Are you quick to judge yourself, talk down your abilities or disregard your feelings, wants and desires?
Does it feel more natural for you to honour other people, rather than yourself?
You may speak kind words to others or give endless time or support, but when it comes to you, suddenly you are not so kind, coming up with excuses not to honour yourself because you tell yourself you’re not that important, it doesn’t really matter or you don’t have time.
The truth is you do need to show some appreciation for yourself. As women we need to fill our own tanks so we can have a reservoir for others.
Besides, it really wouldn’t hurt to do something just for you because a fulfilled you is a happier you… happy wife, happy life right?!
In all seriousness though, we are responsibility for how we show up, the attitude we hold, the way we handle our emotions and treat others.
It’s how we ‘respond’, not ‘react’ to life that shows our true character and strength as women.
So rather than playing the victim, feeling helpless or discounting our own needs… it’s time for us to put ourselves first in certain areas of our lives.
Motherhood is the greatest sacrifice. A sacrifice of time, desires, passions, energy and so much more.
Yet there are a few simple principles we can apply to ensure we are not completely depleted and still retain an aspect of ourselves as we move through this season.
My 12 ways to honour yourself is all about giving importance to your own well-being. That includes your personal, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
Let’s get started.
One // Carve out some alone time for yourself daily
This one principle has changed everything for me.
Getting up one hour earlier than the rest of the house has been so powerful. I use this time for journalling, visualisation, prayer, meditation and enjoying a hot cuppa in silence. I am in bed by 8pm with Jake so that I can rise at 5:30am and not feel tired or depleted. Yep. A good morning routine begins in the evening.
Without this solitude time I feel like I am on a hamster wheel juggling mum duties, with business, house, errands, shopping and admin.
So before you start your day with the kids or rush off to work, you just might want set your alarm that little bit earlier, even if it is to sip that coffee leisurely and savour your breakfast in peace, you will notice the difference in how you feel and approach your day.
If this doesn’t work with you in the morning, then try to do this at night (ideally both!)
At 7:30pm I diffuse lavender and cedarwood essential oils to calm my nervous system, complete a stretch routine by my salt lamp with a warm water and drop of ginger essential oil. It’s an evening ritual that has become so calming.
When Jake was little I would do this after he went to bed, but now that we both go to sleep at 8pm he stretches alongside me.
Carving out time for yourself in the evening may involve giving up TV and ceasing the social media scroll after the kids are in bed – but believe me when you become intentional with your time and no longer reactive – you feel so much more empowered, calm and in control.
So carve out a moment of solitary time to rest at end of your day or refocus at the start of the day, and notice how it dramatically impacts your well-being, mindset and nervous system.
Two // Spend time with your thoughts and emotions
Magic happens when pen hits paper.
Intangible thoughts become matter in the form of ink as emotions are released, ideas solidified or reflections understood. Pouring out your thoughts is such a great way to clear the clutter in your mind and allows you to process your emotions.
Think of it as your own space where your mind roams free. For me, writing in a journal or on a notebook is like unravelling my thoughts into comprehensible (and processable) compartments allowing me to reflect, release or action. When it all stays in my head it’s m-e-s-s-y.
I also have an online journal where I write longer and deeper feelings, thoughts and emotions (and there are apps with passwords too so you can do it anytime, anywhere) Not quite the same as letting my mind run wild with a pen in hand, yet certainly better than keeping it all locked away in a messy head.
Three // Take control of your own schedule
You may think that you’re running your own life but your calendar tells otherwise.
Learn when to say yes and when to say no. If you’re too tired to go out then give yourself permission to cancel. If your plate is full, then tell your boss or husband about it. Give yourself some breathing room. Please.
As much as you may think life is controlling you; you are truly in control of how you react. Put boundaries in place, let go of some tasks and focus only what is most important to you… because you can’t do it all.
Four // Live with excellence
Living your life with excellence is such a gift of honour towards yourself.
No more doing things half heartedly, taking shortcuts or settling – give all of yourself to all that you do.
This is actually a wealth and manifestation principle that abides by the law of increase. This means that when you do well and take care of what you have, you will always be given more.
Take pride in your appearance, look after your body, give 100% to your work and treat yourself and others well.
When you live with excellence in all you do, you’re showing the world that you’re proud of yourself. It’s not about getting attention, being perfect, or really caring if people give you attention or not because this is for you. You are focused on being the best version of yourself each day and when you show up like this, you feel more confident.
Five // Maintain ‘real’ connections
I love social media and how it has enabled me to create connections with women all around the world. Yet nothing compares to meeting a girlfriend in person and having a good chat… it’s so nourishing to the soul. There is something about the exchange of thoughts, feelings, support and kind words in person, that is priceless.
I know for myself allocating time to catch up with friends can be few and far between and I want to prioritise these moments more. Set a regular dinner date every month in the calendar, Nurture these emotional bonds and your relationships with close friends, because having a support group cannot be replaced by anything online.
Six // Restore your soul
Nature has its way of pacifying our souls. Go for a walk in the park, drive to a nearby beach or lake, or plan an impromptu nature tripping! Sometimes all you need is the sound of rustling leaves, ripples of water, and chirping of birds to calm your spirit. Ah, the serenity.
Seven // Indulge in a good book
Books take us to different places that sometimes the real world cannot provide. It allows you to meet new people, become an observer of somebody else’s life, and just experience every kind of emotion that the character feels without strings attached. And yes, it widens your vocabulary, too! #bonus
Eight // Buy something you want regularly
Take note it’s a WANT not a need.
You don’t have to splurge especially if you can’t afford it (responsibility here ladies). It could be any material item or an experience like watching a play or trying out a new restaurant!
The important thing is you have to be intentional in rewarding yourself. As T. Harv Eker states in his popular Millionaire Mind program set up a monthly jar/account and deposit 10% of your income. Then at the end of each month you HAVE to ‘blow it’ all on whatever you want. The psychology behind this concept is releasing your scarcity and poverty mindset – an added positive! Yay.
Nine // Remove the word “CAN’T” from your vocabulary
The moment you say “I can’t” you’re already undermining your abilities. So instead of saying that, tell yourself, “I will try” or better yet say what the “Little Engine That Could” chants when he’s doing something insurmountable, “I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!” Approach your fears with childlike enthusiasm and you’ll be surprised to find out that you can actually do something that you once thought was improbable!
Ten // Forgive yourself
Mistakes and regrets can haunt you for a long time. But you shouldn’t let the past hold you back from moving forward. Forgive yourself. Stop blaming yourself. Shut down those “if only” and “I should’ve” thoughts because you won’t be able to change the past but you can always do something about the present to create a more positive future.
Eleven // Stop criticizing and start complimenting
What comes to your mind when you look at yourself in the mirror? Too fat, too skinny, too pale? How about you start appreciating your eye color or your hair? Celebrate who you are and tell yourself you are beautiful inside and out. God doesn’t make mistakes.
Twelve // Respect yourself
Self-respect (or lack thereof) will influence the decisions you make and the actions you take. Disrespecting yourself due to insecurities or low self-esteem can lead to regrets as you attempt to be someone you are not in order to be liked or approved of by others. Cultivating healthy self-respect begins with honouring your truth such as always acting upon your values and never compromising who you are for anyone or anything else.
These are just some of the many things you can do to honour yourself. Have you tried doing some of them? If not, it’s time that you start your own self-appreciation campaign!
With love + so much honour for you