5 steps to radical self-care: a framework for self-love

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In this episode of the Escape Diet Prison Podcast, I share 5 steps to incorporate self-care into your life and embrace yourself on a whole new level.

When I first began taking the concept of self-care really seriously, it felt quite uncomfortable to me.

How would I be able to take care of myself in a way that was actually nurturing instead of destructive? How could I be kind and loving to myself instead of feeling hateful and ashamed? How could I ever feel at home in my body and soul when all I wanted was to be someone I was not?

I didn’t know the answers but I knew that I needed self-care big time. I was drowning in my guilt and shame and I knew that turning around my view of self-care was essential for me in order to pave a path to more self-love and to a healthier life. So, slowly, step by step, I dipped my toes into the practice of self-care and with it, I began to recover from an almost life-long battle with self-esteem and self-kindness.

Over the years, I learned that taking care of myself was an ongoing practice, but that I didn’t have to put myself into a box (you probably know how much I hate being “imprisoned” in systems) in order to succeed at continuously making sure that I was looking after my needs.

I created a framework for self-love that is not only super flexible but also super effective and today, I’d love to share this framework with you.

Here are 5 steps to incorporating the practice of self-care into your life.

Commit

The first step towards any change is always commitment. A really, effin’ big commitment. A daily commitment, in fact.

You need to make a pact with yourself, promising yourself to do what it takes to take care of YOU.

Now, to be totally transparent, I had to renew this promise many times as I slipped and fell, but with each renewal, my resolve grew.

So, commit to your healing, commit to your self-care, commit to your life. Every single day.

Touch

Don’t be afraid of touching your body. When we lack self-esteem, feel big and too much, we often have no idea where our boundaries are. The more we touch, the more we’ll know where we begin and where we stop.

This creates an unmeasurable level of self-awareness and it also elevates your relationship with your body and weight. You can’t continue to live in your head, but truly need to drop into your body more and more.

Touch will do that for you.

Let go

Part of my self-care practice was to let go of many thoughts, concepts, “realities”, dreams, and people in order to gain life, energy and joy.

I let go of toxic friends who were constantly talking about diets and weight loss. I let go of Facebook pages because of the constant bombardment with “positive thinking” without any research or actual tools behind their words.

Over time, I began to say goodbye to the dream of being someone else, someone my parents wanted me to be (aka. a doctor or a CEO, someone who was suuuuper successful in society’s eyes). I released the desire inside of staying a little kid without female curves or responsibilities of an adult and instead began to take ownership over my life and my heart’s longings.

Letting go, saying goodbye, and decluttering is a big process on the way to cultivating a rock-solid and life-affirming self-care practice. If you do it consciously and courageously, you’ll take huge leaps forward and live a kind of freedom that you may now only dream of.

Use your senses

Walk barefoot and feel the blades of grass touching your feet. Use essential oils and make it a game to become aware of all the nuances in the scent. Feel the rain or the sun kiss your skin. What do you notice? What does it feel like? Massage your hands when you’re at work. Stretch when you get out of bed and allow your body to greet your soul. Close your eyes and listen to the world’s sounds with all of the most incredible details.

The possibilities are endless here.

By using your senses, you drop into your body, which grounds you when you feel flighty and anxious.

Honesty

That is probably the biggest, most scary self-care practice I started and still commit to: brutal honesty with myself. I lied so much when I was caught in the traps of my eating disorder and had zero self-esteem. I lied and cheated and lied some more: to myself, to others, to everyone who threatened to take away my identity of being a sick person.

And even when I began to take my life in my own hands, I still lied. I lied because I was ashamed and the crazy thing is that the more I lied, the more I hurt myself. Lying feels so easy, doesn’t it? But admitting and telling the truth is hard. However, the moment I was really honest with myself, things began to shift. I got help, I accepted support, I began to see that I had to change my ways but that I didn’t have to face this struggle alone.

Honesty is a profound practice that uplifts your life and takes away the shame and fear we often feel.

My journey to cultivating self-love, true, solid self-love, is not over yet. As a Martha Beck Life Coach, I learned to use my body as a compass for walking towards my North Star. That way, my body guides me in making life’s decisions, a level of self-care I never could’ve dreamt of when I was struggling with my inner demons.

The most important lesson I learned while cultivating self-care and choosing life was the truth that our body is so wise. She is wise beyond your mind’s imagination and she knows your truth. Don’t destroy her, learn to love her, trust her, take care of her. One step at a time.

I’d be super grateful if you took a moment to leave a review on iTunes. Simply click this link, click Listen on Apple Podcasts, go to Reviews and Ratings and then Write a Review.

Love and light,

Anne-Sophie

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