I was asked by a few women what type of program I was going to offer for the new year. At first, I thought about what I knew best: clean eating, working out, and some mindfulness activities to balance it out. But over the last month, I received 10+ emails a day on all of the different “programs” people were offering with approaches including calorie counting, macro following, weight checking, hardcore workouts, Whole 30, Keto, soup cleanse, juice cleans, etc. I got overwhelmed just thinking about all this….did you?
So I reached out to a dear friend and Mama Kalee Maloney (@kaleemaloney) who I look to for advice and clarity. I asked her what she would benefit from if I created a program for the new year and her response was eye opening. Her suggestion was exactly what I needed myself, but something I had not yet practiced at a level so that I could coach anyone else.
Here was her response:
“Here is my thought on a new year program. The more I think on it, the less I like any ideas of restriction (ie no sugar). To begin the year in a state of “taking away” seems not quite right to me. Let’s focus instead on giving to ourselves and manifesting abundance.
I think a self-love focus would be a more productive and abundance-manifesting way to direct our energy. For example, try one thing each day that is a self-love practice. It could be as simple as giving yourself 5 extra minutes each morning to sit and enjoy your morning coffee or a loving mantra you repeat as you brush your teeth.
In my experience, the more love we have for ourselves – genuine deep love, not ‘oh-I’m-down-5lbs-love’ – the more naturally and effortlessly self-care comes (ie eating nourishing foods, moving our bodies, not taking on too much, etc.). So why not begin the year in that GIVING mode (vs. subtracting) and set ourselves up for healthy habits and lifestyle to come more naturally simply because we love ourselves and believe we are worthy and deserving of that?”
Perfect, right? YES YES 1000x YES was what I thought. Then I got to thinking. This is something I’ve always aspired to add into my daily routine, but nothing ever really stuck. Then I had an “a-ha!” moment. Why do I need to add it, why am I not living it already? Why can’t we all live life with self-love, with acceptance, with compassion for ourselves? When and where did it slip away? This is something that is going to take some re-wiring or almost brainwashing (in a positive way) to get the bad thoughts out and put the good ones in!
You may be thinking: Chelsea, you have negative thoughts? Oh yes, my friends, and I didn’t realize the extent until recently. It was just a couple thoughts that kept creeping in to my life over and over again, so it was hard to recognize at first. Once I recognized them, I noticed they were popping up way too often. Even with all of my clean and healthy eating, yoga teaching and practice, preaching of compassion, and being a crazy, active mom of 3, this was still a big challenge. Somewhere along the way I lost some self-love and confidence. It probably doesn’t help that on social media everyone (including myself) posts the best of our best. Keeping up with the Joneses is now keeping up with EVERYONE’s perfect life that they depict. That, along with the 1,000+ possible diets and a million ways to workout, in a time where we are expected to do it all, can easily weigh on us. What diet should I try this year? What workout is going to give me the fastest results? I’m interested in both of these questions (and if you are enrolled in a program please keep it up, an know you can add this too!), but this year I’m going to work on developing love first. After discussing with Kalee, I’ve defined an approach that will help me get started, and hopefully you too.
My approach will be: I love myself so I’m going to move my body. Not: I’m going to workout so that I can love myself. Doing things and NOT doing things out of love for me, and cultivating it from within.
This month and into the new year I would love for you to join me in starting a #selfloverevolution hash tag so we can all support one another on our journey! I’m going to post simple ways (on Instagram & my Facebook Page) that I’m trying to bring more love in to my life with simple actions, both mental and physical. The list below is something I brainstormed along with articles to read if you’d like, these are just some simple ways to start thinking about how easy it is to incorporate self-love into your daily life.
Like anything in life, this will take practice. It may come faster for some of us than others, but each of our posts and support can help spread the self love revolution. This is something we all can benefit from. Give some of the exercises below a try and share if they are working or not. Maybe you have some great self love exercises you can share with us that work for you! Please check out my beautiful friend Kalee’s posts as well, she has amazing perspective and tips on this as well! I’m so thankful for her to bring this idea to surface, and excited to learn from her and all of you!
I’ve recently read the book Love Yourself by Kamal Ravikant. His advice is to tell yourself “I love myself” over and over again. Shout it from the rooftops, meditate with it, affirm it, over and over and over. I found it a little funny at first, and then on day 5 started to get it. It lets the “light” in when things get dark. It doesn’t matter how dark, it could just be spilled breast milk (which can be very upsetting!), but when I say “I love myself” the environment in my head changes. Small upsetting things that could lead me to snowball into a crazy hysterical hour of getting down on myself suddenly don’t seem so bad.
See the exercises below and let’s start LOVING OURSELVES!
Self Love exercises:
One time exercises:
Affirmation Board – positive vision for the year ahead!
Write a list of things you enjoy (Mental / Physcial)
- Choose 1 thing on your list of “Things you enjoy” to put on your schedule and see how they change your week
- Simple Routine Activities that start your day: brushing your teeth, sipping your coffee, driving to work, find a positive affirmation or mantra, “I love myself” for example and say it over and over, see what happens!
- Quiet time – so rare these days but extremely important here’s why. Start small and just schedule 5 minutes a day to start, be kind to yourself and if your mind wanders to to-do lists or negative thoughts come back to your positve word or mantra.
- Phoneless – for an hour a day & for 10 minutes to start the day & at night put phone in different room or away from bed before you go to bed (this is #1 on my list because I find when I have my phone I loose my focus and waste a lot of my time, anyone else?) Not to mention it’s easy to start compare yourself to others (not helpful!)
- Here is an app to find out how much time and where in your phone you spend the time if you are interested.
- Journaling – before you start the day or before you go to bed try this quick exercise. Write just 3 things:
- One thing you enjoyed doing today
- One person you impacted today or someone who impacted you today
- One simple thing that brings you joy (ex. Hot coffee!)
- Presence activities – let this be simple; build with your child’s blocks, draw, doodle, color, enjoy doing the dishes, cleaning, organizing, do ALL of these in quiet
- Nature – get out in it! It can be HUGE for our mental health. Spend just 20 minutes a day outside and see how refreshing it can be!
- Pick out a book and get lost in it! It doesn’t have to be a self-help, maybe its fiction or learning something you’ve been interested in for a while (I’m learning about fermented foods!)
- Meditation – active or stationary couple of good apps I like: insight & calm
- Gut health –mindfulness activities (fermenting foods!) – why our gut plays a role in our mental state.
- Skin health – creating self care items can be relaxing, and using them for some much needed YOU time or give them to friends!
Already good at loving yourself? GREAT! Keep practicing, because you can only get better and better. Cheers to you friends for embracing this idea to start off the new year, and as always thank you for your continued support. You motivate me to stay healthy on all fronts, and for that I’m so thankful!
Happy 2018 friends!