03 Oct 10 Ways to Be Affectionate with Yourself
As a wellness coach it is extremely important that I take care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I walk the talk and practice self-care just like all of my clients. This work can be “ugly” and confronting at times. The other week when I was at my naturopath I realized that most of my life I’ve been looking to others for affection. The word seemed to just slip out without my consent, being brought to the forefront of my attention. When I think of the word affection I think of gentle, soft, soothing, heart-warming, connection, warmth, and light-hearted.
So I asked myself “how can I be more affectionate with myself?”
Below is the list I came up with.
Ready to practice being affectionate with yourself? Start implementing some of the ideas below.
1. Give yourself enough space and time to feel
In our over-scheduled lives it’s easy to overlook the necessity to truly feel our feelings. I know I struggle with this at times claiming that, “I don’t have time for this. I’ll think about it later.” But guess what? When you initially feel that feeling, it is the best possible time to go into it to discover where it came from and how to heal it.
Don’t feel guilty for spending time connecting with yourself. When you spend time truly connecting to yourself, spending quality time, and listening to your feelings (as you likely would to someone else who is coming to you with something they need to work through) you will grow in ways you can’t imagine!
2. Take naps and rest when needed
Sometimes you just need more rest. Taking the time to really rejuvenate your energy stores will allow you to be more efficient in your life in so many ways. You will be more present, more aware, have more patience, increased creativity, the list goes on. So get your sleep when you need it.
3. Use a lavender eye pillow when meditating
I received a lavender eye pillow a couple of years ago as a gift. I love this eye pillow but for some reason I rarely take the extra minute to get it when I lay down for my daily meditation. Taking this extra time to treat yourself during your meditation practice is totally worth it!
4. Surround yourself with affectionate things
Indulge your senses with soft pillows and blankets, sweet smelling flowers, candles, and of course–eating food you love. When you surround yourself with affectionate things and indulge the senses you get out of your head and into your body.
5. Practice more yin yoga instead of going to the gym
Yin yoga is a beautiful practice. The softness that comes with the practice really cultivates that affection towards yourself by learning to be present with everything, the good and bad, tension and relaxation. With each breath another opportunity presents itself to sink deeper into the feeling body.
6. Take more baths
I feel like this is something that is always talked about when we talk about self-care but for good reason. Having a bath is like being hugged and held yet, at the same time being able to reflect inwards and cleanse yourself.
7. Practice Optimism and Compassion
Being affectionate with yourself includes your mindset. Believe in miracles! Have faith that your hopes, dreams, and aspirations can be achieved. This isn’t meant to say don’t feel your feelings (cry when you need to and speak up for yourself). But rather this idea is about shedding the self-defeating thoughts that keep you from truly experiencing joy.
With this practice you may begin to realize that a lot of these self-defeating thoughts aren’t even your own thoughts! Throughout your life you have learned these attitudes towards yourself from those around you. For example, if you forgot to do something important, how often do you think “I’m such an idiot. How irresponsible of me. I ought to be more put together to be a professional.” It’s likely these were learned associations. You can re-write your internal script with optimism! Instead of the example above, you could say “I seem to be spreading myself too thin lately because I’m forgetting important things. I should take more time for myself to decompress and restructure my schedule.” Same scenario totally different way of relating to yourself about it.
8. Connect with LOVE
Love is all there is. Spend time leaning on God, the Universe, Source, or whatever you like to relate to. In times when you need support, lean on this eternal energy.
I spent time listening to the track on my Break Up With Your Diet meditation album titled Self Love.
There are many other ways to connect back to love such as practicing a loving kindness meditation or learning more about your personal love language. When you know more about your love language, you can begin to practice showing love for yourself in the way that works for you!
9. Be open to receiving
How often do you feel that you must give first in order to receive? Receiving is a feminine energy, so as a female it’s important to reconnect back to embracing the energy of receiving. Open up to all of the possibilities in the world energetically but also physically whether it be a gift, physical touch, or having someone make a meal for you.
10. Release perfectionism
Let go of the idea of perfection and instead begin to enjoy the process and flow of life. Appreciate things as they are.