Hello my lovelies. Real talk, the next sentence I wrote said “I hope this email finds you well”. So that shows you how cluttered my brain has been lately! I’ve been prepping for my new class and tomorrow I’ll be meeting them for the first time, which I’m super excited about. But it means I’ve kind of been in this cloud of emails, state standards and stress/anxiety about this new adventure. With that being said the advice I hear time and time again from veteran teachers alike beside “document, document, document.” is “self-love,self-care,self-love”
Teacher or not taking care of yourself is crucial to functioning let alone thriving as a human being. And since it’s the first day of February I thought I’d kick it off with some of my favorite ways of practicing self-love that don’t necessary involve buying bath bombs or retail therapy. Just tride and truce practices that make me feel confident, comfortable and loved.
1. Work Out
I know, I know. For anyone who doesn’t love working out this answer often elicits an eye roll and a scroll further down the list. But hear me out. On the days I feel lethargic or anxious or just out of sorts a quick yoga flow, run or even just a walk with my pup really does clear the cobwebs. For me a workout is showing my body respect, its building strength and of course sending those lovely endorphins to my brain. Working out doesn’t always have to mean losing weight, or getting a bigger butt or toned arms (although those are super great goals!). Working out is just a way to get the juices flowing and perk your body up a bit. I love how I feel post workout. And there are definitely days where I just don’t want to move and on those days I don’t. I give myself grace. It’s differentiating between laziness and the need for rest, which can get pretty hard at times. But I’ve never regretted a workout and on the off chance I’m really not feeling it, guess what?
Revolutionary I know.
But really, you’re not forced to do anything and if you aren’t feeling it, call it quits and find something else.
2. Try a new recipe out
This is another odd one. Honestly I’m a million times better at baking than cooking, but that’s another story. Trying new recipes out really boosts my mood and I feel super productive while doing something that involves little to no effort aside from assembling the ingredients and popping it into the oven. There’s nothing better than creating something to me and I feel so grounded whenever I bake or cook. Plus you get to indulge in a sweet new treat at the end. Baking and cooking is such a great way to keep my mind and hands busy so I don’t think about a to-do list that never ends or whatever is worrying me. If you need something tried and true here are a few different recipes I adore:
Vegan Black Bean Brownies (trying these this weekend!)
*Bonus points if you jam out to music or listent to a podcast while giving it a try.
3. Get Dressed
By get dressed I don’t mean throw on sweats or leggings and a hoodie and call it a day. I mean put some effort. Do your makeup. Curl your hair. Take an extra 10 minutes to deep condition. Take some time to really primp yourself up. I know for me I spend a lot of time with my hair in a bun, workout clothes on or in Trader Joe’s uniform (although in 2 weeks that will change). But when I put an extra 5 minutes into myself I honestly feel so beautiful, worthy and confident. All things I enjoy feeling and put me on a higher vibration.
Maybe you’re the opposite and you’re like “Ana, I get dressed up everyday. No way in hell am I getting dressed up to sit at home” And I hear you. Do what feels good. But for those of you who don’t take that extra 5-10 minutes for you and worry about everyone else. I think making an effort to have that for you is crucial. Self-love is about giving to you selflessly. So have your husband tie your daughter’s shoes while you throw on a lipstick. Leave the coffee brewer set the night before so you can curl your hair. Find a way to cut corners so you can have an extra bit for yourself.
This one may seem a little corny and woo-woo. But standing in front of the mirror or saying affirmations in the shower really does boost your mood and self-worth. Whenver I catch myself thinking negatively I try to flip it immediately. I start telling myself what I love about my life, what I love about the world, what I’m thankful for. I look at myself in the mirror and repeat, “I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am amazing” And I know it’s super cringey and awkward at first. But it’s my surefire way of rewiring my brain to think positively about myself and my circumstances as well as attracting more love and joy into my life.
5. Pour Yourself A Glass
throwback to baby Ana at 21
Coffee. Tea. Wine.Bourbon. Vodka.
Ok, don’t drink a glass of vodka unless you want to get messed up.
But I love,love,love coffee, tea, and wine. I love having 15 minutes in the morning to enjoy my cup of coffee while I journal or read the news or just let my mind wander before I start my day. I love settling down with a cup of tea or wine and watching my favorite show or catching up on a book. The point is that while I’m drinking this coffee, tea, wine,etc. I’m taking time to relax and not work on anything.
As a teacher I have countless lesson plans, paperwork and activities to prep and plan. I can work all day everyday if I really wanted and still never have a to-do list done. So I know really carving out me time througout my week is going to be crucial to avoid any burn out. This goes for anyone else as well. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
I know some of these are repeates from my how to beat blue monday post but honestly these are just part of my day to day routine and are so effective. If you don’t like any of these options that’s totally cool. The concept of self-love is just about giving more to yourself. It’s about saying no to others and yes to you. Which sounds selfish, it sounds backwards. And it’s taken me quite some time to really understand and apply this concept. As a woman I’ve been taught to say yes. If you say no you’re selfish, you’re unkind, your’re a bad person.
But sometimes saying no right now could mean yes later on down the road to something bigger. Sometimes saying no means being kinder to yourself. Sometimes no just means no and that isn’t wrong or selfish or bad. It’s right if it makes you feel good, keeps you healthy and keeps you glowing.
So I have a challenge for you: Practice self-love 3 times this month. I marked it on my calendar. Feb 14, Feb 18 (my birthday) and then one random day I have to engage in a conscious act of self-love. I challenge you to do the same. Pick your own days but stick to it, no ifs, ands or buts.