, think of it this way: When you are well-fed, well-rested, well-nourished emotionally, happy and at ease… That’s when you are the most generous, kind, and helpful. Right? So, putting yourself first is really one of the most *generous* things you can do!
So! Now that you know that it’s GOOD for everyone, for you to be happy… Let’s focus in on how you can take the best care of *your* sweet self this 2016-
1) This is a brand new year. Have you thought about a theme? This is something I do for myself annually. I write a special dedication in my new calendar, in honor of my intention. It could be a goal, or a feeling that sets the tone for the year. A few examples: Let’s say you know that spending time with loving friends is good for you, and you want to have more intentional, less rushed meals. Or you know you need to laugh more! Your intention could be: “I intend to enjoy a good meal with friends at least once a week in 2016,” or “2016 is My Year for Joy & Laughter!” Go ahead, and think about a special way in which you would like this new year to be made special. What aspect(s) of self-care would you like to nourish this year? Put it into a little statement, and write it (in fun colors! why not??) into your new calendar! Now sit back, admire your handiwork, and get excited to let this intention come alive and support you in your new year.
2) Sensuality. We are physical creatures. In the age of emails, carpools, credit cards, and Facebook… sometimes touch and sensuality get neglected. But, your physical en-JOY-ment of life is very important to your health. So think of things you can incorporate into your lifestyle that nourish your need for sensuality. When was the last time you went to the beach and dug your toes into the sand? How about a bath with scented salts? Are there certain fragrances that you love?? (Some of my favorites are cocoa, grapefruit and bergamot!) Find those wonderful natural aromas in pure essential oils! You can put a drop into the palm of your hand, cup it over your nose, and literally transport yourself to a blissful state, just by breathing! You could make a nightly ritual out of enjoying your favorite scents. Or add some essential oils into your favorite lotion or body-oil, for an after-shower sensuous self-massage time. Your body deserves love and touch! It will thank you!
3) Bed-times. In the coldest time of the year, it’s ideal to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. How much sleep do you get, and how *quality* is it? Is it easy for you to fall asleep? Do you sleep peacefully through the night? Do you wake up feeling refreshed and excited for a new day? If not… then consider reaching out for support. Sleep is your crucial rejuvenative time, in which body tissues literally re-create themselves, your liver detoxes, and your skin gets to breathe. You do not want to miss out on this anti-aging nightly ritual! Seek support (from a doctor, coach, wellness practitioner, etc.) if your sleep is not satisfactory. This is a very important aspect of self-care. You need and deserve quality rest.
4) Who do you spend your time with? In addition to knowing what TO do… a crucial part of self-care is deciding what NOT to do. What/who drains your energy? Jot these ideas down, and brainstorm with yourself, a good friend, or a coach about what you can let go of in your life that is draining your energy. If you really are open to the idea, you will find surprising ways in which you can release obligations that are not serving you. The same goes for people. Is there anyone in your life who does not treat you with 100% total kindness, love and respect? Now is the time to think about the impact this is having on your self-esteem and health. Healthy boundaries serve and support everyone’s Highest Good. Think about ways in which you can choose to only spend time with those people who treat you well. You can even pick out a special new journal just for this purpose. Choose one that has beautiful colors you resonate with. Dedicate the journal by writing an intention for your gaining clarity around who you spend your time with. Then start to jot down your feelings and thoughts in this private, safe space, so that you can begin to reflect on what you reveal to yourself. Continue this as a live dialogue in your new journal, writing a bit every day if you can. You will see that as the first few weeks of January unfold, you’ll gain important clarity on who you want to spend time with, and who you may need to avoid or see in different ways. Your new insights will help you take the best care of yourself.
5) Don’t forget about FUN! This year, find activities you miss doing (hiking? beach? dancing? knitting? book-club? coffee with a good friend?) and schedule it in. Buddy-up for added accountability support.
Get ready to have the best year yet, by nourishing and nurturing your self-care!
Noga Vilozny is a coach, author, speaker and designer. She leads healing & meditation retreats, spa-makeover “slumber-party-style” retreats for women, does color-consultations for individuals and groups, and designs home and office spaces to match her clients’ functional needs, personal colors, personalties and spirits!She also has an international coaching-healing practice, has written 4 books and writes a custom “Love Bite” healing article each new moon and full moon, which goes out to her readers in 54 countries!
Noga blends her knowledge of emotional healing with the practical aspects of life-design and image consulting. To receive her twice-monthly “Love Bites” sign up at http://tinyurl.com/NogasLoveBites To connect with Noga about her work, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org