Showing posts with label Love letter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Love letter. Show all posts

Image of white roses in front of a Vogue magazine cover

We’ve all read the Glamour, Marie Claire, Vogue, and Refinery29 articles on the best products for self care and top tips on how to love yourself. I’ve read them all and to be honest, the older I get, the more some of feel like they're all just repeating each other. There are so many different ways and opinions on how someone can practice self care. So, with that, what does self care mean to you, and how do you know which works best for you?

A couple of years ago, I was really fascinated by love languages and looked into what mine were. I took a quiz and found my primary love language is acts of service and my second is physical touch. This year, another year of being gloriously single, got me thinking about ways we can practice self love based on our love language. After all, what better way to practice self care when it's perfectly suited to our love language...

Ways to practice self care based on your love language

One // Acts of Service | I LOVE to cook and I love those occasions when you have a relaxing evening and can take your time with making a delicious meal. The other night, I decided to make homemade pasta, with homemade pesto and lightly fried tender stem broccoli with warm ciabatta and olive oil on the side. I shared it over on my Instagram (@aoifecaitrionaxo) and it was a heavenly meal, made even better knowing I had taken the time to make it.

Two // Receiving Gifts | Regardless of whether you have someone there to give you a gift or not, buy yourself something. That thing you’ve been eyeing up for a while? It’s Valentine’s Day, you deserve it. Treat yourself to some flowers or sexy lingerie or a new bag, or even a sauté pan. Trust me, it doesn’t even have to be what mainstream considers “sexy”, a Le Creuset cast iron casserole dish has my heart pounding. You can tell I really like cooking!

Image of a rose and a bra with lace detailing

Three // Quality Time | Apple has either upgraded it’s do not disturb feature or I have been blind to the settings on my phone, but you can now customise the names of do not disturb. Why not create another setting dedicated to 'Me time', 'Mindfulness' or 'Alone time'. This Valentine’s, why not spend some quality time for yourself. You could run a bath, read a book, or watch that series or film that’s been on your list for ages but you’ve never had the time to sit down.

Four // Physical touch | If physical touch is your love language, how can you express and receive it without someone else? There is the obvious sexual touch that can release endorphins (feel-good) hormones. But —and partly linked— is the feel element to touch. How does your skin feel? I love a full-on a 'detox' shower. Mine consists of a hair mask, shaving and exfoliating until my skin is super smooth. Then applying a body oil or moisturiser with a heavenly scent; all to get me feeling sexier.

Five // Words of affirmation | This usually requires a third party to help build you up. If that’s not an option, why not create your own affirmations. I used them a lot at university to help motivate me and get keep me going when I was having skin issues. I'd have notes stuck around my mirror and above my desk. You can journal them too, which is a great way to express your feelings and thought processes. Alternatively, there’s a podcast (Affirmation Babe, Habits of a Goddess- there are tons!) that whisper affirmations in your ear. Stand in front of your mirror and repeat after me: I am beautiful. I am smart. I am sexy. I attract what I desire.

Love, Aoife

Girl reading The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

The last few months have not been easy. Being in lockdown has been a challenge for us all but for some of us, it has been an even bigger battle. One thing that came out of my recent therapy sessions is that I need to be kinder to myself. I need to learn how to be confident in myself and not see my weaknesses as completely detrimental. 

    Since then, I've been on a little journey of self-confidence in learning how to identify unhealthy behaviours and make them healthier. I think we all need to not just be kinder to ourselves, but learn how to  instead. We can be kinder to ourselves by treating ourselves to a bar of chocolate or a new Dior bag. However, that's only short term. By 'learning', we can create long term healthy habits. Here are four tips that can help boost self-confidence:

Be proud of what you’ve achieved- How often do you stop and reflect on what you’ve achieved? I can’t remember the last time I did that and that’s an issue. We continue to achieve every single day and that should be recognised. I don’t think about what I have overcome or really acknowledge all the amazing things I’ve done in the past three months. And they’re a pretty big deal. I just graduated with first class honours, woah! As humans, we tend to have the habit of chasing one thing after another, never really feeling fulfilled at what we’ve already done. When you have a moment, think about everything you have done in the past week, month or even year. The most important thing is that you can smile about it and think, I did that.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself- Do you know what’s human? Making mistakes. No one is that perfect and if they are, they’re lying. In order to be kind to ourselves, we have to allow room for errors. We’re going to get things wrong from time to time and that’s how we learn and overcome it. By putting so much pressure on ourselves, we’re missing the opportunity to learn and grow from experiences. And Rome wasn’t built in a day. Things take time and they’ll take as long as they need to.

Rupi Kaur The Sun and Her Flowers

Accepting you don’t have complete control over everything that happens- Anxiety often stems from a lack of control. In situations where we’re not in control, we often feel anxious. I get waves of anxiety that tend to last a few weeks to a few months. I guess it never really goes away but I’ve learnt how best to manage it, if you will. One thing I always get told is to focus on what I can and am able to control. This can be quite difficult in some situations especially where we feel helpless. Take the coronavirus, we can’t control that or being in lockdown but we can control how we choose to act and use our time now that we’re at home more often than not. We can control some things and we can’t with others. Finding a balance is really helpful and focusing on what we can control.

Treat yourself- I’ll admit that use those two words a lot normally. I only realised the impact of not treating yourself when I starved myself of that. Pre-lockdown,  I’d treat myself by going shopping or buying artisan doughnuts (so so good). But since we went into lockdown and I was struggling with everything including really bad acne, I stopped. I stopped feeling worthy of myself and stopped being kind to myself. One way you can treat yourself Covid friendly is to buy flowers. Flowers can make all the difference by brightening up the space and making the room feel happier. My Nan said to buy flowers for someone when they’re sad and that’s a good lesson to remember. So, whether it’s your favourite doughnut, flowers or something pink (my happy colour), remember to treat yourself and do things that make you smile. 

Love, Aoife xo

You know the saying “you can take the girl out of London but you can’t take London out of the girl.” Well as it turns out you can’t take the girl out of London either. 

I am a city girl, through and through. Anyone who knows me will clearly see that I thrive in a big city. It’s the place I feel most comfortable and empowered. It’s home. And the moment you dare to take me out of the city: I start to crumble. It’s been two years since I took up part-time residency (left feels so final) in a smaller city to go to university. It has been the hardest transition I’ve faced in life despite everything else that has happened.

You see, London, you are freedom. I learned to navigate you growing up, thanks to my Dad, and it’s almost like being in control of the world. Whether it’s to hop on the Victoria line and arrive in town 20 minutes later. Or to jump on the central line and step out onto the charming roads of Notting Hill. I can navigate you even with my eyes closed.

Sometimes, I find it ironic how a city that’s so crowded provides me with the same amount of freedom that others may find running through a country field. I’ve learned that freedom is me being able to navigate myself. I am in control. It’s me, my two legs and my Oyster card. 

I think what I love most about London is how it's constantly changing. It evolves and opens discussions. Creates spaces that let me and others explore our passions. Excites us and keeps us on our toes. It always keeps me amused and amazed at how much talent one city can breathe. 

London, you are home. You make me and others feel like we’re on top of the world. You continue to buzz and thrive. My Mum calls you a playground and I agree. You’re one big adventure where nothing is ever the same. 

Like I mentioned earlier, moving out of London is one of the hardest things I’ve done. I miss it so much and much to my parents' annoyance, I always return to keep the affair going. 

Are you a city or country person?

Love, Aoife xo