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Self-Care & Self-Love.

It's a new year, and as I write, I have a big smile on my face, thinking about the lessons I learned from last year and applying them.

One of the things I learned is how to love myself daily and add self-care in my busy schedule.

Self-love means developing gratitude and acceptance toward yourself, both physically and emotionally, and talking to yourself positively.

Self-care is something we actively and deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health, making time to feel the "right now" moment.

As women, we try to balance and juggle the many hats we wear. Last year, some of us wore the following hats: mommy; wife; friend; daughter; coworker; business owner; the go-to person--the list could go on and on.

Did you say "thank you" to yourself for a wonderful job last year? Or did you say, "I never do it right! It's always my fault! What is wrong with me?"

Self-love says, "Thank you for trying. We found some ways that didn't work." Self-care says, "Take five minutes to recharge the body and refocus the brain."

A Tiny Change

This year, and every year, let's somehow put on our self-love hat and tie it down with self-care.

When we take care of ourselves, we get the electrical jolt of self-love and the extra battery pack of self-care.

Make small daily choices that, done repeatedly, can have a big impact on your life.

Imagine with me for a second that you are steering a cargo ship. You're in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, just coasting along, and suddenly you realize you need to make a turn.

Cargo ships can't turn quickly, but they don't have to--a tiny change in direction leads to a very different destination. The same thing goes with making the decision to start self-love and incorporate self-care in your life. Even the smallest change can have a long-term effect on your life.

If you're thinking, "Well, OK, but ...," look back in time to the day you passed your basic training test. How did you feel when you put on that uniform for graduation? That woman who was determined, motivated, focused and excited is still in you.

Some Techniques

I challenge you to do some self-love and self-care this year and every year. The following are just a few techniques you could implement.

* Look closely at yourself in the mirror and say, "I see the flaws, the imperfections, but you know what? I love you. I love you when you make a mistake. I love you when you gain weight. I love you when you don't look like an airbrushed selfie. I love you when no one is liking your social media page. I love you when the internet trolls come out. I love you with your scars and deformities. I love you with your disabilities."

* Schedule self-care like it's any other appointment.

* Make time to be alone. Having alone time gives us the opportunity to be with ourselves, reflect on who we are and where we want to be.

* Literally stop and smell the roses or coffee. Find a few moments in your day to really pay attention to what you hear, feel, see, etc. This is a quick way to bring mindfulness into your day.

* Let go of negativity. Instead of complaining about what people are doing wrong, remind yourself they just have a different outlook on things.

* Become aware and conscious of how you treat yourself in your own mind. Pay attention to your self-talk and how it makes you feel. Discard the demeaning thoughts and direct your mind and actions to positive behaviors.

* Drink more water. Add some type of exercise. Pick a healthier food option.

* Dance like nobody is watching (my favorite!).

You're Worth It

This is your year for subtle change. Subtle change increases confidence, and increased confidence leads to success and happiness. Let's get it, ladies! You are worth it!

So, my warrior queens, I leave with you a few quotes to help you navigate your cargo ship of self-love and self-care:

* "Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make, makes you."--John C. Maxwell

* "Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There's no greater investment." --Stephen Covey

* "It's OK to take time for yourself. We give so much of ourselves to others, and we need to be fueled both physically and mentally. If we are in balance, it helps us in all our interactions."--Faith Hill

* "Self-care is how you take your power back."--Lalah Delia

* "To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness."--Robert Morely

* "If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself." --Barbara De Angelis

* "Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults."--Les Brown

LaQuantis Morton is an Army veteran and member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Florida Chapter living in Palm Beach County, Fla.
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Title Annotation:just for WOMEN
Author:Morton, Laquantis
Publication:PN - Paraplegia News
Date:Jan 1, 2020
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