I’ve always heard that before you can truly love anyone else, you must first love yourself. I never believed this until I found that daily rituals enhanced my perception of self-love. This self-acceptance has unfolded in my love for others too.
As parents, we sacrifice so much for our children, including moments for ourselves. We may even commit actions that may be in opposition to self-love. These actions might be external — a lack of sleep, poor food choices or failure to commit to our own personal growth. These actions can also be internalized with harmful self-talk. We might tell ourselves that we are not a strong enough or good enough mother. We might look in the mirror and say that we are not beautiful or not even worthy of love ourselves.
To my fellow mothers: You really are beautiful and worthy of love, and within every misstep (and there will be plenty of them) is an opportunity to blossom.
Herein lies the importance of self-love rituals. A ritual is a series of actions performed in a particular order. Unlike actions that we perform routinely and don’t think about (brushing our teeth for example), rituals have meaning and purpose. Done with intention and reflection, they can be healing for our bodies and souls.
I am sharing five self-love rituals for mothers and caregivers, hoping they will guide you to love yourself every single day.
1) A warm, nutritious beverage and a good book.
I find warm drinks to be especially comforting, and luckily, there are many that have soothing or health-promoting properties too. A few of my favorites are:
- Ginger Tea with lemon
- Turmeric Latte
- Mayan Hot Chocolate
I recommend selecting an inspirational book that is dedicated to your own personal growth and interests. An alternative would be an inspirational journal for reflection. My journal includes pages for reading reflections and a vision board, as well as sections for writing about personal growth and scribbling intentions down for the year. Make the ritual complete with a cozy spot and a candle or two!
2) Bath Ritual
Draw yourself a warm, “healing” bath and make this ritual your own. Choose aromatherapy that will relax you. Add flower petals and herbs to your bath. Play music that makes you happy.
3) Self-Love Meditation
Start your meditation practice with at least three affirmations of your own self-love. What do you really love about yourself? It can be as simple as loving the fact that you made time to meditate!
4) Nature Walk
Nature is a wonderful teacher. She remains patient and beautiful—even as the seasons change. Try taking a walk somewhere quiet in nature. The walk is not dedicated to fitness or thinking about your “to-do” list. It is a time for reflection without any expectation.
5) Mindful Meal
Select special ingredients for a nutritious and mindful meal during the week—use ingredients that you may not usually justify purchasing for yourself. Prepare your meal with attention to detail, right down to the very dish you will serve it on. Sit down to eat and savor each mouthful. Put down your fork down between every bite. Imagine how the food you are eating is nourishing you. Aromatherapy and beautiful music are nice additions to this ritual too.
Finding the time for a self-love ritual might be difficult at first.
It must become a priority (which is something that I am working on myself). Wonderful times may be early in the morning, before anyone else in your household wakes up, or in the evening, after the children are in bed. In the rare event you find yourself alone, it can be daunting and tempting to finally tackle the piles of laundry. Instead, why not indulge in a celebration of self-love?
Whether you’re practicing the rituals listed above, or coming up with your own, time allowed for yourself is truly a gift.