Journey to Self-Love

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Journey to Self-Love was created out of pure necessity. In my highly demanding job as school site administrator, I rarely find the time to put on my oxygen mask before handing out oxygen tanks to everyone around me. For eight years, I was able to work 14 hour days and get by on 4-5 hours of sleep. I can probably still walk down that path, but the fact is, I don't want to. What I want is to not only enjoy my work, but enjoy my life - a life that now includes two beautiful little daughters.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am good at many things, but taking good care of myself is not one of them. Like many women, educators, and moms, I suffer from Self-Sacrifice Syndrome whose symptoms include lack of motivation, fatigue, difficulty falling and staying asleep, weight gain, mental fogginess, trouble concentrating and remembering things clearly. All hope is not lost, however.

Self-Sacrifice Syndrome does have a cure!
With intentional action taken towards caring for your physical, mental and emotional health, you can avoid the pitfalls of occupying a space few would willingly choose to inhabit.

My hope is to thicken the self-love narrative to include real-life, personal experiences of my journey towards wellness, and inspire others in cultivating self-love rituals of their very own.

Let’s Begin
The benefits of active self-love are immeasurable. Although everyone has their own unique ways of practicing self-love, the areas of our lives that profit from this positive attention to our wellness are shared.
     1. Physical – How we take care of our bodies
     2. Mental – How we cope with life’s stressors
     3. Emotional – Our overall happiness factor
     4. Social – How we are supported by our circle of friends
     5. Spiritual –How we find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace
     6. Professional – How our work supports or undermines our wellbeing?

Ask Yourself
To begin the process of understanding the Whys and Hows of your current self-love experience, reflect on the following questions:

       - What do I most enjoy doing with my time?
       - What activities bring me joy?
       - When do I feel the most at peace?
Who are the people that energize and strengthen me, and
          how much time do I spend with them?
What is my philosophy on how I care for myself?
       - What are the barriers to my self-love practice, and how do
          I address these challenges?

I want to love myself enough to make loving myself a priority.

I’ve learned the hard way that self-love isn’t something you can just put off until you have more time. The way we love ourselves is highly correlated to how (not how much) we love others. For today, though, I’ll continue reflecting, planning and working on being the best mother, wife, doctor, daughter, sister, friend, and love rock I can be.