The fall season makes me moody. It represents a time of reflection. The melancholic thoughts in my journal can say amen to that. Despite how much it plays with my emotions, it’s still my favorite time of the year. What’s not to love?
Pumpkin-flavored everything, new routines, colorful trees, and the beautiful weather are all enchanting elements that keep me in love. Because I’m a fall baby, the fall also represents transition. With it, comes the tendency to become “busier” and work hard to meet yearly goals. This is why the fall also makes self-care and self-love a hard thing to pursue.
After experiencing burnout for a few years, I realized that building a healthy self-love foundation is an essential part of life and success. My intentional pursuit of taking care of myself has been the game changer for not getting lost in seasonal changes. Here are four steps that will help you love yourself better this season.
- Stop entertaining the BS.
Fall time tends to bring past thoughts and actions to mind. We like holding on to mental, emotional, and spiritual bullshit that serves us in no way. Our secret love for control makes us hold on a bit tighter. Amongst all the things we tend to hold on to, self-judgement is the worst. If you are judging or self-condemning yourself because of past actions, you are not practicing self-love. Judgments are stories we tell ourselves and those stories become bullshit that hinders us from self-love. This month, write down three things you forgive yourself for. Ask yourself: “What do I need to forgive myself for?” The answers will come to you if you listen carefully. When they do, be aware of it. Tell yourself that you are not your judgments and let that crap go. No need to entertain it.
- Appreciate Your Qualities.
Once you have cleared your heart slate from BS, take inventory of your good qualities. What traits make you special? Maybe you’re an excellent communicator, or maybe you are compassionate with everyone you meet. Find what makes you unique. Two years ago, I started a ritual of appreciation because I had a hard time appreciating myself. Every morning, I write down two things I appreciate about myself. What happened as a result? I began to find more qualities I loved about myself, and I felt happier to be me. When you appreciate who you are, your self-esteem improves. Go ahead. Write down five qualities you love about yourself and remind yourself daily. If you have trouble thinking of some, ask ten people close to you and record their answer. Trust me, they will tell you the truth!
- Accept Your Imperfections.
Spiritually, we are all a masterpiece. We are the way we are for a reason, and it’s perfect. However, on a natural level we all have rough edges. These imperfections are part of life and should serve as a constant motivation to get better and evolve. There are things we can’t control or change about ourselves regardless of how hard we try. My challenge to you is to practice self-acceptance. Learn to like your skin, hair, body shape, and quirks. Accept the good, the bad, and the ugly. What are three things you can learn to accept about yourself? Write them down for a daily reminder. Remember that we all have flaws, honey. Focus on the good.
- Schedule Self-Care Dates
Self-love and self-care are two separate things. Self-love is the positive mental, emotional, and spiritual perception of yourself. Self-care is the action(s) you take to prove that self-love. When was the last time you did something for yourself? Create a list of 6-8 things that make you feel happy. Take out your calendar right now. Go to the upcoming Saturday. Add an event called “Do something loving for myself” sometime in the morning. Feel free to paste the list you wrote on the event so you get ideas. Finally, repeat this activity for every Saturday. Try this for at least one month. Money shouldn’t be a concern. Remember it’s all about your intentions.
Life lovers, make this fall season different. The best thing you can do for someone else is take care of yourself first. Wayne Dyer once said, “When you’re at peace with yourself and love yourself, it is virtually impossible to do things to yourself that are destructive.” My prayer for us this fall is that we learn to make that our mantra and be an example of self-love to those around us. I love you.