self love

5 Ways to Practise Self-Love from Bridal Coach, Georgina Lucy

Georgina Lucy. Photo by  Ashley Kingsbury  .

Georgina Lucy. Photo by Ashley Kingsbury.

Today’s post is a special guest share from Mindful Bride Coach, Georgina Lucy! I love her thoughts on this topic. Please note I left the post written in her delightful British English. Enjoy! -AHS


I get it, as a bride you want to look and feel your very best for your wedding day.  You’d be hard pushed to find a bride who doesn’t want this. With this being an important goal for so many brides it can also bring up challenges. By focusing on what you want to change about yourself it can lead to unhelpful and often quite punishing self-talk and that’s no fun!

I want to help you turn this on its head and practise some self-love during your engagement, whilst staying committed to your goal of looking and feeling your best come the wedding day. I promise you, these two things are perfectly compatible.

1. See yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you

So often we are our own worst critics. We look in the mirror and see all our perceived flaws and fixate on them. We give ourselves a hard time when we make mistakes and put insane amounts of pressure on ourselves when we’re not ticking things off the ‘wedmin’ to-do list fast enough. It’s exhausting isn’t it?

Have a think about all the people in your life who love you. Hopefully you have a few special people to pick from. Take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. See yourself through their eyes.

What do they love about you? What little quirks make them smile? What parts of you do they adore the most? Really feel that love they feel for you. When we see ourselves through the eyes of someone who loves us it can feel a little more comfortable than looking in the mirror and chanting, ‘I love you’ (don’t get me wrong, there is a place for that too).  Hopefully this will allow you to see yourself in a loving way. Tap into this feeling next time you’re giving yourself a hard time.

2. Be careful what you consume

Do a social media audit. What’s dominating your newsfeed? Does it make you feel good? Often, we follow ‘aspirational’ accounts and people to give us something to aspire to but is this making you feel good? If it is, then great but really question the impact certain accounts are having on you. Do you notice a shift in energy when a particular person pops up on your feed? Really notice these shifts and don’t be afraid to hit ‘unfollow’ or ‘mute.’  Believe me, it can feel very empowering!

By consuming content that lifts you up and nurtures you you’re being kind to yourself and this is a huge act of self-love. What podcasts make you smile and make you feel good about yourself? Listen to more of them. We have a lot of ‘dead time’ in life – travelling, loading and unloading the dishwasher, sorting laundry. Use this time to absorb anything that makes you feel good about yourself. Some of my go-to feel-good podcasts are, Oprah’s Super-Soul Conversations, Project Love and Wobble.

3. Be Obsessively Grateful

As I said before, we tend to fixate on what we don’t like about ourselves don’t we? What about fixating on what we love about ourselves instead?

Think of just one thing that you’re grateful for about your body. For me, it’s my long legs. I used to hate being tall and felt like a freak when I was head and shoulders above my school friends but now, I’m so grateful for my long legs. They carry me through my day, get me from A to B, and often rather speedily! Not everyone can say that. Maybe you have incredible skin, beautiful long eyelashes, strong arms. Believe me, you have multiple parts of yourself you can feel gratitude towards, if you let yourself.

Really focus on that feeling of gratitude. Notice how it feels and sit with it a while. Simply the act of noticing things to be grateful for shifts your mindset and sooner or later, when you look in that mirror, your mind will go to the good bits first.


4. Let yourself off the hook

When you’re planning a wedding, it can become ALL about the wedding, ALL of the time. If this creates feelings of pressure and overwhelm rather than feelings of excitement give yourself permission to take a break.

One of the brides inside my Facebook community, The Mindful Bride Tribe was feeling totally behind and overwhelmed. The solution wasn’t to work out how to fit yet more tasks into every ounce of spare time she had, it was the opposite. She let herself off the hook and had a weekend off.

When we’re not doing what we think we should be doing, we can beat ourselves up can’t we? Just like your mobile phone, you need a recharge once in a while. How about a wedding free weekend? A date night free from wedding chat?  Time spent doing things that light you up? I bet when you come back to it you’ll have a new lease of life to tackle that to-do list like a boss!

It all starts with giving yourself permission to do what feels good for you. Listen to your body and if there’s signs of stress, that’s a clue you need a break and letting yourself off the hook is such a wonderful way to show yourself some love.

5. Write a love letter to yourself

Get quiet, put on some lovely music, get a pen and a notebook and write a love letter to yourself. If you find yourself staring blankly at a page then think about how you’d support a friend who needs some words of wisdom? Treat yourself as you treat those you love.

If you’re stressed, anxious or under confident give yourself advice about what steps you could take to ease that pressure. Don’t give too much thought to what you’re writing. Just let it flow out of you. It may feel hard at first but persevere. This is just for you. There is no judgment and you may just find you have some real breakthroughs.


Find out more about Georgina and how she is supporting brides with their wedding wellbeing by visiting her website georginalucy.com, or joining The Mindful Bride Tribe Community on Instagram or Facebook.

Your body is beautiful

I’m sharing this photo as an act of self love. Even though I see my faults, I also see a strong healthy woman!

I’m sharing this photo as an act of self love. Even though I see my faults, I also see a strong healthy woman!

I was having coffee with a friend last week and I had a realization that I have a low tolerance for talking about weight loss. Upon reflection, I think that’s because no matter what your shape or size is, I truly think you are beautiful no matter what your size is. And obsessing and following extreme diets and exercise regimes to change you… well it upsets me, to be honest. While that may sound contrarian to what my name implies; “Shed” for the Wed, is really about making Soulful Healthy Eating Decisions. It’s so much more than seeing a certain number on the scale.

I’ve made it very clear that I am not about counting calories, weighing food portions, or restricting whole food categories for an extended period of time. I want to teach you how to eat healthfully to make you feel your best on the big day–but more importantly for the rest of your life! And that requires making healthy living sustainable for the long term.

But while you are learning about healthy eats (which will in 99% of the time help you lose weight if that is your objective), I want you to know you are already “wedding ready”. You are a radiant human just as you are right this very moment. If you have a hard time believing that–as so many of us do–I want you to be actively working on loving your body. By showing love for your body, you are showing love for yourself, and when you love yourself, you can truly love others fully and without judgement. And isn’t that what life is all about?

Another incredibly important point–when you love your body you have a healthy relationship with food. You don’t look at cake with disgust or with lust (okay maybe sometimes with lust 😂), but it is neutral. There will always be options that are healthier and options that are less healthy. Foods do not have the labels of “good” or “bad”.

All of this is easier said than done. This work does not happen overnight. Sometimes it can take years of our lives to decondition ourselves from the years of torment we (and society) have placed on ourselves. I’m for sure still working on it, and probably will be for a long time! I’ve compiled some easy actionable tips to start you on the right path:

  1. Look in the mirror and say something nice about what you see once a day (at least!)

  2. Eat vegetables and fruits. By feeding yourself nourishing foods, you are honoring yourself and showing your body love.

  3. Whenever you think a menu item is “bad,” active try to change your mindset in that moment to that it is neutral. Bonus points if someone orders it and you eat some!

  4. Meditate. Take 5 minutes out of your day to just be.

  5. Move your body joyfully. Turn on the happiest song in your Spotify library and have a dance party for one. Or ride your bike outside. Whatever it is, make sure it puts a smile on your face.

What are you doing to show your body some love this week? Leave me a note below or on Instagram/Facebook! With love, AHS

Thoughts on a Healthy Marriage

In all fairness, everyone looks happier on vacation. :) (Roma 2018)

In all fairness, everyone looks happier on vacation. :) (Roma 2018)

I am by no means a marriage expert. But in honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to share a quick little post on what a healthy marriage looks like to me! And while Conor and I are going on 5 years of marriage- we have been a couple since 2007 (😳) so we have learned and grown a lot together as people and in our relationship.

Understand your spouse for who they are and accept them unconditionally: the good the bad and the ugly. What I mean by this is that if you are married (hopefully!) you really know your spouse inside and out. If you fell in love, you know all of the wonderfulness they bring to the table. But let’s be honest, no one is perfect. We all have our shadow sides. And knowing the dark sides of your spouse isn’t a bad thing. Always try to bring out the best in them, of course, but also allow them to not be perfect. Accept their imperfections and love them for them.

Along those lines, don’t try to change their essence. This may sound obvious, but we all have a something unique we bring to the table. I’ll use myself as an example. I am often floating high above the clouds dreaming big. I have lofty aspirations. I’m a very woowoo Pisces who loves reading books on self-improvement. My husband is not into any of it (at least not in the same way!). But instead of trying to change me to be more like his practical self, he loves me for it (even though I’m pretty sure it drives him crazy sometimes!). Along the same lines, my husband loves sports (playing and watching) oh so much, and I couldn’t care less most days. But instead of trying to change that part of him I have leaned in to the most important games for him (Indiana University Basketball, in case you were wondering) and prepare myself with other things to do for other big games I can’t mentally care about. Obviously, we compromise- he would watch sports all day every day if he could, but instead we watch lots of other things that we both like (current favorites being Schitt’s Creek and Medici!).

Spend alone time together. Make time to recharge your relationship. Having a regularly scheduled date night will help keep things fresh and fun. It’s easy to have your weekends dominated by social plans with friends and family. But it becomes increasingly more important as you have less and less time for yourselves (yeah I’m talking to you young parents!). You need alone time in order to keep your bond strong and to feel connected. Related to that, it’s important to keep intimacy a priority. Yeah, I said it. It’s easy to let it slip away, but if you prioritize intimacy it helps your connection stay strong.

Lastly, remain independent. Remember you are an individual first and foremost. Don’t rely on your spouse to define you or fill every need you have. Friends are important. Family is important. Your spouse can’t be everything to you. Other relationships are important to our mental health too. I don’t expect my husband to understand all my woowoo inclinations- but I have a whole other tribe for that! Just like he has all of the bros to talk/play sports with. Take responsibility for your own happiness! It’s not your spouse’s job to make you happy. You make yourself happy and the rest will follow. If that isn’t romantic, than I don’t know what is! ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Treat your boo right today and every day! :) -AHS

The Glow Up

Hello beauties! First and foremost: this is your reminder that you are amazing and perfect just as you are. Right this very second! Are you feeling your fabulous selves today? Do a lil shimmy! Okay, now we’re ready!

I created Shed for the Wed because I wanted to help brides feel good! Planning a wedding whether for 500 people or just an intimate occasion with just your nearest and dearest can be stressful. It can bring up a lot of different emotions and can be downright exhausting! I want you to feel* full of life, love, and energy during your engagement. And I want to help you glow on the big day. There are many ways to accomplish this task, but the foundations of achieving this are the 3 Ss: Sustenance, Sweat, and Spirit. These are the basics that I want you to make sure you prioritizing in your pre-wedding routine. I will dive into each of the three Ss more in later posts- but I wanted to lay the foundation for the wedding glow up!

glow up - food for fuel vitamins minerals eat the rainbow

Sustenance

It is so, so critical to fuel your body with foods that provide nutritional value. Make sure you are “eating the rainbow” and getting your vitamins and minerals through whole food sources that are accessible for your body to process. Eating this way (and eliminating foods that may hinder it) give you ample energy and make your skin glow from the inside out.

Beyond that, have you ever noticed when you haven’t been eating healthy foods and perhaps have been drinking too much alcohol, you tend to feel more anxious or sad? This is not unusual, but you may not have made the correlation before. Healthy foods and water galore help not just your glow, but your mind too! All of this was taken into consideration when creating the Shed for the Wed Nutrition Programs! You can have piece of mind that you are fueling you glow and not adding to your pre-wedding nerves!

Sweat

yoga wheel exercise sweat it out sweating for the wedding

Getting your sweat on is the most obvious place people start when #sheddingforthewedding - which is actually why I don’t focus on it that much. I’m sure you already know there are serious benefits to exercise. Ranging from good heart health, increased bone density, all the way to relief from depression and anxiety– it really is fantastic. I find that when I have a good sweat routine, I know I’m taking care of my body, and I automatically just feel better about myself. When you build physical strength, you also build mental strength. I include it in the glow up list mostly because it’s an awesome way to boost your confidence. Just don’t overdo it- if you focus too much on sweating for the wedding, it can actually end up doing more harm then good.


Spirit

Spirit is the hardest to define, because we are have different essences to our beings and our souls and what satisfies my spirit may be very different to yours. But it is maybe the most important part of the glow up. You should be LIT about your life. I blather on about “self-care” quite a bit. But really any of the things on the following list could fall into that category. Do things that you love every single day.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Connection

  • Going on date night with your boo (*ahem* I mean almost spouse)

  • Belly laughs with friends

  • Spending time with loved ones

  • Volunteering

  • Cooking for loved ones

Nature

  • Swimming in the sea

  • Sunshine

  • Hiking (also counts as sweating!)

  • Gardening

Mindset

Spirituality

  • Praying

  • Going to church (or temple, mosque, whatever your affiliation)

  • Meditating (again)

Creativity

  • Making music

  • Writing

  • Painting

  • Drawing

  • Blogging

  • Cooking

Other

  • Traveling

  • Participating in activism

  • Snuggle time with a pet

  • Taking a social media hiatus

  • Whatever you consider fun!

My spirit is flying high on this one! Hiking, sunshine, nature, travel, all with my favorite person- doesn’t get much better than that! <3

My spirit is flying high on this one! Hiking, sunshine, nature, travel, all with my favorite person- doesn’t get much better than that! <3

The 3 Ss are the perfect trifecta to maximize your glow up for the big day. Which one are you going to begin to focus on first? Leave me a note in the comments or on Instagram or FB!

Happy glowing!

-AHS


*It’s okay to feel any emotion during this time, but I’m assuming you want to feel your best, thus I want to help you get there! Have a read of this post if you are feeling less than stellar mentally during your engagement.

It's okay to not feel amazing when you get engaged

anxiety about wedding

I have something to talk about that is not often discussed in the wedding industry. In fact, it's very rare to read or hear about it at all. I'm bringing it up, because I think it is important for brides to be to hear and I want to be a voice to help you stay grounded during your engagement. You ready?

It's okay to not feel absolutely wonderful every day of your engagement. In fact, it's even okay to feel sad! 

I've talked to enough women to know that while we want our engagement periods to be one of sheer bliss - there are moments that are harder to deal with. And I'm not just talking about wedding planning stress, although that doesn't make it any easier!

I think there is this stigma about talking about other emotions when you are getting married. Like somehow if you are not swooning with affection for your fiancé/e every day, you love them less, or even worse, that you shouldn't be getting married.

I need to debunk this. There are so so so many reasons that you could be feeling anything but happy during your wedding "season". 

You could feel sad about not being your parents little girl any longer. You could feel weird because everyone says "you just know" and you didn't know. Or maybe your nervous because your parents were divorced and you know you don't want that fate for yourself. Or maybe you are overwhelmed because there are a lot of life changes happening at once. Maybe you're sad about the loss of your single life. Maybe you're sad about having to split holidays. Maybe you're sad that your life as you knew it is changing forever. Maybe it's that you have been dreaming of your wedding your whole life and you aren't ready for the dream to be over. Maybe it's every one of those things or none of them. 

It is possible to feel joy, love, and excitement–and also sadness, loss, and anxiety during your engagement.

Getting married is one of the biggest life events you will experience. Sometimes it's a huge adjustment, sometimes it's just a formality. What I want you to walk away with, is that it is okay to feel any of these emotions during this time. Make space for yourself to process your emotions. Feel how you feel, and don't be ashamed or scared about feeling more than just joy during this time in your life.


Have you felt like this at all during your engagement? If you feel this way it can be incredibly isolating. I know this is a sensitive topic, but I want you to know I am here for you if you need to talk about this with someone. If you want to talk about it, please, send me a message on social media or drop me an email in the form below and I will get back to you shortly. This is not an email sign up, just an opportunity to chat with an unbiased party. :)

If talking isn't up your alley. Be sure to check out some of the other posts to help keep you "Zen for the Wed." Xx - AHS

The #1 tool to keep you Zen for the Wed: Meditation

You don't even need to be on the edge of a cliff looking at mountains to meditate! You can do it from home!

You don't even need to be on the edge of a cliff looking at mountains to meditate! You can do it from home!

I had this realization lately that I keep bringing up meditation as a solution to every problem I encounter. Talking to friends and clients alike, my recos are always including adding mediation to their routine. I was becoming an obsessed, broken record. But why?

I typically wouldn't refer to myself as a particularly grounded person. I'm one of those people who is always spinning in circles doing THE most. And like most people these days, when I do have down time, I get lost in the mindlessness of the never-ending scroll on social media. 

When I was forced to take my 10-15 minute occasional meditation practice to 30 minutes daily during my yoga teacher training, it really had an impact on my life. It changed the way I process small and large interactions in my life (not to mention time management skills!). When you are planning a wedding, life can be absolutely chaotic. It is a time you should cherish, and sometimes you just want it to be over. Meditation is an amazing tool to have in your stress management toolkit to keep you #zenforthewed! In this post I'll share the benefits I've seen in myself as well as some instructions on how to get started for yourself!


 

Benefits I've seen

  1. I have control freak tendencies (and I'm also surrounded control freaks- love you all!), and we live in a world where we actually have very little control. That is not to say that we are not in charge of our own fates, but we cannot live our lives in fear of what could happen. Meditation has honestly helped me to accept things that are out of my control. I know to focus on the things in my power to change and don't sweat the rest. This is maybe the number one benefit whilst wedding planning, IMO!!

  2. It helps me to process my emotions. One of the hardest things during my meditation is to let really painful emotions come up and to not suppress them. But by just sitting with the emotions, most times I just sit there, feel them fully, and quite often they pass. If for instance I am really nervous about something I have to do, the emotion will come back, but in a more manageable way. (Side note: getting married can bring up so many emotions, its okay to not feel absolutely ecstatic every day you are engaged. Feel the emotions, sit with them, and it will help you feel great in the long run!)

  3. There is no outright goal for meditating, and a "bad session" is just as important to sit through as a "good session". This aspect of meditation has helped me to detach from the outcomes of all my endeavors. I am not my successes or my failures, and it helps me to remind myself of that. And related to that...

  4. I used to feel like I needed to have a reason to do something. Sometimes it is okay to do something for no particular reason. It is okay to do things just for the sake of doing. Not everything has to be an achievement. I have been working on a very difficult puzzle for 4 months. I don't have any reason why I am doing the puzzle, and that is okay. It is worthy of my time too.

  5. When you meditate (at least in the style I was taught in), you are training your mind to come back to focus on the breath. While often that doesn't happen, if you are reliving your 4th grade trauma for the tenth time and then you remember to come back to the breath–it's still a success. That focus has extended beyond my practice and often helps me with my work! It's amazing when I can focus for any period longer than 5 minutes (YEP - my A.D.D. diagnosis is realllll).

  6. Meditation has helped me to become less reactionary. I'm always working to curb my natural lean towards defensiveness, and I've noticed that meditation has helped me to pause before I react. My husband will say something that will trigger me (love you, honey!) and I will actually pause and think before I respond. I will try to see things from his perspective before answering. So I guess I'm saying meditation has made me a better wife?! Just to be clear, I am not a master of this, but I have made a lot of progress in this area.

  7. It's crazy to think about how rarely I truly experience the moment I am in. Through my meditation practice, I have become more in tune with myself, and I am able to pull myself out of my technology and day dreams and actually be present in the moment. Life is so precious, I need to try to be there for it!

  8. Lastly, I am much more comfortable just being. I can just sit by myself and I don't feel the need to distract myself. It's wild that I didn't feel that way before, but I was always using things to distract me: social media, talking on the phone, Candy Crush, etc. It's like I'm comfortable being truly alone with myself. I notice that if I take a few days off meditating, I come back to the distractions more easily too!


How to Meditate

Did I sell you on it? Are you ready to try meditating for yourself? My instructions to get started follow: 

  1. Get comfortable in a seated upright position. You can be cross legged on a mat or pillow, sitting in a chair, or just sitting on the bed propped up with your legs out.

  2. Set a timer on your phone (you can use one of the apps below or just the normal timer). I recommend 10 minutes to start. If that seems like too much, 5 minutes is still beneficial.

  3. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. I sometimes like to focus on sounds, but that is challenging if there are none! You can keep your eyes open if you visualize too much with your eyes. I find that too distracting most of the time though.

  4. When your mind begins to wander off, bring your concentration back to your breath. You can call yourself out and say "thinking" to help bring your thoughts back to the breath.

  5. Don't check your phone to make sure the timer is set. It is. :)

Before you start read this: 

I want to debunk the myth that meditation is peaceful or enjoyable. It can be, but it can also be downright torturous. Sometimes I would come out of my meditation sessions more frustrated than when I started. And that is okay. When you sit with yourself, all of your anxiety and embarrassing moments will come to haunt you. That will help you to return to the breath, but it will bring up lots of feelings. The key thing is to truly feel the emotions and to not push them down. This is also why I don't advocate using guided meditations. While I love Headspace (a guided meditation app), and that's how I got started meditating, I didn't really feel like I was diving deep until I was sitting in silence. 


Resources: 

An amazing book, "How to Meditate" by Pema Chodron, is a great resource to help you get started. 

Apps: 

Headspace - this man's voice is truly the most soothing sound in the world. Guided meditation is a great place to ease you into meditating. 

Stop, Breathe, and Think - Has a great timer function as well guided functionality. I like the stickers it gives as achievements. 

Insight Timer - A huge variety of meditations available on this app. In addition to it's timer, it's great if you want to explore the vast realm of guided meditation.


Are you ready to try meditating? Or is it already in your routine? Let me know what you think of this self care tool! -AHS

Put a little (self) love in your heart...

When I look at the pose above, I first think to myself, "Woof, those calves. And I have a long way to go to make this pose look good!" It takes me a moment to reset and appreciate how far I've come and appreciate that tan instead!

When I look at the pose above, I first think to myself, "Woof, those calves. And I have a long way to go to make this pose look good!" It takes me a moment to reset and appreciate how far I've come and appreciate that tan instead!

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Sometimes I see circles under my eyes. Sometimes I see bloat from last night's pizza (yep- I eat pizza!). Sometimes I see a whole lotta thigh. Rarely when I look in the mirror am I like, "damn that's a fine looking lady in there!" But why don't I? I suspect I am not alone in this. 

There are probably a lot of contributing factors, and I do not want to diminish them - but I will focus on two reasons for the purpose of today's note. The first is comparison. A natural human tendency that has been magnified by the omnipresence of social media. We spend our days longing for what other people have- their banging bodies, their DREAM weddings, their perfect husbands, adorable babies, charming houses, fancy cars, and exotic honeymoons. We spend a huge bulk of time assessing other people's lot in life and comparing ours to theirs. This isn't to say that we dwell on it or it takes over how we live our lives (sometimes yes, sometimes no) but regardless it happens on the daily. Sometimes we know we are doing it, other times it is operating in the background - but still happening. 

The second reason is judgement. Comparison feeds judgement. Example, so-and-so buys a beautiful new home – "But who would want to live there? It's the middle of nowhere!" Someone posts a selfie - it's attention seeking and/or desperate. Someone cuts you off on the highway - they are an a**hole. Immediately we affirm our own choices and lifestyle, building our own ego at the sacrifice of tearing down someone else. We judge other people and ourselves ALL of the time for EVERYTHING. And that includes what we see when we look in the mirror. 

And it's exhausting. 

And it doesn't serve us.

And in fact, it has a negative effect on the way we view ourselves and others. We need to knock it off. 

Less judgement, and more love. 

We need to love ourselves. Seriously, love every part of ourselves. We need to cut out the negative self talk. We are KWEENS ladies! And stunning rays of light filled with love. We are pure magic. When we acknowledge this, it helps us to see that in everyone else. 

Today is #internationalyogaday, and with it, comes a challenge. Love yourself and then love others. That's our mission. But how to shift our mindsets? It's a big task, so let's break it down.  

 

Step 1. Acknowledgement

Sit with a journal and a cup of (insert beverage of choice) and do some self reflection. When do you tend to compare yourself to others? Is it comparing that bling on your finger to your friend's? Does it happen when you look in the mirror and you think about the Instagram model you follow? When do you tend to judge? Does it manifest in road rage? Again, is it social media? Your favorite Bravo TV stars? 

Just take the time to think about how comparing and judging show up in your life. If after reflection you truly do not compare or judge, please teach a class and invite me! 

 

Step 2. Forgiveness

The next step is to forgive yourself and forgive others for being this way. We have to absolve ourselves from this. These habits are ingrained from childhood and perpetuated by the culture we live in. Let's not beat ourselves up over being judgmental. That defeats the purpose of this whole exercise. 

 

Step 3: Radical acts of self care

How did we get to self care? Well, what is at the heart of comparison? I believe it's our own feelings of inadequacy. Showing yourself some care is the foundation of self love. Do something for yourself every day. Take time for yourself. Whatever that means for you. By caring for ourselves, we nurture self love. It helps us to live more comfortably in our own skin- which helps us to love others better, too.

Self care is not selfish.

I repeat, SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH. When you are feeling drained and out of gas - it is really easy to get into negative self talk patterns. Beyond that, it also hinders our ability to serve others. So take the time to refuel. It is so important for your mental and physical health. Don't know where to start? Take a break from wedding planning and try some of the suggestions below:

  • Spend quality time with loved ones.

  • Buy a coffee for a homeless person.

  • Take a bath.

  • Laugh. Really hard.

  • Watch trashy tv, or whatever gives you joy.

  • Bask in the sun.

  • Dance by yourself.

  • Get a mani/pedi.

  • Do nothing - guilt free.

  • Do something you have wanted to do for a long time, but never had the time.

  • Go for a walk in nature.

  • Read a book.

  • Take a nap.

  • Exercise (in a way that sparks joy!).

  • Call a friend.

  • Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful.

  • Meditate.

  • Take a social media/technology hiatus.

  • Eat a hearty nutritious meal.

  • Eat whatever you want, and without judgement

 

Step 4: Judgement Detox

Now that we have acknowledged our habits, forgiven ourselves for them, and have built up our self love... it's now time to take a break from the judging. This is really, really hard - because it is ingrained so deep. And it's not always showing up the way you would think. For example, today I was trying to back into my garage, and a neighbor had left what I think was an air conditioning unit outside their door, which prevented me from getting in my usual way. I was so annoyed. I was thinking about how inconsiderate that action was. Why didn't they move it to the side? Was this a handy person or was it the neighbor? Someone doesn't know the protocol... Judgement after judgement after judgement. And then I stopped myself. I realized, it was highly unlikely that they even realized it inconvenienced anyone. THEN I realized, I manage to get into my spot, just fine. I spent 2 minutes thinking they were horrible people, and realized I worked myself up over absolutely nothing. 

And this story isn't rare. I'm sure I do this 10x a day.

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to spend one day completely judgement free. Only loving thoughts towards yourself and others for just one day. That doesn't mean the judgements won't arise, but do your best to quash them when they come. AND double whammy, when they come up- don't judge yourself for having the thoughts! 

 

In summary

The world we live in is full of judgements. By giving ourselves some self care, and by choosing to judge less, we will love ourselves and others more! Yoga reminds me to have a beginner's mind, love and accept myself where I am at, and to love others unconditionally. I hope that through reading this post and doing this exercise, it helps you do the same. 


Are you going to participate in the self care and judgement detox challenges? I would love to hear if you participate and how it went! Use #shedselfcare and #shedjudgementdetox so I can see! -AHS