One of the most challenging journeys we face in this lifetime is helping, nurturing and taking care of those in our life—spouses, children, friends, partners, family and co-workers—without losing ourselves. The challenge lies in staying grounded and connected to who we truly are underneath it all. And remembering we are responsible for our own happiness. There are plenty of negative messages bandied around about how you are “selfish” and a “bad” mother if you do dare to do anything that makes you happy. Well, I and many other women say otherwise.
Self-care is being kind to yourself, nurturing yourself, so that you feel well enough to give back to all those around you, whether it be work, family or friends, so that you can stay healthy and happy. Life has been my teacher in this department.
Remember to make time to honour yourself, your needs, your dreams and your desires.
We often have to learn about self-care the hard way to get the message fully. In my experience, if you want to save yourself from burnout, breakdowns and insanity moments, you must schedule a little nurturing self-care into your daily calendar.
Happiness is what fuels you from the inside. How can you give to others when you can’t even give to yourself? If you try, all that will remain will be an unhappy, unhealthy, unbalanced vessel that holds resentment and a need to live their life through others. You know what I’m talking about.
Yes, we can all sense it when light, joy and vitality have drained from you and only a shell remains. Constant complaining, negativity, exhaustion and resentment builds. You lose your sense of playfulness and adventure, and age beyond your years overnight.
Remember to make time to honour yourself, your needs, your dreams and your desires.
By honouring yourself you will be able to model well to those around you and free others to live their life as they choose. It’s time to step up and take ownership of your own happiness and your health. Make today your first step towards the best you.
”It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”
Keep depositing into that self-care bank account every day so you can reap the benefits long term as you journey through life. I guarantee you’ll need it. And your family, workmates and friends will love you for it!
Here are 21 ideas for regular self-care.
If you have one minute:
- Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply for one minute.
- Say kind words to yourself. “Thank you. I love you.” So simple, so powerful. Repeat often.
- Stand up, do a big stretch or quick dance move, or sink into a downward facing dog. Your body deserves it.
- Write down three things that make you smile and plan to do them in the next 24 hours.
- Rub your temples.
- Brush your hair. It stimulates a multitude of acupuncture points, which can help calm your mind and encourage blood flow to your brain.
If you have five minutes:
- Find a ray of sunshine, stand in it, close your eyes and breathe.
- Dance along to a favourite feel-good song.
- Send a picture to a friend that’ll make you both smile.
- Get excited brainstorming five self-care things you’d love to do this week. Hey, it’s always good to plan ahead.
- Ring or message someone and tell them you love them.
- Use a dry skin brush on your entire body to increase your circulation, remove skin impurities and encourage relaxation.
If you have 30 minutes:
- Eat a nourishing lunch outdoors with no electronics . . . Ah, the serenity.
- Sink into a hot bath before bed. Candles, relaxing music and essential oils.
- Sprawl out on cosy cushions or a hammock, get stuck in a book and escape.
- Close your eyes and just BE.
- Walk along the beach or in nature.
If you have one hour plus:
- Get a massage.
- Take a yoga class.
- Have a picnic or go for a walk, a swim or a bike ride. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the breeze on your face or the water caressing your body. It’s great to feel alive.
- Tackle that overwhelming task that’s been hanging over your head for months. Weed the garden, declutter your closet or sell your garage clutter. It’s liberating.
Now you’ve got the idea. Schedule it in or seize the moment when it arises.
Self Care is essential to keeping your spark ignited.
Want to learn the other secrets to getting your spark back?
I’ve written a book – Sizzle, Not Fizzle! – Secrets to Bringing the Spark Back into Your Life – easy read with loads of practical tips to bringing back the spark in tour life.
Great christmas gift. Click here to buy online.
We all have techniques we depend on to lift our spirits when we’re feeling down about ourselves or our lives.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L. Hay
A while back I realized something about my spirit lifting practices that I’d found most effective – some were outward facing and others inward facing.
Now, outward facing or external validation is when you lift your mood through appreciation or approval from other people. Whereas inward facing or internal validation is when you accept your own feelings in a non-judgmental and loving way and then let them go.
It’s not about ‘getting OVER things’ rather moving through them, which involves acceptance, processing and integrating. It can be tough but always worth it! I call it the breakdown before the breakthrough.
My aha moment was that internal validation is a core foundation of self love and self care.
How do you lift your spirits? Is it outward facing or inward facing or a mix of both?
Getting help from others is only one part of the equation. We also need to be able to validate, support, and help ourselves.
As a healer, you create a space for healing but the person has to walk the journey.
With this in mind, I’ve come up with a few ideas to create a little more balance in my support system, making myself a more central part of it.
If you’re also looking to increase your capacity to lift your spirits so you can depend less on validation from others, you may find these ideas helpful:
1. Get in the habit of asking yourself, “What do I need right now?”
I’ve got better at this through practice. It can feel clunky at first.
I schedule in practice “what do I need right now?” time every night between 9pm and 10pm. And I so look forward to it! It builds an internal validation muscle that’s strong so you can apply it in your life any time.
If you’re feeling down, or down on yourself, ask yourself: “What does my body need? What does my mind need? What does my spirit need?” Or otherwise expressed: What will make you feel better, more stable, healthier, and more balanced?
You may find that you need to nurture yourself with a relaxing mineral salt bath, practice deep breathing or meditation to clear your head, journal to express and process your feelings or drink a relaxing herbal tea.
This is what the act of validating yourself looks like. Whenever you address your needs, you reinforce to yourself that they are important, regardless of whatever you did or didn’t do previously.
It is a sign of strength and what you are willing to do for yourself.
2. Make a “you” section in your daily gratitude journal.
Gratitude journals help you recognise and celebrate all the good things in your day. Take 5-10 minutes each evening to appreciate and give yourself some credit.
Note down the things you’ve done well, the choices you’ve made that you’re proud of, the progress you’ve made, and even the things that required no action at all—for example, the time you gave yourself to simply be.
When you regularly praise yourself, self-validation becomes a habit you can depend on when you need it the most.
3. Before seeking external validation, ask yourself, “What do I hope that person tells me?” Then tell it to yourself.
Odds are, you aren’t always looking for someone’s advice or opinion when you come to them with a painful story. You’re looking for them to confirm you didn’t do anything wrong—or if you did, that you’re not a bad person for it.
Essentially, you’re looking for someone else to see the best in you and believe in you. Give yourself what you’re seeking from them before making that call. Then by all means, make it if you want to.
The goal isn’t to stop reaching out to others. It’s to be there for yourself.
The words you want to hear from someone else will be far more powerful if you fully believe what they’re saying.
4. Recognize when you’re judging your feelings.
If you’re in the habit of feeling bad about feeling down or insecure, or generally having emotional reactions to emotions, you will inevitably end up feeling stuck and helpless.
Get in the habit of telling yourself, “I have a right to feel how I feel.” This will help you understand your feelings and work through them much more easily, because you won’t be so deeply embedded in negativity about yourself.
Once you’ve accepted your feelings, you’ll then be free to seek support for the actual problem—not you self-judgment about having to deal with it.
5. Let the adult version of you talk to your inner child.
Many of us didn’t receive the type of love, support, and kindness we needed growing up, and this may have taught us to treat ourselves harshly and critically.
When you’re looking for that warm, fuzzy feeling that emerges when someone you trust tells you, “Everything is going to be okay,” imagine yourself saying it to your younger self.
Picture that little kid who tried so hard, meant no harm, and just wanted to be loved and cherished. This will likely help in deflating your self-criticism and fill you a genuine sense of compassion for yourself.
Once again, this doesn’t need to be an alternative to seeking compassion from others; it just provides a secure foundation from which you’ll be better able to receive that.
Do you have any techniques for lifting your spirits that validate yourself?
Now, it’s time to convert words into action and set you up for success!
Let’s start with Step 1: “What do I need right now?”
To turn on the self care juices I asked Crystal at Ecology Skincare to put together a self-care package for YOU.
So, here we have it….
Replenishing Mineral Salts (packed with magnesium and trace elements) to relax, detox, calm and soothe your beautiful body while you’re having a bath or foot bath.
As a BONUS, you’ll also receive –
- Guided relaxation audio – That you can use while you’re soaking in your bath or footbath to help you relax and unwind …even further. It’s like a super boost to your self-care timeout
- Guided 3 minute breathing space audio
- Stick notes pack – Put them on your bathroom mirror,your fridge, computer …or anywhere as a physical reminder to take time out for yourself
I’d love 500g bag I’d love 1kg bag
If there’s someone you know, who might need a little help to lift their spirits, please share to spread the love.
May your spirit soar, love Julie xo
Us humans are such complicated beings, it’s no wonder we become overwhelmed and confused when we think we are doing something right, yet the results show the opposite. [ezcol_1half]The Wellness Wheel, have you heard of it?
Do you know its benefits?
How can it help you?
There are many variations of this tool and let me tell you it’s definitely an invaluable method to help you manage your everyday struggles and to gain an understanding of different areas of your life.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]
The final Secret to Happiness Tip #3 has arrived, Self Love. A word liberally used these days – “you need to love yourself more”, “you can’t love another person until you love yourself first”, “you can tell she doesn’t love herself”, “if you loved yourself better that wouldn’t have happened.”
Self love advice is given freely and copiously by friends, loved ones and well intentioned onlookers to steer us back to a happy, fulfilling life.
Self love is foundational to everything, it influences who you pick as a mate, how you cope with problems, how you look after yourself and the image you project out into the world. Self love is a secret to happiness.
What is self love? Firstly, I’ll tell what it isn’t….a beauty makeover, a new set of clothes, being inspired, falling in love. Sure they’ll make you feel good but you can’t grow your self love from here.
Self love stems from appreciating yourself, which grows from actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Cultivating self love is a dynamic process that feeds off all the actions and events that mature us. You can tell it’s happening when you start accepting who you are warts and all and rarely feel the need to explain away your short-comings. You have compassion for yourself and others, seeing mankind collectively as on an adventurous journey to find personal meaning. When you’re getting close to real self love you’re more centered in your life purpose and values, and each day you intentionally choose to make the effort to live a full and meaningful life.
Here’s my Six Self Love Tips:
1. Own Yourself. Get clear on what you think, feel and want. Clarity allows you to be YOU regardless of the outside circumstances. You know this has happened when you’re stable, centered, grounded and can weather life’s storms in your stride.
2. Act on your needs rather than your want. You love yourself when you turn away from things that feel exciting and fun in the moment that may not be good for you, to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life. Metaphorically, it’s like junk food – it can taste good now but it’s bad for you long term. Automatic behavior patterns can keep you stuck in the past and erode self love until there is nothing left.
3. Practice self care. You love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. Like nourishing yourself daily through healthy activities, like eating good foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, engaging in healthy relationships and interactions.
4. Set boundaries. Self love shows up in setting limits or saying no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.
5. Protect yourself by bringing the right people into your life. Frenemies says it all, it’s the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. Get rid of them, life’s too short.
6. Forgive yourself, accept you’re perfectly imperfect. Cease over punishment for mistakes when learning and growing. Ideally learn the lessons, accept your humanness and turn up the love and compassion dial and in the process master your self love.
Now ideally, pick one or two from the tips above and start cranking up your self love meter. It’s true that you can only love a person as much as you love yourself. The more self-love for yourself, the better prepared for healthy relating. And you’ll start attracting people and circumstances that support your well-being and being the best YOU.
Wishing you loads of happiness Julie xxx
Lost your spark, feeling exhausted, worn out? Been through a rough patch and can barely peel yourself away from your doona, find yourself saying “I’ve Lost My Passion For Life?”
Reliving mental pictures of the old days, when you had energy, motivation, a sense of humour, optimism? Now there’s cynicism, exhaustion and feeling too tired for life. – “Lost My Passion For Life”
Libido’s crashed, living on caffeine and sugar, endlessly running the kids around and grinding out the hours at work, feeling like a hamster on a wheel.
Find yourself staring in the mirror saying “I need to find my spark again?”
Don’t lose hope your spark is smouldering somewhere deep inside.
And no it’s not because you’re old…it’s because you’ve stopped looking after you. Everything else came first and it’s time for an overhaul.
It’s time to ignite the flame!
Don’t worry your family, friends and work colleagues will thank you for it.
“Find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.” – Oprah
Imagine bounding out of bed as the alarm goes off, you’re jumping out of your skin so exercise’s no problem and you’re ready for anything that comes your way.
I know I lost my spark in my late twenties, working crazy hours, disrespecting my body with crappy foods, little exercise and bad relationships.
I got that ‘hamster wheel feeling’ and knew things had to change because I wasn’t staying there! I had to find my spark again….and I did.
Now I look back I see the patterns, thoughts, actions and mindset that got me there. When you know better you do better.
“Don’t lose the spark that makes you….you” – CJ Peterson
Here’s six steps to finding your spark:
Step One: Clarity Is Central To Finding Your Spark
Take a moment to dream what you’d like your life to look like in five, ten or fiftenteen year’s time.
Make this an everyday practice.
Ahhh…. it feel delicious.
That’s the juice, that’s going to get you there through the ups and downs of life.
Now take stock of where you are now.
What’s three things that need to happen in next three months for you to move closer to your dream life?
Focus and consistency are the footsteps of clarity.
Let’s get walking my friend, to a spark filled life.
Step Two: Energy is Essential To Regaining Your Spark
Second stage of regaining your spark is energy.
Energy is foundational to everything.
It’s not just in your head, it’s in every cell of your body.
Having no energy is like being an inflatable toy that’s sprung a leak.
What’s zapping your energy?
- Low in iron
- making bad food choices
- sleep deprived
- gut problems
- autoimmune disease
- chronic pain
- food intolerances….
If you answered yes to any of the above, you will benefit greatly from seeing a naturopath. I can make a huge difference to unravelling the causes. CLICK HERE to book online to get it sorted.
Step Three: Rituals Are Key To Recreating The Spark In Your Life
Stop living off wishful thinking, life’s too short to hope and pray that the planets will align and you’ll be jumping out of your skin and motivated each day.
So, increase the odds by setting morning and evening rituals.
Soon your rituals will become just what you do and you can change and refine them over time.
Need some help with establishing empowering rituals, come see me. Click here to book online.
Step Four: Decluttering Clears Out What’s Smoothering Your Spark
Yes, time to clear out all the rubbish in your life room by room, person by person, thought by thought, action by action.
Let go of what’s not working and what you’re no longer using.
Gift it, sell it, donate it, bin it, recycle it.
Make space for what does work and what’s coming.
Get the boxes and bags out and go to work.
Set a timer and a “this shit’s got to go” attitude.
You’ll feel lighter and freer for it.
Step Five: Recharging Is Critical To Finding and Maintaining Your Spark
When you’re running low or on empty, every time you give to others you’re giving away a piece of yourself and it hurts.
Think of it like filling up the car with petrol, it’s hard to go anywhere with no fuel.
When you’re overflowing it’s easy.
You cannot give what you don’t have.
Recharge using daily self care. Click here for loads of ideas.
Step Six: Empowerment Is The Glue To Finding And Keeping Your Spark
Self love equals self empowerment.
When you love yourself, you set standards for yourself and boundaries for others.
What does self love look like for you?
For me, it’s about taking care of myself by treating my body, mind and spirit like the gift they are?
I always say, the great leveller in life, “you come in with this body, you go out with this body, when it wears out so do you, so treat it with the respect it deserves.” – Julie Smethurst
If you find yourself thinking – “I have Lost My Passion For Life” You need help to find your spark.
I know it’s still there somewhere because you’re breathing…haha! CLICK HERE to book online to get started to finding your spark today at my Mt Martha office or via skype.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re no longer willing to stay where you are.” – J.P Morgan
Much love Julie xx
(Naturopath, Life Coach, Pharmacist) Feeling Great Health Solutions, Mt Martha