8 Nourishing Ways to Celebrate Self Love on Valentine’s day

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Going back as far as primary school when THE big question was how many cards did you get, Valentine’s day has always been a day loaded with meaning. Right? It was important, somehow a statement about you! My birthday is 2 days after so back then I think I would suggest that a few cards had gotten lost in the post and turned up late!! It took on more importance in the teenage years, even more an indication of your loveability, beauty and popularity! And to top it all, as someone who didn’t get married until I was 41, I spent alot of my late 20’s and 30’s in that Bridget Jones space on Valentine’s day, you know the single one. I’d always get asked about ‘the boyfriend’, in fact can you believe, I was actually asked in an interview(by a man) why I wasn’t married as I was a very pretty young woman!!!! People would say things like you’re high maintenance, too fussy, a career woman and you know, I think that at some subconscious level I did buy into that story, the story there was something wrong with me.

I now know how wrong I was and the only way to stop buying into the stories is to do your own inner work and connect with who you truly are from the inside out. As I have gone on this journey this day has now taken on an equally important aspect for me that I think applies to everyone, that of self love. Yes Valentine’s Day is an occasion when couples celebrate romantic love. However, I think it is also important to make it a day for self-love too. After all, didn’t Whitney Houston once sing, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all“?

Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

I believe we all have to cultivate self-love, whether you are single or attached. It’s nice to be able to share the day with a loved one but I think you should also allocate a bit of time nurturing your own soul. Part of my own self love journey was enquiring what a romantic relationship would give me that I didn’t have and then being curious about what ways I already had this in my life .The obvious answer was love and then I realised I had that in abundance and in so many different forms. I then thought, well that’s good to know and if it turns up in the shape of a life partner, great, if not I’m still all good. Ironically when I got to this place of acceptance , it wasn’t long after that I met the one! Funny that.

So personally I feel that it is far more helpful to think of February 14 as a great day for self-love and invite you to join in! Make it a day for you to go inwards and cultivate self love, single or married. Loving yourself completely and unconditionally is when your true beauty radiates out into the world. While complete self-love is a life time work and every day affair, February 14 can be a day to remind us all about its importance! There is another upside- no need to fork out for expensive, overpriced flowers and meals. Believe me the more you nurture yourself, the more love you have to give to others! It could well be a day that you do less and be more too!

And so, just for Valentine’s Day, it helps to have some nice nurturing activities planned. Do things that lift you up in the body, mind and spirit! Here’s my top 8 suggestions…

1.Make a Gratitude List.
No matter your relationship status. Remind yourself of all of the good in your life by making a gratitude list. Choose 20 things you love about your life just as it is and reflect on how they fulfill you. Write about why each of the people, places, and things you’ve selected make you feel happy and whole.

2.Create a set of loving affirmations for yourself .Here are some examples:
I choose to love myself and appreciate my inner beauty.I cherish my mind, body and soul.
I choose to always be myself and let that be enough
I am loved and I am loveable.

3.Light some candles, make your room cosy, put on some music and meditate. Spoil yourself with your favourite film or meal.

4.Read a meaningful self-help book such as The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. or Good Vibes Good Life by Vex King

5. Spend the day in aromatherapy. Work on releasing emotions and uplifting your spirit.

6. Pack a picnic, go outdoors and connect with nature .

7.Listen to a podcast of your choice, try Ferne Cotton’s Happy Place. It’s real

8. Dress to Impress… Yourself.
When you look your best, you’re sure to feel your best! This Valentine’s Day, wear an outfit that makes you feel confident. Be brave and pull out that dress that makes you feel like the stunner you are, dust off those heels you love, but never wear, and top it all off with your favourite accessories.

” Its not your job to like me, its mine” Bryan Katie

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

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The Top 10 Ways To Build Self Love

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world” Lucille Ball

It’s February and all thoughts turn to Valentine’s day and love, yet how many of us are thinking about the relationship we have with ourselves? How many of us are intentional and purposeful about nurturing and appreciating this relationship? This relationship is one of the most, in fact to my mind, THE most important relationship and yet, more often than not, the one we pay the least attention to. Or the one that, if it were possible, we’d ditch ourselves ‘cos there is not a lot of love going on!! Self- love is the number one secret to a happy life because wherever you go there you are

So as cheesy as the term may sound and it might make you screw your face up as it seems just a little bit self indulgent, then think again. Learning to love yourself is one of the most powerful and important things you can do in life. Your heart is your power and when you become the source of your own love in your life, it changes everything. Your relationships, your career, your confidence, your health, your happiness – they all flourish when you start to love yourself.


What do we mean by self love?

It’s about accepting yourself fully and unconditionally, it’s about treating yourself with the kindness and respect you deserve. It is about having high regard for your own well being and happiness. It allows you to nurture your own growth and wellbeing. When you hold yourself in high esteem, from there you are more likely to make healthy choices. And it does not mean you feel positive all the time, it does not mean you don’t mess up, it does not mean you don’t fail. But when you do, you do for yourself exactly what you would with someone you love dearly. We’ve all been angry with someone we love at some stage but the love we have for them informs how we forgive them, consider their feelings, meet their needs and make decisions that supports them,

So what if I don’t learn to love myself – guys it’s not pretty! Without it, you are highly self critical, fall into people pleasing and perfectionism. You tolerate people who mistreat you, you neglect yourself. Self love is the ultimate foundation in a happy and fulfilling life.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” Oscar Wilde

How do I practise it?

Exactly that practise! It can be challenging for many of us, especially when we face serious challenges. It’s not about being self-absorbed or narcissistic, it’s about getting in touch with ourselves, our well-being and our happiness. We practice self-love so we can push through our limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines. It is also individual so figuring out what it means for you, is critical to your wellbeing. A great place to start is reading and here’s a book that has blown me away recently Good Vibes, Good Life

Take action too, do yourself a favour, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and begin to consciously practice some of the following:

1.Start each day by telling yourself something positive about yourself – how you handled a situation, how nice you look, something you are proud of yourself for.

2.Move your body every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself

3.Spend time around people who uplift, support you, encourage you and make you want to show up as your best self

4.You are not your thoughts or feelings so don’t believe everything you think or feel to be fact. We all have an inner critic trying to keep us “safe” but in the process is not being very loving towards us and keeping us small.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kari_romeo_teach_your_inner_critic_a_new_story

5.Stop the comparisons.There is no one like you and that is your superpower

6.Celebrate your wins no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back for progress and effort along the way

7.Take time for yourself each day. Breathe in and out, clear your mind of your thoughts and just be.

8.Learn to say no. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, in fact, sometimes it makes you a smart person.

9.Forgive yourself. You know that thing you did one time (or maybe a few times) that made you feel bad, embarrassed, ashamed? It’s time to let that go. You can’t change the things you have done in the past but you can control your future. Look at it as a learning experience and believe in your ability to change.

10.Treat others with love and respect. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we treat others the way we hope to be treated. That doesn’t mean everybody will always repay the favour, but that’s their problem not yours.

Be patient and persistent with yourself. Self-love is forever evolving. It’s something that needs to be practised daily and can take a lifetime to master. So be kind and support yourself through the hard times. Most of all have fun! Get out there and do the things that make your heart sing. Enjoy them, enjoy being you and enjoy your incredible life.

If you liked this blog you may find more inspiration and ideas here The Essential Life Mantra | InShineOut

The Essential Life Mantra

Life is tough for everyone at the moment in so many different ways. We are having a common experience and also a personal experience. One of the things this pandemic has made us all aware of, simultaneously, is the suffering and challenges in “living” life. The fact is, with or without a pandemic, there is always someone going through a tough time or facing a tough day. Tough might be an understatement but you get my drift.

Life does not always go swimmingly or according to plan. Sometimes it just does not pan out the way you hoped at all. I don’t mean to be a pessimist but, in life, there is inevitable suffering. There are amazing highs and the equal and opposite lows. I’m sure you all can relate to personal setbacks, loss, heartbreak, illness or pain you or your loved ones have or are going through. So if there is one mantra I would love everyone in this world to embrace and perhaps even believe, it is this…


“You have everything you need within you”


“Me? ” ……. “Yes, you!” Deep within us all is a well, a well where you can lower the bucket and scoop up what you need to create the life you want or to cope with whatever life throws at you. A well full of strength, courage, compassion, trust, love, ability to face the world. It is true that sometimes you have to lower the bucket quite far to access it. This is because life will life. At times it seems it’s not there, that the source has dried up, It might not be easy to access it, but it is there. You see we get cut off sometimes from our true essence and source by layers of fear and ego.

The answers are within you. Turn and look inwards, tune into your deep intuition, wisdom and knowing. There you will find all the guidance, belief and confidence you need to take you forwards in life. Let go of the need to look outside for the answers, they are not your answers. “Really they might know better”, I hear you say. “No” because they are not you, nor living your life. You don’t need anyone’s validation or approval, you can find it in you. Sure, look to others as sources of inspiration to fill the well but do not let it be a comparison to prove that you are not enough or to beat yourself up with. You are enough. And when you do let go and trust in yourself, it is surprising that within your grasp is calm, peace and serenity.


You can get access your intuition, your gut feeling and learn to recognise its power. In the tuning in and in the silence through reflection, meditation, journalling, listening, feeling, you can get in touch with how you really feel. You can hear your heart and soul speak about your heartfelt wants and desires. You can even find the answers to most of your problems or challenges in life.

Use this mantra as if it is your inner self giving you some important life advice –

“Everything you need is already within you”

And in the wise words of life guru, Winnie the Pooh, believe that…

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If you are ready to turn inwards and would like a partner by your side as you tap into that inner well or resource and start shining inside and out then, please get in touch Contact. I offer complimentary consults to see if I am the right coach to take you on the journey.

Has your Detox gone digital yet?

On Sunday evening I spent a wonderful hour online with a group of ladies, talking about things self care and self love. You see, I believe one of the most important relationships, if not THE most important, is the one you have with yourself. Self care, self love, self belief, self confidence, self compassion etc There’s a reason they begin with self, only you can do it! This sets the tone for all your other relationships.

A few things became pretty apparent, very quickly. The first being that, even though everyone had different personal situations – some with babies, grown up kids, no kids, ageing parents, working from home, working in large corporations, self employed I could go on, many really struggled with the guilt of taking care of themselves. Words like indulgent and selfish came to mind for most people. Now I am here to tell you that thinking is the problem! You need to detox that thought! Even though I appreciate it is not always easy to find time for yourself in the melee of life, you must! It is essential, not a luxury. A self care plan is a healthcare plan, even if it is only 10mins in your day. So a suggested strategy to deal with this is to create a positive affirmation which is a powerful way of rewiring the brain to a new way of thinking and being.

Examples like

Taking care of myself is worth making time for and everyone benefits”

I take care of the world when I take care of myself

The other revealing thing for many was the curse of the “mindless scroll”. Yes, the mobile phone is like carrying life and work around in your hands, which is all great. You get instant access – whether it be banking, email, ordering goods, the news, getting directions. They are all there with the swipe of a screen. Many cannot imagine life without this. That said, it can also be a contributor to your stress. Like many things in life, it is not that it’s either good or bad but good and bad. Many things overused can turn into a liability or a problem. We discussed how easy it is to pick up the phone to “check something” and before you know it, you’ve been mindlessly scrolling for 30mins. So how to do a digital detox? There are 3 steps to any change of habit

1.Awareness

2.Action

3.Practise

Change begins first by becoming aware of how you are currently using it, what action you can take to improve – stop doing, start doing and then practise. It is about training yourself to pick up your phone only when you really need and mastering the meaningful scroll. So before you start scrolling think about what your intention is. Make sure it supports your goals, keeps the benefits and minimises any unnecessary drain on your attention, time and wellbeing. Here are some great suggestions to help reduce the urge:

Invest in an alarm clock instead of using the alarm on your phone

Put your phone on flight mode when working on another task

Keep screens out of the bedroom

(If this isn’t possible as you are an emergency contact, at least move it to the other side of the room to reduce any temptation to start scrolling just because you can get to sleep)

Set time limits and timers to keep you mindful

Take your phone off the table at dinner

Reduce notifications to a minimum

Leave your phone at home when you go out for a walk

I talked about a superpower that all of us as humans have, our power to consciously choose. It is said we operate anything from 75% – 95% of the time, unconsciously, in old beliefs, unhelpful habits and patterns. Get back in the driving seat! After all your brain pretty much does what it thinks you want it to do, so you need to direct it much more clearly .Take conscious control of how you choose to spend the time on the mobile phone. The upshot is self care is not all chocolates, candles and spa days which is important too. Self care is doing what you need to do to look after your total well being – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual and show up as your best self as much as possible

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self confidence so that’s very important for good health” Dalai lama

Self-care Permission Slip Required? Granted.

If you Google the term self-care, you’ll get about 3,750,000,000 results.

What you will also see is this definition “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety”

There are many more definitions, I know. I’d go even further and claim it is vital for the wellbeing and happiness of each and every one of us. How we all do it may be different, but nonetheless it is essential as we are all human beings; not human doings, not robots.

Let my experiences shine a light on self-care for you

I want to have a serious chat about this, it’s not going to go away. Yet some people are still struggling to find time to do what they need to do to take care of themselves, to give themselves a break, literally and/or metaphorically, so that they can show up with energy. We have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of each other.

Did you know your energy is what introduces you when you enter a room? I’ve had the tough life lesson in self-care when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to really reflect on what self-care was about for me, what I needed, not only to bring myself back to full health, but to be the happiest, healthiest, most fulfilled version of myself. What did I need to say yes to, no to, stop doing, start doing, prioritise, who and what drained me and how could I reduce toxicity in my life? I finally really got that it was my responsibility. Ineeded to prioritise my wellbeing and get it on my action list.

The fact was if I didn’t make it happen, there wasn’t going to be a knight in shining armour turn up. So, love or loathe the term, but you need to be finding ways to integrate this into your life. It doesn’t matter if you are a busy mum, a carer, teacher, business owner. Why? Because simply it is “The route of feeling whole, healthy, happy and your best you”

What can Covid teach us about self-care?

Now there is a lesson about this in COVID! Despite the downsides of COVID, some clients are telling me life has been better since lockdown. That is after they got over the guilt of thinking that was a bad thing to say! They had finallyrealised they were on the hamster wheel, waiting for some event to stop it so they could get off. This universal pause has certainly stopped the wheel! These clients realised they were running on empty. Saying yes all the time, eating on the go, always on email, office in hand all the time in the format of their mobile, long commutes, giving up what they knew they needed most i.e. a rest, a chance to breathe, in order to do another email, just get this thing done.

Doing, doing, doing! 

There is always something to be done.

Now some clients are figuring out what they really need to be the best for themselves, their business, their job and their loved ones, their fulfilment. They have appreciated and gained from the value of reflecting on what is working and what is not and really appreciating that rest and recovery makes them more productive in the long run.

Having that morning routine where you exercise, meditate, take time for breakfast, whatever their thing is helps set people up for success and a truly productive day. And it is amazing the regular impact of merely five or ten minutes can have! Don’t underestimate the power of many tiny noticeable things like starting the day with setting your intention, moving away from your desk for 5 minutes, taking regular breaks, shutting the laptop down, eating lunch away from desk. The list goes on. My clients have told me that their challenge now is how to stop themselves jumping back on when we move on to our new norm, (we will talk about that in another blog.)
The fact is there is never the perfect time. 

For some people COVID hasn’t meant less, just more. Self-care is just not something you can store up and fit in one day when your life miraculously changes to accommodate it! If you can’t fit it in now, it’s highly unlikely something will happen in 6 months from now that permits it. The more you ignore it the more likely you are to get a wakeup call you don’t necessarily want. So, what I want to tell you is that it is not an external event that you need, more an internal decision. And like everything, it begins in the mind and it starts with you knowing this:
YOU ARE WORTH LOOKING AFTER.

Repeat after me as many times as you need to hear it and then set the intention to become aware of the healthy, positive ways you can take care of yourself. Learn what nourishes you, revives you, helps you rest, replenishes your energy. It’s a priority not a luxury.

The 7 secrets to self-care

  1. Self-care isn’t selfish
    2. We all need permission to take timeout
    3. Make regular appointments with yourself
    4. Plan your me time
    5. Enjoy it
    6. Observe the improvement
    7. Repeat cycle

So, take one small step today and why not just give some thought to these questions:

  • What nourishes me, what drains me, what things do I look forward to?
    • How do I feel when I do these things?
    • How can I increase my nourishers and reduce my drainers?
    • What do I need more of or less of in my life?

Please get in touch if you would like a special self-care permission coaching session to help you get started. Get in touch [email protected] and we will figure out where you are, where you would like to be and identify some simple steps and habits to get you going. You know the answer, I am here to give you the permission slip. Let’s not forget, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

www.InShineOut.com

Lotions, Potions and Emotions

 


lotionspotionsandemotions

Isn’t it funny how life pans out and you come full circle to know something that you have always known, just in a different way? What am I on about, you might ask? Let me explain. Aged 16, making my “A” level choices, I recall a conversation with my careers teacher: “I want to be a beautician” I proudly claimed to which he replied: “Sharon, girls who go to the Academy do not become beauticians!”. I knew he had missed the point (clearly, as it is now a multi billion pound industry) but I couldn’t explain what I meant so I went off on a different path. Fast forward almost 40years & I have figured it out! I wanted to run a beauty business with a difference – inner and outer beauty. At InShineOut we focus on the inside helping people feel happy, confident, fulfilled, thriving from the inside out. We believe happiness is an inside job! And now I’ve found the outside piece! I have become an independent ambassador for Tropic skincare, one of the U.K’s fastest growing natural skincare companies. What we put on our skin matters. The products are pure, honest and effective, good your skin and the environment.

Why do I believe you need both? The highs and lows of my life have taught me this. At the lowest points in my life (and there have been a few) I would do my best to get made up, dress up and show up. I would take time to care for myself on the outside with skincare, make up and how I dressed. I thought at least if I tried to take care of myself on the outside, I’d feel better on the inside.

showup

To an extent this works and that’s how I came across Tropic. I started using the products as a customer when I was diagnosed with cancer. It gave me something to focus on during treatment when everything else felt like it was out on my control. I desperately did not want to look like that cancer patient that everyone would stare at. The products were so natural and improved my skin so much.They felt and smelt great, reminding me of the Tropics and sandy white beaches! But I also know that if you do not go inwards and get to know yourself, who you are, what and who matters to you, what makes you happy and above all how to be happy in your own skin, then no amount of skincare or makeup, natural or not, will give you that feeling. You need to pay attention to your emotions and triggers and deal with “the good, the bad and the ugly” And you should not wait for a crisis to get to know yourself. It is important to go inward and pay attention to how you feel, our emotions are messages about what we need. They are such powerful things and can raise you up or tear you down at any moment. According to Brene Brown “we cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions we also numb the positive emotions” So many people appear to have it all but are very unhappy inside. Others appear to have very little but are extremely happy. I have a passion and it is life. I want to help people figure out how to live their one and only life in a way that counts for them, shining on the inside and out. To do this you have to examine your thinking and your thoughts, your choices, conscious and unconscious, understand and manage your emotions. You must figure out what makes your heart sing. We all have a desire to belong, feel valued, love and be loved.

selfcare2

I believe this starts with the relationship with yourself. “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for you worthiness” Another Brene Brown quote. Self-care is the route to feeling whole, healthy, happy and the best you. It is your right and responsibility to take care of your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s a priority not a luxury and starts with you. I help you step out of the busyness of your life, to look beyond the “to do list” and connect to your inner self, not just sometimes but as a way of being. Life throws curve balls so it is not a guarantee that life will be easier, but I guarantee it will be worth it and maybe even enjoyable! You need to get out of the trap of being “busy”. It’s an avoidance strategy, wasting your valuable time or at worst just being lazy.  But most of all it stops you feeling like you are living. I’m looking forward to sharing more of our inner and outer beauty lessons to help you thrive no matter what your circumstances -spa sessions for the body, mind and soul to help you be the best you for yourself and others. “In a society that tells us to put yourself last self love and self acceptance is almost revolutionary”

Be your best you

If you want to hear more then please contact at [email protected] or visit www.InShineOut.com