Whether you’re single or have a partner, romance is a big part of your self-care. How can I romance myself alone? I hear you ask. In truth, romancing yourself with or without a partner is possible. It’s about loving, nurturing and caring for yourself. Giving as much as you would to the people in your romantic life is important.
No, this isn’t another way of saying you need to like or love yourself. We’re about to go a whole lot deeper than that.
Here’s how you can add a little romance to your life to help improve your wellbeing. Give yourself a little romance and feel the health differences.
Disrupting negative self-talk
We’ve all got harmful voices in our head from people that didn’t appreciate us. That negative self-talk gets in the way of our goals. It creates doubt and fear and keeps us down.
Women are especially prone to negative self-talk through the influences we see in our lives. Some of us grew up in households where our parents weren’t equal. Some of us grew up in households where that inequality lead to violence of the physical, sexual or emotional kind. Some of us had a loving family but were still unable to avoid the bullying and meanness of schooling or peer group exclusion. Others still found romantic relationships were a source of pain and sadness instead of joy. Some experience it through working relationships. Heck, even mothering peer groups, neighbourhoods and general society can make us feel filled with dread and doubt.
We’re conditioned by strange ideas in society. We die at the hands of movie makers and partners, media loves tearing us down. We’ve got high incidences of stress, anxiety and mental health issues.
Even voices that assumed they were supportive can echo like paint-stripper when our fears and doubts are high.
But you can slowly and surely turn these voices around.
- When you find yourself about to say something unkind to you, stop for a second
- Ask yourself if you really think you should say that to yourself
- Think about what might have triggered those feelings
- Listen to hear whose voice is really inside your head
- Ask yourself if the situation warrants that level of unkind talk
- Slow down, breathe and relax
- If you are sad or angry or suffering, allow yourself a moment to sit with and uncurl that pain
- Reflect on the feelings in your mind or with a journal
- Is there something else that is making you upset that you could deal with?
- What is the emotional trigger behind your feelings?
- What can you say to yourself instead of those unkind words?
Whether you find yourself attempting to find perfection and missing the mark or you’re harking back to times when you were made to feel as though you were not worthy, you can turn the nature of self-talk around.
It’s about switching perspectives, understanding the patterns within and most of all, giving yourself a break.
Write a love letter to your body
A deep impact on all women is our ceasing quest for a body that is not our own. Even those of us that are fit, healthy and beautiful in their own way rub up against beauty myths. The teenage girl within us is strong in front of the mirror it seems. It drives us to be ever critical instead of loving what we have.
But your body is beautiful. It is sustaining your life. It has sustained the life of your children. It allows you to keep pace with the demands of parenting. It allows you to do all you need to do daily.
When was the last time you sat down and wrote a love letter to your body? Giving a moment of reflection to the things we love and like about ourselves are important. Love those attributes that make you proud.
Think deeply about all the things your body allows you to do. What problems does your beautiful mind solve? How many gorgeous babes have you carried? Are your hands the ones that are soft and soothing when tears and tantrums abound? Is your lap for snuggling into? Are your legs long and playful? Is it your smile the world responds to?
If you have aches and pains and disabilities plaguing you, go to the centre of that pain. Think about it as a white glow. Unravel it as it spreads into your body. Think about that pain and the challenges you face as a way of learning. What has it taught you? Are you more patient? More kind? Are you better able to understand the challenges others face due to your own?
Look at every curve of your body and admire every wrinkle, mark and scar.
Love your body and feel it empower you to love it even more through making decisions to help it stay or become even more lovable with every passing year.
Laughter is the tonic
So, torn by responsibility and all things asked from us in a day, we can fail to allow laughter to be our guide. We strive too much for completion and perfection. To have things done. To be able to move through life as we tick off the next ask that falls at our feet.
Women are often in service to family, extended family, children, school community, friends, neighbours, churches, peer groups, work, society and on it goes.
That will not stop until you do.
And it will not stop unless you take life less seriously.
Obligation is the point of pride we love about ourselves. But too much of it soon becomes a prison. To be tied down by a sense of service becomes subservience. In subservience, we lose our joy, our laughter and even ourselves.
You must stop. You must laugh.
When was the last time you said no to someone or something you didn’t have time or brain-space for? When was the last time you danced in the kitchen instead of cleaning it? When was the last time you twirled with the broom instead of using it? When was the last time you built a fort of confetti with the clean laundry instead of folding it?
Play. Love is built on play. It’s built on flirting with ideas and making light of the situation. It’s about looking at the absurdity of the things we do. And laughing at how uptight we might get about a soap dish or a messy room or a lack of juice in the fridge. It’s about remembering that feeling of allowing yourself to be bored or creative. Allowing time to dance past us as we lose ourselves. Get dirty, get happy and get away from making your situation always about being serious.
Enjoy the kids and their silly games. Do Pilates for fun, not for perfection. Eat a salad not through obligation but because you can sit cross-legged in front of Netflix, laughing.
Let yourself go every once and a while.
Remember to love you often
Put on that pretty dress and make your face up for no reason. Or wash it all off and admire casual you in a rustic old tee shirt. Say nice things to yourself. Leave love letters to you around the house where chores normally reside.
Love your body because it is the only one you have. Feel it challenge you as you lean and stretch and exercise. Massage the next day’s tired muscle. Admire it and cheer it on as it grows in confidence with movement and strength.
Rub your baby belly and watch as it grows and shifts, retreats and ebbs. Be proud of your round bottom, breasts that feed and then reduce.
Love you with all the heart and fierceness you give your children, partner and those you care deeply about.
Appreciate every little bit of thing that you do for the world and every way you see yourself. Even if sometimes, the self-talk, body and laughter fails you.
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