10 Simple Self-Love Tips

Click image for source: Elephant Journal

Click image for source: Elephant Journal

I am a love bug. I have no problems telling the world about all the things I love. Repeatedly. My “About” section is full of love. I tell my family and friends how much I love them daily. I am the annoying one in the car that screams “OHMAGAAAAWD I LOVE THIS SONG”… every single song.

So why is it when I come to myself I get tongue tied? It’s like a first date. My eyes hit the floor. I shift from foot to foot. I get coy.

And a lot of people I know seem to be struck by the same affliction. I have deducted that this is down to two things; either we are embarrassed at the thought of loving ourselves or we truly don’t. Both of those are wrong.

Self-love is not being selfish.

It is about being kind to yourself. Allowing yourself rest. Turning your inner monologue into a cheer squad instead of a lynch mob.  Most importantly, self-love is vital.

So if you aren’t already, it’s time to get on the self love train. Toot toot!

1. Write yourself a letter of advice

I am terrified of flying. So, on a trip to Bali my mum suggested that I write a letter to my imaginary teenage daughter about living a full life. Silly as it sounds, it worked. I wrote rational truth and vicarious dreams and because I technically wasn’t talking to my self-doubting self I gulped it all up. So when I was feeling lost the other day I pictured my 80 year old self writing a letter of advice. It’s a great way to remind yourself that you only live once! (Did I just YOLO?).

2. Practice mindfulness

Meditation can be quite intimidating but it is an unbelievably powerful tool. If you have tried it before and couldn’t quite ‘get it’ then know that you don’t have to master it to feel the benefits. Sarah Wilson (of I Quit Sugar fame) describes it as a “jerky, nervous, chattery [experience] that is far from inspirational”. The more you exercise your stillness muscle the stronger it gets… keep at it. Here are some amazing meditation resources that I use;

  • The Chopra Meditation Center (Yes Deepak!) is a constant source of inspiration not to mention a comprehensive resource. Explore!
  • I love this guided meditation by Melissa Ambrosini
  • Buy some guided meditations either on iTunes or at your local alternative health store. (I can’t recommend this set of 22 Perfect Health Meditations enough – just gorgeous!)

3. Accept compliments

If someone gives you a compliment smile broadly and say Thank You. Hell – agree with it if you want to!

4. Stop pointing out what is wrong

Make a concerted effort to only point out the positives – even if you don’t feel like it. Brainwashed positivity is more contagious than the flu and has an amazing knack for changing your perspective.

5. Take a step towards your dreams (even if it’s a small one!)

You owe yourself your dreams so if you are living a life where you are constantly standing still admiring them you are not going to feel very fulfilled. So, whatever your dream take a step towards it – no matter how small! For example; you dream of being an illustrator? Enter an art competition. You fantasise about living in New York? Stick a photo of Times Square on your computer at work. Want to feel healthier? Join a local wellness Meetup group. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic… just a little love note to the universe telling it that you are ready for what it’s got to throw at you.

6. Take a step away from social media

It is unrealistic to think of life without social media… it’s here. And thank god because otherwise we wouldn’t be chatting now! But sometimes it can be so damn overwhelming. So – starting today – do something to reduce your usage. Make a rule that you do not check it first thing in the morning. Give yourself allocated social media times – once in the morning, midday and afternoon. Never consume more than one media at once (I.e. watching TV while tweeting; cruising instagram while on the phone etc).

7. Random acts of kindness

If you are low on love for yourself logic would have it that you need to keep as much as you can for yourself. Hoard your happy. However, I have found that as low as you feel if you can muster the energy to do something for someone else it magically makes you feel better. This quote really sticks with me – “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again” (Og Mandino).

8. Dedicated you-time

Allot yourself a specific time once a week where you pamper the fuck out of yourself! Turn off your phone and do exactly what it is that makes you feel fabulous. If that is lighting your expensive candles, pouring a champagne and chillaxing in the bath for 2 hours then go for it!

9. Express yourself

Commit to expressing yourself without judgement. Paint, run, cook, read, dance, go to a nudist beach, sit under a tree alone, sing – do whatever it is that make you feel 100% authentically you. Don’t judge yourself on it (i.e. “I’m not a very good painter”) just let your body and mind move however it feels right.

10. Unleash your inner 12 year old

Go into a room by yourself. Put your favourite song on. Now dramatically mime it. Dance! I have never managed to do this without feeling better afterwards. Laugh at yourself. Don’t take life too seriously.

What about you? Do you have a never-fail self-love pick me up?
Love to hear in the comments.

DIY Valentines Gift Ideas That Love The Planet Too!

I love love. Which is why I love Valentines Day. Some would argue that ‘Hallmark’ holidays are consumerist and I guess that can be true… but it doesn’t have to be. That’s the great thing about the eco-creativity movement; you can take any idea and paint it green. So how about making sure your Valentines Gifts are just as nice to the planet as they are to your loved one. Here is some inspiration…

(click the pictures to go through to the links!)

Sweet Green Eats

Your standard box of chocolates is unhealthy for everyone involved: unhealthy sugars and fats to clog your arteries and lots of unnecessary packaging to clog our waterways. So why not get creative and try these healthy romantic alternatives…

Box of Healthy Love Cookies

Don’t go buy a new gift box… you could use an old shoe box or maybe an upcycled cereal box?

And here is a healthy flourless cookie to make from one of my favorite food bloggers Delighted Momma.

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Heart Shaped Carrots

Float these healthy hearts in soup or mix them through a salad!

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Healthy Lunch Box Surprise

You could make the tags from old manila folders or wallets. A cute surprise for kids.

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A Healthy Hearty Dessert

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Upcycled Gifts

I don’t think anything says I love you like a handmade gift!

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

GORGEOUS. Plantable paper seed hearts! Imagine filling these with herb seeds. Flavoring their dishes with love! (I am sorry for that… it was really cheesy).

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Scrap Fabric Sweetheart Frame

A lovely thing to sit on your loved ones desk to remind them that they are still your sweetheart…

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Recycled Wood String Art

I am in love with this!!! Imagine using wood from an old pallet and some old shed scraps…

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A Love Note Poster

Something gorgeous for your loved one to stick up at their desk, made from an old book page.

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“Remember, I Love You’s”

An upcycled jar + some scrap fabrics = Cutest gift ever.

Hide these love hearts in secret places for your loved ones to find!

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The Alternative Bouquet

A bunch of flowers may be pretty but did you know they are often imported from other countries – often developing nations that are using precious resources to grow flowers instead of food! You can read more about that in my post here but in the meantime, how about rethinking the bouquet and  going for a more sustainable bunch of goodies.

Upcycled Magazine Flowers 

I made these flowers out of old magazines…

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A Bouquet of Buttons

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Felt Roses

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Cranberry Roses, anyone?

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The Living Bouquet 

What could be better than a bouquet that is 100% natural and lasts forever! Why not get a pot plant. My favourite would have to me the Chain of Hearts. Long vines of heart shaped flowers… divine.

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Eco Decorations

What a lovely way to make someone feel loved! Surprises are amazing… imagine walking in a house decorated with some of these things?

Love Heart Garland

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Wreath From Old Greeting Cards 

This would be the perfect way to use up all those old red Christmas cards!!!

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An Ambient Centerpiece

Use natural twine and love hearts made from magazines or book pages.

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A Heart Plaque Made from Spools

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Hopefully that gets you inspired to get creative this Valentines Day! And who says gifts should just be for your partner… spread the love far and wide. This world needs as many good vibes as it can get!

Happy Valentines Day from Me!

Our Unexpected Pre-Baby Baby

So I have been a bit quiet on the blog lately but it has been for good reason. An unexpected pre-baby baby of the feline variety. Meet Velcro…

It all happened a few weeks ago when my husband and I were coming home from dinner and innocently stopped off to get some petrol. There were a huddle of teenagers standing out the front and one of them approached us and just said ‘Do you want a kitten?’. Pardon? She held out her hands to reveal the tiniest cat I have ever seen in my life. The kids had been out walking and heard a small squeaking coming from the bushes and there she was… all by herself. The girls said their mum wouldn’t let them have her and they didn’t know what else to do. Luckily my husband – who has one of the biggest hearts in the world – already had a look of love in his eyes. He had also shared a few bottles of wine with our friends which surely helped. Either way, we took her home.

To give some idea of her size…

Thinking about it rationally we knew this wasn’t the best time to adopt a cat. I am 8 months pregnant which means we are cutting costs as it is, my husband gets allergies and cats and babies are not the best mix (toxoplasmosis, the whole lying on warm face thing) not to mention I have a Pug with only one working eye! I dread the thought of a playful swipe catching little Pugman’s good blinker. But sometimes you just have to go with what is in your heart. The dogs are very excited by the new addition too – Pugman is quite obsessed with and cuddles her constantly whereas my other canine brute (Allen) is very much her plaything. And very proud of the fact.

“Can we keep her?”

We took her to the vet the next day where they told us she was no more than 2 weeks, which is insanely young to be away from ones mother. We got some proper cat milk (Cows milk is an absolute no no for kittens!!!) and took her home to bottle feed this precious 200 gram being. She could hardly muster more than a few steps without stumbling which sadly leads to the deduction that she was dumped. I went back to the roundabout the next day to look for other kittens or perhaps a mother but to no avail. It breaks my heart to think that someone would just abandon something so defenseless.

Her first night home… safe at last.

So I just wanted to share this little story for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is amazing how much kindness you can see when you are looking for it. From the group of teenagers who stopped to look after her to the vet that didn’t charge us because she wanted to repay our good deed. I am sometimes guilty of getting caught thinking the worst of people but there really are some big hearts out there. Secondly, it got me thinking of all the gorgeous animals out there that are in shelters. These shelters are mostly at capacity which means that some have to resort to euthanasia and others have to turn drop-offs away who are then met an uncertain fate.  For some, like my little pudding, that may be the side of the road but for others it can be much worse. If you know that there is some extra (permanent) room and love in your home for an animal companion – even if it is a tiny gap like ours was – then please check out some of the shelters in your area. Why do we still have pet shops when there are so many beautiful ‘unwanted’ souls already in the world.

In Perth alone we have these fantastic organisations;

If you aren’t looking for a pet but still want to help, they are always open to donations and/or volunteers!

And last but not least I wanted to share some photos of her with you. Because I am a proud mum and that’s what we do.

Love is.

Bottle-feeding the little muffin!

Milk-drunk.

A whole little life in my hands.

Quite the lady. Now pushing 600 grams.

Her savage alter-ego!

Peek-a-boo with Allen

My gorgeous big-hearted husband.

High Five for kitty!

Truly believing she was sneaking up on me.