How to celebrate a summer of self-love – part one

Let’s make this year the summer of love – with a difference. Forget flares and flowers in your hair, we want you to celebrate a summer of self-love, and find new ways to value and nurture your talents and emotions.

As mums we’re full of love and care for others. We devote our time, energy and thoughts for the people we care and work for, and often put our own needs bottom of our psychological to-do list.

But not this year! This summer, we want you to do something quite radical; we want you to spend the next seven weeks putting YOU first.

With the help of Katie Phillips from Daring & Mighty, we encourage you to devote yourself to a summer of self-love in which you focus on and develop your relationship with yourself. Learning to love and value what you do and are, and practising new, more healthy emotional habits.

Welcome to seven glorious weeks of self-loving!

Earlier this year, I was wondering how I could help you make the rest of your year truly, unbelievably amazing. I’ve already shared my seven steps to happiness, and guides to loving yourself wealthy, making more intuitive decisions and improving your energy and mood. But how can I help you make a big step change in the way you think and feel about YOU?

And then it struck me. The one thing that we all could do with a little more of is self-love. When we truly accept and love who we are, we free ourselves of emotional barriers and negative thought patterns. We encourage and welcome abundance in every form into our lives, and open ourselves up to making big, positive changes.

So to help you have an amazing year, I have put together seven simple exercises that I’ll share with you each week to guide you through a summer of self-love. The seven exercises are:

  1. Congratulate yourself.
  2. Practice the art of receiving.
  3. Gather evidence
  4. Love your wondrous body.
  5. Love your beautiful mind.
  6. Love your delightful inner child.
  7. Love your spectacular spirit.

This week we start with the first exercise – learning to congratulate yourself.

Learn how to congratulate yourself

How easy do you find it to congratulate yourself – and how often do you do it? Probably not as often as the amount of times you notice when you get things wrong!

Too many women (and men!) habitually focus on all the things they haven’t achieved, or the actions they regret. This is especially common in high achievers, who set the bar SO high that they are almost certainly setting themselves up for defeat.

In reality these are incredible, awesome, accomplished people, but they can’t see it because they are motivated by the belief that they’re not good enough.

Your homework

To help you break this habit in your own life, I am going to set you some homework today. I want you to take some time out to look at what you HAVE achieved over the last six months. I would like you to appreciate yourself. To notice the positive aspects of your character and accomplishments, and not just what you aren’t.

So make a list and include everything on it – from big career achievements, to small, emotional moments. I’d like you to include at least 20 things. It may be tough at the start to come up with them, but once you get going it will get easier. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • When did you overcome a limiting belief?
  • When did someone compliment you on an action or achievement?
  • When were you a good friend, daughter, partner or mum?
  • What brave decisions have you made?
  • When did you put yourself first and do something you love?
  • When did you take the time to feel thankful?

Praising yourself lifts your spirits – and those around you

Self-recognition is a big part of what it means to love yourself. Criticising yourself is self abuse; it literally breaks your spirit. But praising yourself lifts up your spirits – it elevates your mood, changes the focus of your attention and encourages you to do more of the same.

It also enables you to spread more of your abundant generosity of spirit around, ensuring that those around you feel appreciated and loved too. Which in turn encourages them to pay back that good feeling – creating a virtuous circle of love and gratitude!

So start your summer of self-love with a bit of self-congratulations, and start focusing on how amazing you really are.

Katie Phillips is the founder of Daring & Mighty, an organisation committed to sharing the importance of having a healthy, loving and conscious relationship with yourself.