What do you typically do when you're stressed? Reach for something sugary? Lash out at your partner, loved ones, co-workers? Push through only to feel even more stressed and overwhelmed afterward? Maybe a combination of all of the above?
Whatever you typically do to cope with stress, I'm guessing your first answer isn't to show yourself love, but that could be just what you need to kick the stress and overwhelm to the curb. These self-love practices will help you to create balance, cultivate self-love, and they will also allow you to feel more relaxed and more capable to take on the day-to-day stressors of life.
Cut back on your “yes’s” or commitments.
Let's be honest. You're not going to feel like you have any time for self-love and self-care when you're already stressed. So, how can we clear our schedules of things that are no longer serving us? Are there any commitments that you can let go of? Are there things your actively participating in that drain your time/energy? Are there any tasks that you could delegate to a coworker, partner, or child? What can you say no to that would free up...5, 10, 15 minutes of your time and allow you to pour into your cup?
Take a walk.
Waking a walk gives you time to clear your head and take a break from life inside your four walls or whatever is stressing you out. If you're needing time alone to disconnect--walk solo. If you're craving connection--walk with a friend/partner or turn on your favorite podcast.
*Research shows that the benefits of walking go far beyond the physical.
boost brain function
improve your mood
clear your head and allow you to think more creatively
All of which can help you feel stress-free and loved from the inside out!
Do something creative.
Doing something creative gives you a chance to get into a flow state, releasing stress/worries (or maybe just hitting pause on them for 20 minutes) while inviting in joy. This could be cooking, baking, coloring, painting, knitting, or anything that excites you.
Don't forget to stop and pause to notice how you feel after--you'll start to crave that feeling and be sure to prioritize doing this creative thing more often.
Spend time alone.
This could be as simple as; taking 5 minutes in the morning/evening to hide in the bathroom or your closet to sit with yourself, getting dinner alone, going grocery shopping alone, taking a bath, circling back to tip #2, reading a book....whatever you can do to give yourself space from all.the.things. It doesn't need to be a long-drawn-out experience (it can be if you are able to) but time alone is necessary.
Do a brain dump.
Get all the thoughts that are swirling around in your brain OUT. We often hold in our emotions, stressors, and worries. This leads us to feel even more stressed and more overwhelmed. Instead of keeping it all in, take a piece of paper or crack open your journal and write down everything that is stressing you out or worrying you. Let it all out. Maybe rip it out or (safely) burn it when you're done! Repeat as needed.
Lastly, I want you to remember that self-love is NEVER selfish. The more you are able to care for yourself, the better you will be able to care for all of those around you.
Which self-love practice are you going to try next time you're feeling stressed? Let me know in the comments.