Self-Love. Yes, that cliche again. You might have heard about it, you might have tried it. And then you happily ticked the box and moved on with you life. Oh wait, am I projecting myself on to you again? Oh, sorry… that’s what I do (selfish bastard)!
I have been obsessed with the concept of self-love ever since I started working on the Well-being Hub. At least, that’s when I gave a name to the thing I was in search of. And now, I finally know what it looks like. And I try to do it. I repeat, TRY to do it. Because practising self-love takes time and consumes a lot of energy - but when you get it right, you get much more than what you give. And since I don’t have $9.000 to spend on the fabulously-looking Atelier Doré retreat, I was forced to get creative and find ways how to be kind and loving to myself without spending a fortune.
I went around Europe in a search of self-love but, surprisingly enough, I found it at home. My second home, to be precise. London. I spent the entire afternoon in the city I love all by myself. It started with no intention, certainly not with the thought of - oh hey, let’s practise self-love today! No, far from that. I was actually driven by the force of nostalgia. As I will be leaving this city for good in less than three weeks, I decided to do the things I never made time for. Here’s what I did.
I signed up for a new yoga studio. Although I have been a (not-so-much) loyal member of the Fierce Grace community, I was handed a promotional flyer and decided to try a studio just across the park from me. First class was ok but oh did I fall in love with the class taught by Nadia! She helped me set my intention and kicked off my self-loving afternoon.
I booked myself a hair appointment. Again, prompted by a promotional flyer, I visited the nearest hair studio - coincidently located by the Tower Bridge… Yes, I hear you Freud, nothing is a coincidence. I had the thought that after that I might have a stroll by the river...
Accompanied by a new haircut, I sat by the river, listened to a podcast and enjoyed a wonderful view of London. I was surprised to have found a new angle at which to look at the city I spent almost four years in. It was mind blowing.
Thrilled by the view but also by the (almost) autumn chills, I sought refuge in a nearby cafe. Google maps were out of the question (adventure, dah!) and Starbucks was a definite no-no. In this way I found an Italian cafe which had delicious cannoli and comfortable sofas. I opted for a black Americano, to be able to smell the coffee but survive the caffeine dose.
After two hours of reading news and stories, smiling at random passers-by, I came back to the river bank. I chatted with my dad whilst watching the City and its workers buzzing behind.
Once I soaked up the view, I jumped on a bike and navigated my way back home. Passing through the park, I realised my tyre was flat. I stopped at the local bike store and managed to get it pumped by myself (and in heels, just saying).
Back home, I took a warm shower, lit up a candle (a daily ritual I got used to ever since I started working from home) and got journalling - the most important part of self-care! Maybe it will inspire you to do the same... maybe it won't, and that's ok, too.
And that’s it. Seven steps through which I dedicated my afternoon to self-love. And although I wished this moment last forever, I am all the more grateful that I could spend a few hours for and all by myself. Furthermore, I did so in a city which, I thought, had nothing more to offer me. Wonderful! And it all started with a simple thought - that I don’t want to have any regrets after I leave.
Regardless of whether my self-care journey continues here, home or anywhere else in the world, I know that what I experienced was great! I invite you to try it, to find the courage and live the day as if it was your last (in a good way). It might lead to unexpected findings…
Remember, happiness is a feeling, not an action. So please, be kind to yourself and do one nice thing for you today. And without noticing, you might end up dedicating maybe a fraction of, maybe an entire day to self-love. And what’s more, your smile might make someone’s day, too!