Valentine’s Day as a Single Woman

For as long as I could remember, I hated Valentine’s Day. It seemed like every year, I was single or had recently gotten out a relationship. It brought on a large amount of bitter feelings. I use to feel like it was simply a reminder of what I didn’t have and couldn’t celebrate. Have you ever found yourself dreading Valentine’s?

This year, I changing things up and I am seeing Valentine’s Day in a new light. I am still single and not in a relationship, but I am choosing to see Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate and not a day to dread. Who says you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day if you aren’t in a relationship? It doesn’t purely have to be about romantic love. Choose to see February 14th as a day to celebrate WHATEVER YOU WANT! At times, we get so caught up in following what we see the outside world doing. Give yourself permission today to do your own thing and celebrate life on your own terms.

When I think of Valentine’s Day this year, I am choosing to see it as my day to celebrate the love and blessings I have in my life, even if they aren’t romantic. Look around! There is so much good all around us. It’s about time we celebrate it.

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This Valentine’s Day, I will be celebrating the following:

  • Friendship

    This year, I will be celebrating all love on February 14th. Friendships are some of the best kinds of love out there in my opinion. My favorite Valentine’s Day of all time consisted of me spending it in California with one of my best friends. We went out to dinner together, shared a bottle of wine and just enjoyed each others company. We had no care in the world that we weren’t in relationships at the time. We were just thankful to have each other.

    I plan on celebrating friendship by giving an old friend a call and reaching out to make sure they know that I appreciate them. You can take your best friend out to dinner or buy her a box of candy! Even the little things add up to show someone our appreciation for them.

  • Family

    The love of my family is always something I’m grateful for. When life gets hectic, it can be easy to forget to show our family our appreciation. February 14th is a great reminder for me to celebrate the love I have for them and how grateful I am for them.

    One thing I love to do on Valentine’s is buy candy for my younger cousins. For children, Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday. You get to bring cards to class and pass them out to your friends. It doesn’t have any bitterness that it may have as an adult. My hope is that my cousins will also love Valentine’s Day, like they do now. I can help make that a reality by continuing to celebrate it with them as they get older.

  • SELF LOVE

    Most of all, this week I will be celebrating my new found love for myself. Self love is my favorite kind of love. It’s still new to me, but I am so thankful to be on this journey. I’ll be celebrating myself this week by practicing extra self care and spoiling myself with baths, lunch with friends, naps and watching my favorite movies. My plan this week is to be a little kinder to myself, let myself off the hook more and remind myself that there is always plenty of love to go around.

 

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this week?

It’s Okay to Feel Powerless Sometimes

A good friend of mine has a talent when it comes to writing and capturing in words how so many people feel. Recently, she sent me the latest thing she wrote and it hit so spot on to how I feel all the time, so I asked her if I could share it here. It is so spot on when it comes to self love, especially the last paragraph.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in having to be a certain way. We beat ourselves up when we’re sad or feeling guilty. There is shame in feeling powerless. Self love is about loving yourself through those moments. It’s about acknowledging it’s okay to not want to get out of bed some days, but no matter, to keep pushing through it and pushing the dream life that you want. We all have powerless moments. What really matters is how we fight through them. That is what makes a warrior.

Thank you, Brandi, for letting me share!

“One day I woke up, took a deep breath as I stretched, and realized I had no idea who I was anymore. The air was cold and crisp that morning, and I remember looking out the window and facing a cloudy sky. At that moment, I watched the clouds with a sense of defeat. Not because I couldn’t see the blue skies, and the sunshine, but because I knew how the sky felt. 

Ask me how the sky feels on a cloudless day and I’ll tell you that it wants to be free. It wants to feel the breeze as the sun shines. It wants to immerse itself in the lack of boundaries, and openly take our breath away as we gaze upwards. The sky is typically unabashedly calm and collected, but when the clouds roll in, it knows it must ready for a storm.

I couldn’t look back and point to a specific date and time and tell you that this was the day I lost myself. It wasn’t something that just happened overnight. I believe it occurred over a long stretch of time. Time where I forgot to look up at the sky on sunny days, and up at the stars on clear nights. I was a cloudy sky….I am a cloudy sky.

I am a constant work of progress. I have been lost, and currently I am working to be found. I am wandering through this thing called life trying to remember why I stopped writing in the first place, why I stopped reading two or three books a week, and why I let a series of storms make me forget how the sun feels on my skin on a sunny day.

As a strong, ambitious woman, I need to be reminded that sometimes it’s okay to be lost. It’s okay to wake up and not want to get out of bed. It’s okay to cry, and cry so hard that you can’t breathe. It’s okay to feel powerless sometimes. It’s okay…. It’s okay to be a cloudy sky. Just remember that it’s also okay to be a clear, sunny, limitless sky.”

DIY Self Care Kit

When I made a new self care routine for the new year that I was determined to start implementing in my life, I wanted to have something I could use as a regular reminder to practice self care. I wanted to have one spot I could go to for extra love for myself when I needed it. This is when I created my first DIY Self Care Kit. The best part about a Self Care Kit is it really can be anything you make it. It is custom to you and the ways you choose to practice self care. What cheers you up? These are the things you want to capture in your DIY Self Care Kit.

First, start with a cute container to hold all of your Self Care items in. The container can be anything you want, but make it something that brings good thoughts. It could be your favorite color or have a quote that you love taped on the outside. It could be an old tote that you don’t use anymore, but holds great memories from previous beach vacations. It can be anything you want to make it. Mine is a clothe storage tote that says Love on the outside. It is a reminder for me to love myself.

Now, it’s time for the fun part. What should you put in your DIY Self Care Kit? I believe the options are really endless. You can put anything in here you like. I have included ideas below to give you some inspiration on what can go in your Self Care Kit.

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When thinking of what items to put in your own Self Care Kit, make sure that they bring you joy. That is the only requirement for building the Kit. The purpose of the Self Care Kit is being your pick me up when you need it. It’s a Kit that helps you love yourself and take care of you first.

I have included some examples below of items that I have in my own Self Care Kit that have made a big difference in my own self care routine:

  1. Young Living Essential Oils and a Diffuser

    Peppermint, Lemon and Lavender are my current go to oils. These have become a huge part of my self care routine. I put Lavender in my baths and to help me sleep. Peppermint has been incredible for helping when I have headaches. 

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2. Bath & Body Works Almond & Vanilla Olive Oil Body Cream

This stuff has been life changing for my skin. When I am wanting to pamper myself, it is the first thing I grab. Pick a lotion or body cream that has a scent that you love for some extra self care! (I believe this particular Body Cream has been discontinued, but there are a huge variety of other great body creams to choose from).

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3. Younique Royalty Detoxifying Mask

One of my favorite methods of self care is face masks. There is something calming about sitting back with a face mask on, knowing you’re taking care of your skin. This particular mask makes my skin feel extra smooth and soft when I’m done. I use it weekly.

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4. Bath Products!

I was never much of a bath taker until a family member recently got me these Mayfair bath products for Christmas. It was the perfect addition to my new self care routine. Taking a bath has become one of my favorite ways to practice self care. A great sugar scrub, bubble bath and salts are the perfect way to make a bath extra special.

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What will you be putting in your own DIY Self Care Kit?

Leave your ideas in the comments below.

Self Care Doesn’t Make You Selfish

As women, we tend to take care of everyone else around us before we take the time to take care of ourselves. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself running around with your large to do list, putting off the things you need to do most to ensure your body is provided for, like eating a nutritious meal, exercising or getting valuable rest. Then something happens that makes you feel like you’ve run into a brick wall. You get the flu or injure yourself. It’s like a sign where your body is reminding you (and giving you no other option) to rest and take care of yourself. Women naturally have nurturing tendencies and we tend to run ourselves thin until we’ve hit this brick wall. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to care for those around you. However, we need to fill ourselves up first before we can fully take care of those we love.

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You can’t fill up others when your cup is empty.

When we are running on fumes, we aren’t fully taking care of others at our best. If you’re running on 2 hours of sleep and trying to take care of your children the next day, your energy levels are a lot lower than they would be if you had gotten a full 8 hours of sleep. If we take care of ourselves first and provide our bodies with what we need, everyone benefits! You have more energy to play with your kids, you’re in a much better mood and you get more things done. When I allow myself to be taken care of first, I know it prevents me from being bitter when I’m taking care of others.

Self care doesn’t make you selfish. It means you respect yourself enough to ensure you have the things you need. It increases the relationship with yourself and keeps you healthy. Self care helps you live a full life and isn’t that what we all want?!

The number one misconception around self care is that it has to be time consuming. NO WAY. Self care is whatever you make it. Sometimes, my version of self care is taking an hour nap. On other days, it might be taking a bath or putting together a quick, 10 minute healthy meal. The possibilities for self care are endless. I promise, if you give yourself 20 minutes a day where you focus purely on you and doing something you love, you will notice a difference in your life. It might not be gigantic, but it will be there.

If you’re wondering “How on earth am I suppose to find time to care for myself when I have a billion things on my to do list?”, just start small! Start with what you can do. Can you spare 10 minutes to throw together a salad or read your favorite book? Start anywhere, it all counts!

I challenge you to find 10 minutes a day where you can focus on you and do something that fills you up! Leave your feedback and experience in the comments.

What is Self Love, Anyway?

Self love is the regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.

There is a large amount of confusion around the act of self love. Does loving myself make me conceited? How do I practice loving myself? The main question I had when it comes to self love is “How in the world do I begin to love myself when I’ve spent 26 years doing the opposite?”

In my eyes, self love is the opposite of being conceited. When you love yourself, you are also very self aware. You acknowledge when you are wrong, you admit to your mistakes and you make a habit of fixing them. Self love doesn’t mean you think you’re the best all the time. It simply means that you are putting your own well being and happiness first. My favorite definition of self love is Self love is the belief you hold that you are a valuable and worthy person. An example of self love is when you have a positive view of yourself and are confident in yourself and your place in the world.”

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How Do I Begin the Journey to Self Love?

The journey to self love starts in baby steps. I tried to start out with a bang, but I always fell flat on my face. It is just like New Years Resolutions I talked about in my last post. When I try to do everything all at once, I get let down and disappointed when I fall short. It’s like trying to eat clean 100% of the time. When you splurge on a brownie, it feels like you let yourself down. A more realistic goal would be to eat clean 80% of the time. Instead of repeating the same mistake, this time I have tried to start the self love journey with baby steps. An example of my baby steps is I’m starting by taking one bath a week. I know it’s not a large goal, but it’s getting me in the right direction. I know if I said to start loving myself, I’m going to take 3 vitamins every day, eat clean, go to the gym 4 days a week, meditate for 20 minutes every day and say 10 positive affirmations, it wouldn’t work. Most of us do best when we build one habit at a time, going at a slow but steady pace. Once you do well at taking one bath once a week, then you could add in vitamins or positive affirmations next. Go at your own pace! Do what works best for you, not what might work for other people. You begin the journey to self love by STARTING! Even one act of self love a week has made a big difference in my life.

How Do I Practice Self Love?

How you practice self love is unique and personal to you. I believe that there is no wrong or right way to participate in self love, as long as it feels good to you. Self love is ultimately all about making yourself happy. There are countless ways out to there to practice self love. Part of my journey has been finding the activities that increase my happiness and make a difference in my life. It’s a part of the self discovery process. What works best for you? Some of the ways that have worked for me the best are listed below:

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The most important part of the self love journey is getting started. You don’t have to be perfect at it. Self love is an endless journey! Make a commitment to yourself today to start putting yourself first and being a little kinder to yourself. You deserve it!

A Resolution I’m Going to Keep

Human beings are notorious for not keeping New Years Resolutions.

I fully accept that I fall 100% into the category of those who fall off the wagon before the end of January.  Shortly before every New Years Eve, I tell myself that I’m going to get healthy and pay off debt in the coming year. I always seem so sure that the next year will be my year! Yet every year, after a few weeks into January, I’ve lost all hope that things will change and I go back into my same patterns: living outside of my means and using food as a source of release from stress and anxiety.

This year, my Resolution is a different. This year, I am 100% confident that I will achieve it. Instead of having a huge lofty Resolution like losing 60 pounds or paying off $10,000 in debt, I am starting off small. This year, I am resolving to love myself more. It’s not very often you hear of someone having a New Years Resolution to love themselves more. Hear me out for a second. One thing I’ve realized in this last year is that it all comes down to loving ourselves. If I love myself more, chances are high that I’ll eat more nutritious food. I’ll eat better because I’ll know that my body deserves the best. If I love myself more, chances are also high that I’ll spend less carelessly because I’ll have a better vision of where I want my money to go.

In 2018, I am resolving to slow down, be more kind to myself and show myself more love. I’ll show myself more love in whatever ways feel right to me. This could be sticking to yoga, eating more vegetables, changing my mindset around money. If it doesn’t feel good to me, I will have no part of it. Sometimes we can get so caught up in constantly running around, doing things for others and forgetting to take care of ourselves first. If we don’t fill up our own cup first, it’s impossible to give to others. I am confident I will keep this resolution to love myself because by the end of 2017, I had reached the point of exhaustion and I realized that self love truly matters more than I’ve ever given it credit for. I know I can keep it because for once, my Resolution feels possible. It feels exciting and gives me something to look forward to. In past years, my Resolutions always seemed like I was punishing myself. The days of punishing myself for past mistakes are over. Instead, I’ll be showering myself with love.

Will you commit to loving yourself more in 2018 with me?

Why Women’s Day Matters

Today is International Women’s Day, a day that is recognized around the world. Today, we celebrate the women in our lives and we stand up for equality. This year, some women are going the extra mile and celebrating with the International Women’s Strike, which encourages other women to stop all work – both paid and unpaid – to speak louder for equal pay, equal rights and to show the world how valuable women are.

You may be wondering why Women’s Day matters. What’s the big deal? Why is this day something we should celebrate or even think about? If you’ve never thought about Women’s Day before or you don’t see the point, below are 4  reasons to consider regarding why this is a day you should care about.

  1. You Deserve to Celebrate Yourself!

    International Women’s Day doesn’t only have to be a day to celebrate the other women in your life. Choose to celebrate yourself and all the things you bring into this world! Be a little more kind to yourself today, take the time out to relax and do the things that bring you joy! It’s the perfect day to celebrate being a woman and embracing every part of yourself.

  2. Women’s Equality Matters

    As a gender, women have come a long way when it comes to equal rights. The times that we couldn’t vote and weren’t accepted in the workplace may not be around anymore, but we didn’t get to where we are now by accident. We got here by strong women standing up for what we deserve! We’ve made big strides, but I don’t feel like we’ve reached 100% equality. It is still common for a woman to earn less than a man in the same position at work. We still have to regularly fight to keep our rights over our bodies and reproductive options. Today, we stand up for our rights to equality and stand up for all the things that we provide the world as women!

  3. There’s Nothing Wrong with Standing Up for Yourself

    Standing up for what you believe in and standing up for yourself can be scary. Sometimes, voicing your opinion can upset others, but sometimes it’s also needed! You are an amazing human being and there is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and for what you believe in. There is power in choosing to stand up! By standing up for women, we take an active position in supporting each other, embracing each other and letting all women know that they matter.

  4. You Can Celebrate & Stand Up with Small Gestures

    Celebrate International Women’s Day in a way that you feel is the best for you. If you don’t want to stop all types of work as part of the International Women’s Day Strike, then don’t. The small gestures matter! Start small, by striving to take a little better care of yourself today or treating yourself to a treat. Today is a day to recognize women, however you want to do so. You can send a message to your mom or grandmother to thank them for everything they’ve done for you or buy flowers for one of your best friends that has made a difference in your life. It doesn’t have to be something big and outrageous. Celebrate today in your own way!

Overall, International Women’s Day matters because you matter! Being a woman matters and it is something that should be celebrated. We all deserve to be able to embrace who we are and not be afraid to celebrate being a woman.

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day today?

Celebrating Myself This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be a touchy subject to some people. It is one of those holidays that you either love or hate. Up until now, I’ve always been one of those who hate the holiday. I always thought of it as more of a “Single Awareness Day”, as clique as it may sound. Every year when Valentine’s Day came around, it just seemed like a reminder of something I didn’t have. It reminded me of past loves that failed.

This year, I am choosing to look at Valentine’s Day with a different meaning. It is suppose to be a day full of love, right? Who says you can’t celebrate it if you’re not in a relationship? Today, I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day all on my own.

I’m celebrating my journey to self love.

For those that are flying solo this Valentine’s Day, I invite you to join me in celebrating yourself today. After all, it is the most important type of love of all.

Below are ways that I’m choosing to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year:

  1. Making a list of all the things I love about myself.

    We can often be our own worse critic. Today, I’m taking the time out to be loving to myself and acknowledge the things I do well and the things I love about myself. At first it may be difficult, but if you dig deep, I know you can find things you appreciate and even love about yourself too.

  2. Taking the time to rest and play.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the go-go-go type. I constantly strive to be doing something productive, getting things done. Today, I’m giving my body and mind time to rest. I refuse to let myself feel guilty about it. For me, this means getting a pedicure or taking a warm bath. For  you, it might include reading, catching up on Netflix or taking yourself out to dinner. Make sure to take time to enjoy yourself and your life!

  3. Eating dessert first!

    In a future blog post, you’ll read about my new journey to discovering taking care of my health. However, I believe moderation is key to most things. Some days you want to work out and some days you just want a cupcake, am I right? Today, I will be eating the cupcake first. As I learn the way to loving and appreciating myself, I think it’s important to splurge a little and let myself enjoy the things I love – guilt free. Don’t beat yourself up about indulging today!

  4. Remembering a relationship will come when I’m ready.

    This is one of the most important ways of all for me to celebrate today. it is so easy to beat yourself up for not finding the one yet or not making a previous relationship last, especially today. However, I am choosing to be kind to myself. I am choosing to remind myself that a relationship will come when it’s the right time. While I’m on this brand new journey of finding love for myself, it’s best for a relationship to wait. After all, if you don’t love yourself first, you can’t expect anyone else to fully love you either.

Today doesn’t have to be a negative day. You don’t have to be sad every time you pass the big bouquets of flowers in the store today! We all have a reason to celebrate today, no matter if we’re in a relationship or flying solo. We get to celebrate the love we’re sending to ourselves and those we care about. Love is everywhere, not only in the form of a relationship. Instead of being sad or angry about today, let’s choose spread love.

Welcome to My Journey.

I think the journey of learning to love ourselves is one of the most important journeys we can take in our lifetime, yet it is a journey that I am just starting now. During my 26 years, I’ve always focused on the negative, the things I’d rather change about myself. I’ve never felt truly happy in my body and genuinely loved myself. It is time for that to change though! It is time to put myself first and learn to appreciate myself more!
Self care is such a vital part to self love. My only version of self care is pampering myself to regular nail appointments and the occasional massage. If we don’t regularly show up for ourselves and make sure we are complete on our own, we can’t expect others to show up for us either. Like the saying goes, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of other people.
My purpose for this blog is to help keep myself accountable, to share the journey of a young woman learning to love herself and make herself a priority for the first time. On my journey, I plan to do my digging and find ways to practice better self care, learn to love myself and make myself a priority. I’ll be sharing all of this information here! I truly do believe that when women stand together and support each other, that magical things can happen. I hope for this blog to be a place you can come to feel supported, loved and feel like others understand what you’re going through.
Let’s start our journey of learning to love ourselves together. What is one of your main goals when it comes to learning to  love yourself? What are you hoping to achieve?
My goal is to feel proud of my body and all the things it can do, while also learning to take care of it better and be easier on myself. I want to focus on giving it the nutrients it deserves and getting in more activity. I want to spend more time doing things that make me feel good and bring me joy in my life. It is not selfish to put yourself first sometimes and to make time for the things you love. It is absolutely necessary on the journey to self love!
Thank you for being a part of my own journey to self love and for the support. I look forward to sharing this life long journey with all of you.