5 Tips for Self-Love in a Jiffy

We are all hecticly busy. I get it. I live it.

Many days I feel myself moving from one carefully scheduled errand, meeting, activity, scheduled event to another, and I wonder, “How did I get here?” With the help of many of my teachers, especially Judith Hanson Lasater, I realized there is time to slow down, time for rest, time for self care.

Before the 5 tips I’m excited to share will work, you must do one thing: CHANGE THE WORDS IN YOUR HEAD. You must tell yourself there is time and make it. Once I observed the amount of time I spent on social media, I instantly had a half hour. Once I confronted my agitated state while waiting in any line, I immediately had time for meditation. The time is there. It’s our responsibility to our best selves to use it mindfully.

Tip 1: When you wake up, breathe. Right after you’ve silenced the alarm, place one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly and inhale deeply. Then exhale deeply. 3 deep breaths. In conscious stillness. You’ll soon find you want to linger here. Maybe adding 10 deep breaths or a morning prayer of gratitude for the day, the abundance and the infinite possibilities! I have found that slowly entering the day like this welcomes more space for clarity and a peaceful mindset. Thank you Elena Brower for this gentle idea.

Tip 2: Excuse yourself. You may not know this about me; I love bathrooms. Ever since I was a kid, they are space where I feel the safest. Oh, the stall stories I can tell and the rest stop recommendations I can make! In my growing friendship with them, I have realized the bathroom break is called that for a good reason. Use the stall time to stall. If you need a moment, take it. Again, you can focus on the breath or practice a one-minute meditation. Some days this might be the only minute you have to yourself. Instead of complaining about the day, rejoice in this moment! Especially if you scored a clean stall!

Tip 3: The red light as friend. In undergrad I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace Is Every Step, and it’s a book I revisit a lot. One of my favorite sections is Driving Meditation. In the van, I catch myself making to-do lists, circularly thinking about frustrating situations, and rushing to avoid red lights. Again, I catch myself, and I change the words—words I learned from Thich Nhat Hahn: “The next time you see a red light, please smile at it and go back to your breathing. ‘Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.’ It is easy to transform a feeling of irritation into a pleasant feeling. Although it’s the same red light, it becomes different. It becomes a friend, helping us remember that it is only in the present moment we can live our lives.”

Tip 4: 5-minute Yoga. If you plan 5 minutes for your coffee run, you have 5 minutes for yoga. First thing in the morning. Right before lunch. Between meetings in your office. With the kids. Right before bed. You have 5 minutes. Pick one pose, move in and out of it for 5 minutes. My go-to, you might guess, is Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana). What happens? Suddenly, I’m in triangle or lunge or just dancing around, laughing, finding my balance. I share from my experience—I started making more time for yoga in my schedule (I actually build it into my day so it happens!) because I kept going over the 5 minutes. But there are still days 5 minutes is what I have and I am grateful for those 5 minutes to move my body!

Tip 5: Bedtime Ritual. Creating a nighttime ritual just for me has done wonders for my sleep and for my peace of mind. My face care time is a meditation. I focus on the feeling of the water, the soft, circular motions during washing, rinsing, and moisturizing. And then it’s Legs-Up-the-Headboard. I will admit sometimes I read here awhile before resting with an eye pillow. The physiological benefits to this inversion are worth researching. But I live for the soft roll to the side and lovely little tuck of my legs under the covers before I drift soundly to sleep.

Imaging putting all 5 together every day. Interspersed self love that will generate a kind and sweet attitude you can share throughout the day. That’s how we spread love, loves, in this wacky world. It starts with self care, self love.

Amanda in Half Moon among trees.

Amanda in Half Moon among trees.