Self-Love Workbook

Not to toot my own horn, but this self-love workbook is AMAZING!

It contains journal prompts, positive affirmations, tools for setting boundaries, emotional check-ins, and everything you need to practice self love daily. 

It works best if used in conjunction with Why is Self-Love Important for Your Mental and Emotional Wellness? and How Do You Learn to Love Yourself?

One of the lessons I learned this year was a reminder to never take self-love and self-care for granted. Whether you are new to practicing self love or are a confidence guru, we all can use support on our self-love journey.

I am using this workbook along with my self-care printables, and it is incredibly helpful! I know it will be helpful for you too!

To pin, click on the upper left hand corner of each image.

To download a full pdf version of the self-love workbook, CLICK HERE.  

 

my self love worksheet bundle

 

 

self love - being my own friend

 

 

self love - positive affirmation checklist

 

 

setting boundaries

 

 

emotional daily checkin

 

 

self love/self care

 

Don’t forget to share the workbook with others!  As always, email me with any questions, feedback, or just to say hi!

XOXO,

Randi

Self-Care

the importance of self-care

I touched upon the importance of self-care in my post about surviving motherhood. Self-care is the new buzz word nowadays. With the stress of the pandemic, taking time for our health and stress management is more essential than ever.

What is self-care? Self-care means different things to different people, but essentially it is doing things that support your well-being. Some things might make you happy in the moment (such as eating a box of chocolates of ordering some expensive shoes online); self-care makes you feel good in the long haul.

As I mentioned in my post about self-love, many of us (myself included) feel guilty when we do things for ourselves. However, I have learned that self-care is anything but selfish. It is impossible to pour from an empty cup. If time is not designated for caring for yourself and your well-being, you aren’t in a position to be the best version of yourself. You will feel emotionally and physically drained, overwhelmed, and stressed. A few minutes a day of time dedicated to yourself does wonders for your well-being.

There are many different types of self-care out there and deciding what you need to take care of yourself is different for everyone. The most important thing I can stress is that whatever form of self-care you choose (and it can vary daily), you must stick with it. Incorporate it into your daily routine to ensure that you allocate time for your health and stress management.

TIPS AND STRATEGIES

10 self care tips

Here are some examples of self-care:

1- Exercise– although I hate doing it in the moment, I always feel better about myself afterwards. I designate 4-5 days a week for about 15 minutes each time to do Pilates from the comfort of my own home. My daughter sometimes does it with me, as I feel it is important to teach her how essential it is to take care of your health. I often do this with my husband as well to motivate and encourage one another. You can run, do yoga, go to a gym, or do any type of physical activity. Caring for your physical health translates into improving your mental health as well.

2- Sleep– I vaguely remember what it felt like to get a good night’s sleep before I became a mom. Seriously though, sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Try to implement a time that is realistic for you to go to sleep nightly, and make sure you follow through. There’s nothing like waking up from a restful sleep. I have several suggestions for improving your quality of sleep and your child’s here.

3- Journaling– I started incorporating 10 minutes a day to writing. Getting my thoughts and feelings onto paper is very therapeutic, and it is a great form of self-care. It also helps me to dig into some of the emotions I’m feeling and figure out the thoughts/story I am telling myself regarding those feelings. Sometimes it takes writing things down to see the false beliefs I am telling myself.

4- Breathing– There are many types of breathing exercises that are meant to calm the mind and the body. Here are a few:

  • 4-7-8: Inhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.
  • Deep belly breathing: Inhale while filling your stomach with air and then let the air leave your stomach while you exhale. You can do this while doing the 4-7-8.
  • Tensing and releasing your body from head to her toes:  Inhale while tensing/squeezing the body part, hold it for 8 seconds, and then exhale while relaxing/releasing the body part. I start with my feet, working my way upward to my calves, thighs, pelvis, stomach, chest/neck area, arms and hands, and face. At the end I tense everything at the same time, hold, and release. This is a favorite of mine for stress management, and one which I do daily.
  • Taking an inhale and then exhaling for as long as she can while vibrating your lips to make a “wwww” or “ommm” sound.  According to Neurosculpting Instititue, “The researchers found that the vibrations from ‘OM’ chanting stimulate the vagus nerve, which then sends out neurotransmitters and electrical signals that reduce activity to key areas of the brain like the amygdala, associated with our flight/fight/freeze response. In addition, the increased oxygenation of the blood from the vibration facilitates feelings of relaxation and release in the muscles and structure of the body.”

5- Meditation– there are several YouTube videos on how to meditate, but there is no right or wrong way. I meditate by repeating a phrase in my head while closing my eyes and concentrating on my breathing.

6- Reading– If you read my woman behind the blog article, you know that I am an avid reader. Curling up on the couch with a great book is priceless. Some people choose to read self-help books as a form of self-care, but any type of reading is helpful.

7- Coloring– Some people find coloring to be very soothing as it shuts off the noise in your mind as you focus on coloring. Coloring isn’t only for children. There are a number of adult coloring books that you can buy.

how to love yourself

You can learn to love yourself. However, learning to love yourself is like learning to walk; it takes time, patience, and a lot of falling down and getting back up. The tips below are helpful in your pursuit of self-love. Give yourself a mental high five with each step, and remember that when we practice self-love, we are teaching our kids to love themselves too. 

You can learn to love and respect yourself enough to set boundaries

love yourself enough to set boundaries

I don’t know about you, but everywhere I look someone is talking about the “b” word.

I used to find the concept of boundaries very overwhelming.  In reality, boundaries aren’t as intimidating as they seem. What I now realize is that it is important to love yourself enough to set boundaries. The beauty is that there’s no one-size-fits-all boundary. They will vary from person to person because needs differ from person to person. 

Boundaries are a good thing; actually, they are a great thing.  Why? Boundaries mean determining what you need so you can feel secure in your relationships. Boundaries are necessary in all types of relationships, not just romantic ones. Whether it means letting your friend know that you won’t answer the phone after 11pm or telling your parents that certain topics are off-limits, they are meant to set clear expectations so that you can have healthy relationships with others. It is crucial to love yourself enough to set boundaries.

Making a list is often a great place to start. Write down some things that you would like to establish with the people in your life. Start with something small, and then you can work your way up towards bigger boundaries.

Share your boundaries is a loving, clear way. Remember that change takes time, and that you may have to restate your boundaries. Also understand that relationships are a two-way street, so healthy relationships mean giving boundaries as well as respecting the boundaries set by others.

At first it might feel awkward to set boundaries with others. You may not be used to expressing your feelings and needs to others. The important thing is to try to stand by the boundaries you set. Remember the importance of respecting and loving yourself enough to set boundaries. If you falter, that’s okay. You’re a work in progress, remember? The more you practice giving and sticking to your boundaries, the more comfortable you’ll feel. With time and consistency, you can learn to love yourself enough to set boundaries.

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” (Anna Taylor, Goodreads).

sleep

A cranky, sleep-deprived person is not going to feel great about anything, let alone themselves. If your kids are keeping you up or you’re a troubled sleeper, try some of my sleep strategies.

You can learn to love yourself by Accepting your weaknesses along with your strengths 

accept your flaws

This one is a biggie for me. I tend to focus on my weaknesses and minimize my strengths.

At some point you realize that you have nothing to gain and everything to lose by repeatedly hitting your head against a brick wall (metaphorically speaking). No matter what, I am going to make mistakes. There will be times where I am going to do things wrong. I am going to be emotional and anxious and sometimes needy.

I am flawed. Deeply. Wishing it away and hating myself for it isn’t going to make it go away. The solution? Accept those flaws and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can.

It might be that I may never love those parts of myself,  but I can love myself for WHO I am. I am not defined by my anxiety and my fears. I am defined by who I am as a person. My name is Randi and I feel anxious. That’s very different than thinking, “My name is Randi and I AM anxious.”

Try to show yourself compassion. When you feel badly or angry about something, argue with those negative thoughts. Remember you are trying and give yourself space to grow without forcing it.  You can learn to love yourself and accept yourself. It simply takes time.

As strange as it might seem, try embracing your imperfections. We are the sum of all of our parts, but our parts guide us rather than define us. Imperfections are what make us unique.

“Loving yourself doesn’t mean you think you’re the smartest, most talented, and most beautiful person in the world. Instead, when you love yourself you accept your so-called weaknesses, appreciate those shortcomings as something that makes you who you are.” (Andrea Brandt)

Self-care 

Part of prioritizing your feelings is taking time to invest in your emotional well-being.

Read that book that got buried in your closet. Go for a run. Take a relaxing bubble bath. Listen to music. You can’t like or love yourself if you aren’t willing to invest time to care for yourself.

You can Learn to Love Yourself using daily affirmations

I’m a big believer in faking it until you make it. If you play a role long enough, you’ll can actually learn to love yourself.

Make a list of positive affirmations such as, “I am enough.” “I deserve love.” “I am worthy of happiness.” “I am proud of how hard I try.” You can make these lists with your children as well.

Write them on a piece of paper and read them aloud. Write them on a post-it and stick it on your mirror so you see it everyday. Whenever you are judging yourself or feel badly about yourself, grab that list.

love yourself and be your own friend

love yourself enough to set boundaries

Would you speak to your friends the way you speak to yourself? I’m going to guess not. Why is it easier to be kind to others than it is to be kind to ourselves?

This is something that comes up often with my daughter, especially around bedtime. I have to remind her that she should be kind to herself about her sleep issues and comfort herself as she would a friend.

When I am harsh with myself, I try to think about how I’d feel if the circumstances belonged to someone else. Most of the time, I would be far more compassionate and supportive than what I’m telling myself.

“When you are your own best friend, you don’t endlessly seek out relationships, friendships, and validation from the wrong sources because you realize that they only approval and validation you need is your own.” (Mandy Hale).

Rediscover your hobbies.

we get so enmeshed with our children and our loved-ones that we often forget what brings us joy. Not your kids, not your spouse, you. What are things that you like to do? What can you do for yourself to learn to love yourself?

Commit to spending even 5 minutes a day doing something just for you. Sometimes our hobbies are a form of self-care (such as journaling, listening to music). Sometimes hobbies are different than our self-care. Hobbies are meant for fun, whereas self-care is about focusing on your emotional well-being.

Prioritize your feelings and look out for yourself.

choose your own path

That is a frightening notion for some of us. If you’re like me, you’ve spent most of your life focused on the well-being of others. My feelings fell by the wayside because I felt responsible for taking care of everyone else’s feelings.

It was a hard pill to swallow that I had to focus on myself first and foremost. That sounded incredibly selfish to me. People depended on me. I would be okay as long as I was taking care of my responsibilities, which meant making sure others were okay.

I didn’t realize how codependent that way of thinking was, and that I could never be the kind of mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and person I wanted to be unless I took care of myself. The truth is that all my best efforts can never fix/save others, and others aren’t responsible for my happiness either.

I want my daughter to stand up for herself, and that means I have to set the right example and do that for myself. I need to be my biggest supporter and cheerleader because if I don’t look out for myself, how can I expect others to respect my feelings?

You can’t be the best version of yourself if you are pouring from an empty cup. If you treat yourself as insignificant, it is not shocking if others treat you that way too.

Prioritizing your feelings may also mean taking time to calm down when you feel angry, stressed, or overwhelmed. Whether it’s telling your spouse, your child, or you friend that you need a moment, sometimes you need to simply walk away. If you can get outside and take a walk, great. Give yourself space to take some deep breaths and practice some relaxation exercises, even if it means putting your kids somewhere safe and locking yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes.

ask for help

Reach out to others if you feel overwhelmed and need to recharge. We put so much pressure on ourselves, and society puts so much pressure on us, that we feel like we are failures if we are struggling. Part of loving ourselves is accepting we cannot do it all, and there are times when we need the support of others.

Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you are feeling.

love yourself - its ok to be sad

It is okay to be sad, anxious, or angry. You are not a robot, so you will experience a whole spectrum of emotions. It is part of life, and burying those feelings or judging yourself for them is only going to make you feel worse.  It is okay to not be okay .

Self-love isn’t linear. You will likely take several steps forward and then several steps back. Some days you’ll feel on top of the world, and others you’ll feel like something that is getting scraped off the bottom of your shoe. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and new ways of thinking take time. You are going to make mistakes, but what matters is that you are trying.

“I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be ok.” (Iyanla Vanzant).

The hard truth is that learning to love yourself is no easy achievement. However, the greatest achievements in life are meaningful because of the journey required to achieve it. The journey of self-love is filled with road blocks and hurdles, but it is a journey that is worth traveling.

*To help support your self-love journey, I’ve created a self-love workbook.  To print, click here: Self-Love Workbook: Support and Maintain Your Self-Love Journey

self love is so important

Self-Love and acceptance are keys to your mental and emotional wellness

We live in a culture that is obsessed with success. It is a never-ending hamster wheel of doing more, working harder, and being judged by our achievements. It’s no wonder that many of us feel like we are failures when the bar is set higher and higher. 
 

I know I felt like a failure when I made the decision to stay home with my daughter rather than work. I felt like I needed to provide some sort of explanation/justification as to why I was choosing not to pursue my career.

There’s also a revolution out there of increasing mental awareness. We are not only expected to do it all, we are expected to win the Olympics of mental fortitude.
 

The truth is, I used to get annoyed when I’d read articles about self-love, self-care, self-help, self-anything. I was barely hanging on by a thread trying to keep my mental faculties somewhat intact. I didn’t need a reminder of the things I wasn’t doing and didn’t feel capable of achieving.

It is the ultimate catch-22; we can’t love ourselves unless we are kind to ourselves, and we can’t be kind to ourselves unless we love ourselves.
 
This leads to the million dollar question: How can we learn to love and be kind to ourselves?
 
Answer: Accept that you are a work-in-progress.

we are all a work-in-progress

work in progress

“We’re all a work in progress, and I’m not ashamed to say that I don’t have it all together – I really don’t think anyone does.” (Adrienne Bailon).
 
We are flawed. Every single one of us. Some might hide it better than others, but there isn’t a single person on the planet who doesn’t struggle about something.
 

If we can admit we are flawed, then we are one step further in our goal towards self-love.

having a healthy relationship with yourself

love yourself

Self-love is essential because if we don’t have a healthy relationship with ourselves, that opens the door to dysfunctional relationships with others. Relationships with friends, spouses, parents, siblings, and even our children are impacted.
 

Codependency often is a byproduct of not loving ourselves. Lack of self-love can lead to looking for others to “complete us.” We can shut others out because we are afraid of getting hurt. Letting people in requires true intimacy, and that kind of vulnerability is difficult if we don’t love ourselves.

 
“You’ve got to love yourself first, and until you value yourself enough and love yourself enough to know that, you can’t really have a healthy relationship.” (Joyce Meyer).

When we don’t love ourselves, we are unable to teach our children how to love themselves. It is our job as parents to set a healthy example for our children. We need to learn how to love ourselves so that our children can love themselves.

self-love is being perfectly imperfect

imperfect

Self-love is looking at every flaw, every wrinkle, every extra pound, every trigger, every fear, every doubt, and every heartache and knowing that you are exactly who you need to be in that moment. You are perfectly imperfect, and that imperfection is what makes you loveable.
 
You see, my sweet friends, self-love isn’t about thinking you’ve got it all together, it’s about knowing THAT YOU DON’T.
 
“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at.” (Pema Chodron).
 
Learning how to love ourselves doesn’t happen overnight. Giving ourselves permission and space to try to love and accept ourselves is a huge first step. Take it day by day, hour by hour, or even minute by minute.
 
Self-love and self-kindness are both works-in-progress and THAT IS OKAY. What is not okay is giving up on ourselves. Take a chance and invest in yourself. It is the best investment you will ever make.

*To help support your self-love journey, I’ve created a self-love workbook.  To print, click here:

Self-Love Workbook: Support and Maintain Your Self-Love Journey.

its ok to not be ok

I had a topic that I was all set to write about… and then life got in the way. It’s ok to not be okay.

Things were going well in my life. My husband and I were making our daughter nauseous with all of our PDAs, I was getting back into the groove of homeschooling Brielle, my daughter was miraculously complaining less and cooperating more, and I found out another article of mine was getting published in The MIGHTY. I was feeling pretty darn good, folks.

There is a Yiddish proverb, “Man plans, and God laughs.” Well, my plans went right out the window, and I wasn’t laughing. It’s ok to no be okay.

“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” (Paolo Coelho).

On Wednesday I got a rejection letter from an agent I queried regarding the children’s book that I wrote. I really loved what this agent brought to the table, and I spent a month hoping that she would represent me.

i was not okay

My daughter didn’t get enough sleep on Wednesday night, and she acted like she was possessed all day on Thursday. By the end of the day, I was emotionally, psychologically, and physically exhausted.

i was not okay

facebook

On Friday, Facebook sent me a notification that they couldn’t recognize the device I was using. I had set up this notification after the last time someone hacked into my Facebook account. The problem was that the device in question was my own cell phone. I confirmed that my phone was an acceptable device. This action clearly annoyed Facebook, and next thing I knew, any comment I made flashed an exclamation mark saying it was denied. I tried to put something on my Surviving Mom Blog Facebook Group. That was also denied. It’s ok to not be okay.
 
Unlike the last time Facebook banned me, this time there was no message sent to my inbox to alert me that I was banned in any way. My account showed that I had full access to Facebook, yet I had restricted access to Facebook.

i was not okay

Social media is very important and necessary when you are in the early stages of creating a blog. I have a Facebook group that I post on nearly everyday to stay connected to my readers. Now what was I supposed to do? My husband had to post on my behalf.

i was not okay

On Saturday evening at approximately 11:45 pm, my husband jumped up and ran to the phone. He got an email from the Apple Store that someone had charged $2200 on our debit card to purchase a laptop. Spoiler Alert- neither one of us had made that purchase.

i was not okay

credit card theft

Two other fraudulent purchases were made to two different credit cards in the past three months. One was to purchase a Groupon, and one was a gas charge at the gas station we always use. Pretty creepy, right? We cancelled our credit cards and got replacements, but our debit account? How is that possible? It’s ok to not be okay.
 
Even creepier, the person who used our debit card put down my husband’s email address and my phone number when making the purchase online. You use our debit card, but keep our contact information? What kind of hacker does that?

i was not okay

I have talked about wellness in many of my posts. I’ve given tips on how to boost self-confidence in ourselves and our children, given numerous suggestions for self-care, and written about tools to help with regulating emotions. I have written about ways to improve our relationships  with our significant others through love languages, and given strategies for bedtime and parenting children with special needs.

Those strategies and tools, albeit helpful, were not going to give me a lobotomy. I was not able to alleviate my concerns and fears about someone being able to access thousands of dollars from our debit account by doing deep breathing and journaling.

i was not okay

This is the moment of truth, my friends.
 
Life is going to throw us a series of curveballs, often when we least expect it. As much as I am a believer of getting up when life throws us down, I am not going to pretend that everything is sunshine and roses.

it is ok to not be okay

crying

“Make room for all emotions – including negative ones. It’s ok not to be happy all the time. Give yourself time to be sad when you are sad, mad when you are mad.” (Heather Schumaker).
 
One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn in life is that there are times when all we can do is hold space for whatever we are feeling and allow ourselves to feel it. Sometimes we need to ride the wave of messiness, anger, hurt, grief, and/or anxiety in order to get through it.
 

It is crucial to take care of our emotional well-being and implement  strategies and tools. I will use those tools to help me get through difficult moments, not to eradicate my feelings.

it is ok to not be okay

My daughter is not always going to see me smiling and carefree. I want her to understand that life is taking the good with the bad, the hard with the easy, the pain with the joy. She sees that I sometimes struggle, and that it is okay to struggle. I model the coping mechanisms I use to help me during those difficult times so that she can also use coping mechanisms when she is struggling. I will not hide the negatives from her because they are part of life, and to hide that would be doing a huge disservice to her.

she needs to know it is ok to not be okay

life is never perfect

For every mom who is struggling, for every person that is taking one step forward and two steps back, for every person that is feeling frazzled, this post is for you.
 
Sometimes life is learning how it’s ok not be okay. It is sitting with those negative feelings and accepting that it is okay to feel that way. There is so much pressure out there to do it all, and to be so much to so many, that somewhere along the line we forget that we are human, with feelings, emotions and hardships.
 
Sometimes we can’t laugh and smile our way through life. There are times when our children are going to frustrate us beyond belief, times when we will have an argument with our spouse, our coworker, or our friend, and times when we will feel sad or lost or unsure.
 
There will be hard hours, hard days, even hard months. We must give ourselves permission to feel badly and accept that we aren’t failures because of that. Accepting all parts of ourselves means accepting that sometimes we are going to feel like **it, and the only thing that isn’t okay is judging ourselves for it. It’s ok to not be okay.
 
“You don’t have to be brave all of the time. You are not damaged or defeated. Have patience. Give yourself permission to cry and to heal. Allow a bit of compassion, you’re doing the best that you can.” (Mike Bowman).
 
I am not okay, and I’m going to allow myself to not feel okay. I will take care of my responsibilities and also give myself the time I need to feel better.
 
I’m flawed, I’m imperfect, I’m emotional, and I feel deeply.

guess what? that’s okay.