Put yourself on your to-do list

Love yourself to wellness

Kemi Nekvapil is the raw beauty queen empowering women to nourish themselves, and each other, in order to create rich and meaningful lives. A motivational speaker, wellness coach and author, here she explains why we need to make ourselves a priority this year.

For so many of us the new year is the time to do away with every single bad habit we have ever had; clean slate, new beginnings. We will become healthier, learn a new skill, became more community minded and remember to drink more water.

Let’s be honest though, how many of these resolutions actually stick? We do okay for a week, a fortnight, a month maybe, but we usually find ourselves still struggling to walk up a flight of stairs, not speaking French, not volunteering at the local shelter and still very dehydrated.

Choose one resolution and stick to it

I have found that one of the best ways to create and keep our new year resolutions is to only choose one.

What if this year you only choose to put yourself on your own ‘to-do’ list? No great sweeping claims, but small manageable actions, such as: I will have a beautiful hot bubble bath with my favourite book once a week. I will take myself out on a date once a month with no guilt. I will turn off my electronic devices at a certain time every night so that I can connect with my partner/children/self.

These may seem like small actions compared to the grand plans we create for ourselves, but success breeds success, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing. If we set ourselves up to fail, we tend to give up, so coming from a place of ‘I can’ is much more rewarding than ‘I got too overwhelmed, it was all too much’.

So why do women find it so hard to nourish themselves and their lives first?

We feel we do not deserve to look after ourselves. We are unable to say no to others. We take on too much. We think self-care is selfish. We don’t prioritise our needs.

By adding this one question, ‘How do I put myself on my to-do list today?’ things will begin to shift; we start to believe we can take on the next level of nourishment, and after a while, those small nourishing actions begin to build on each other. When the ‘cup’ of our mind, body and spirit is full, we then have so much more to give. And when our cup is full, we can give with no negative feelings or resentment, just the joy of being a contribution to ourselves and to others.

How to nourish yourself, first:

What do you need? What do you need to do for yourself on a daily basis that makes you feel good about you? Do that for 15 minutes each day, longer if you can. A bath, a cuddle, a book? Ask for what you need.

Add life – Add as many raw fruits and vegetables to your day as you can. Juices and smoothies are a great way to get a lot of nourishment and energy in one hit.

Add joy – Watch an old favourite movie or listen to music you haven’t heard in years. This can be either incredibly sentimental or extremely funny – either way it warms the heart and inspires relaxation, joy and childlike wonder.

Make something – Paint, draw, cook or get your DIY on. Make something for the sake of making something with your own hands.

Be present – Give yourself the gift of presence. Be present and mindful of how you are feeling. Do you need to go slower today, do you need to nourish yourself more today?

Let go – Do all your bathroom towels have to match? Does the house have to be spotless? Learn how to let go of the things that do not add joy to your life.

Sometimes we get into the mindset that we have to be running around; that we have to make it all work, all the time. But I believe that the best gift we can give to ourselves, our loved ones, is to be the most vibrant, nourished and joyful version of ourselves. So in the season of giving, rebirth and new beginnings - do not forget to give to yourself.

Kemi Nekvapil is the author of Raw Beauty

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