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self-love

Between busy careers, active social lives, and all the responsibilities life throws our way,  it can be easy to forget what really matters the most – yourself. 

At this stage we're all well caught on the importance of self-love and it's effect on our mental health, but in today's world, taking time out to focus on ourselves is easier said than done. 

So, in celebration of Blue Monday, we've compiled a list of 8 simple, and totally do-able things everyone can do for themselves on a daily basis. 

1. Forgive yourself, and others too

Nobody is perfect. Not you, not me, not anyone – and the sooner we realise this, the better.

Whether it's a missed email, a forgotten birthday or text sent to the exact person you didn't want to read it, just remember, mistakes happen. 

Don't sweat the small stuff. 

2. Get up 10 minutes earlier

It's amazing how far an extra 10 minutes can go when it comes to your morning routine.

Indulge in an extra long shower, plan your day over a warm coffee, or simply catch an earlier bus. 

Whatever you choose, you'll start your day as the calm, collected and punctual individual who always knew you could be.

3. Mark at least one thing off your do-to list

Book that doctor's appointment, send that letter, clean your car (for real this time). 

Sure, they may not be the most exciting tasks in the world, but you'll feel so much better when they're done and dusted.

Make it your mission to complete at least one thing on your list each day and you'll be surprised how quickly everything will fall into place.

4. Make time to meditate

With so many great apps and podcasts available nowadays, there has never been a better time to indulge in this ancient practice.  

Simply taking some time out of your busy day to focus on yourself can do wonders for your body and mind – meaning meditation is a habit that's definitely worth forming. 

5. Try a new recipe

Whether it's a Gordon Ramsay classic, or your own wonderful creation, spending time experimenting with flavours and ingredients can actually be quite therapeutic after a long day.

Not to mention the feeling of pure and utter satisfaction you'll get when discover your new go-to dinner party dish. 

6. Re-watch an episode of your favourite show

It's almost like catching up with an old friend you haven't seen in a while. 

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll reminisce about old times – and you can do it all from the comfort of your own bed. 

7. Don't put things off

If it can be done in less than five minutes – just do it right now. 

It can be hard to switch off when you can't stop thinking about the mug that's been sitting in your room since yesterday evening. 

8. Reach out to someone you haven't spoken to in a while

Whether it's an old friend who moved away, the cousin you only see at Christmas, or even your own mother, a quick "how're you getting on?" phone call could be just the thing you need when you're not feeling yourself. 

Chances are they'll appreciate the long over-due catch up just as much as you do. 

 

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Vogue Williams is a known fitness fanatic. The mum is always doing her best to keep fit and proudly shows off her progress on her Instagram account.

The presenter has been sharing many stunning bikini snaps from her recent trip to St Bart's and we have to say she looks incredible.

The DJ's latest honest post has won us over. Taking to Instagram stories, Vogue posted a close-up image of her thigh and showed off her stretch marks.

She wrote: “Lots of people asking how I have no stretch marks… Every woman has stretch marks.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by voguewilliams (@voguewilliams) on

Vogue proudly showed off her stretch marks in the candid snap.

“I have them up my thighs and all over my tush…” she shared.

Vogue reminded her followers that we should never be ashamed of our stretch marks. They’re not flaws, but simply part of growing.

She said: “There’s nothing wrong with stretch marks, it’s a part of growing!!!”

The mum is constantly praised for her incredible figure, but even Vogue struggles with her confidence.

She recently opened up about her fitness routine and said that even she has her bad days.

The DJ explained that she adores going to the gym, especially because of the impact it has on both her physical and mental health.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by voguewilliams (@voguewilliams) on

“It’s great for my body but even better for my mind. Women are hard on themselves, I’m hard on myself too but I’m happy with my body now,” she wrote.

Vogue may have a figure to die for, but the mum said being slim isn’t the be all and end all.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by S P E N C E R (@spencermatthews) on

“It made a baby, that’s what impresses me most,” the mum gushed.

We just can’t get enough of how honest Vogue is. She really is a breath of fresh air.

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There was a time when Sophie Gray's followers were given constant updates on her the health and fitness progress.

From snaps showing off her sculpted abs and toned triceps to images highlighting her lean physique, Sophie was just one of thousands of fitness bloggers online.

But not anymore.

Turning her back on her old approach to Instagram, Sophie now highlights the important of self-love, the need for a realistic work / life/ exercise balance, and does her utmost to remind her 370,000 followers that their self-worth isn't determined by the number on the scales or the duration of their exercise session.

And why the change of tack?

Well, Sophie stumbled upon an old photo of herself which had been re-posted by a fitness account, who captioned the shot: "Nothing tastes as good as feeling fit feels’.

Uncomfortable by the connotations which accompanied this photograph of herself, Sophie replied: "Actually, from experience and seeing as I’m the person in this photo… I know that pizza and cookies taste way better."

And with that, Sophie decided to change the vibe of her uber-popular Instagram account.

Now, Sophie shares inspirational posts which aren't solely focussed on the physical, and instead made reference to mental health, mindfulness, self-contentment and self-assurance.

And frankly, we're all over it.

Here are just a few of our favourites.

1. How to reach out.

 

Have you been all levels of emotional lately? I cried in my shower this morning thinking about the ending of Wonder Women. I also cried uncontrollably for 15 minutes while hugging Rio because I know one day I won’t be able to do that. All of the emotions. Can you relate?!! If you have been going through something similar the past week or so, know you’re not alone. I won’t go all woo woo on you, but the moon plays a huge role in our emotional experience as women. It’s bizarre to me that I can have these crying fits, or deeper, more “I’m not moving from my couch for 2 days straight” experiences and in the moment think I’m so alone. But, when I connect with my girlfriends, I learn that they’re experiencing the same thing. This connection and ability to hear what they’re going through instantly makes me feel better. It doesn’t make me feel better because I’m stoked that they’re hurting. It makes me feel better because it shows me just how connected we all are, especially women. I’ll be completely honest… I have never had a great relationship with my female peers. My own insecurities left me feeling judged, insecure and shut down. It feels like as women we were trained to see each other as enemies, or competition. This couldn't be further from the truth. As of late I have been learning the absolutely necessity of finding people to connect with. I know it can take a long time to find girlfriends who lift you up, so I want to give a space for that right now. Is there something you’re going through that’s making you feel really alone? Or have you been crying uncontrollably about random things? I would love to hear your experience below. But, I'm making a rule.. if you’re sharing – connect with at least one of the other lovely ladies who have shared their experiences. Connect. Relate. Be vulnerable. This isn’t a place to vent or rant. It’s a thread to show up, be heard and connect. It's not about dwelling in these experiences. It's about allowing them to be heard and then instantly releasing them. Okay, go! Tell me what you're going through. Or, what you have been crying about recently. Share, and know it's a safe space to do so.

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

2. Understanding self-care.

 

This is what self care can look like. Self care isn't only reserved for those who have the privilege of attending a yoga retreat in the jungle. It's not only for those who regularly go for massages. You don't need to lock yourself away in a day spa. Self care isn't one single activity. It's simply making time for you. Today I took a long shower, ate this dairy free ice cream thingy and watched Fifty Shades of Grey. Some days I drive with the radio turned off and repeat positive affirmations. Other days I go for walks with my dogs – and sometimes I do go on tropical vacations or get massages. This photo clearly isn't Instagram Fabulous – but it is real. I want to remind you that you can make time for yourself on the regular – and you are deserving of it. So, go out there and take care of yourself. Go for a walk, take a long shower, sing in your car, read a book, cry, practice yoga, go to Costa Rica.. just do something that allows you to care for your incredible self!

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

3. Treating anxiety and depression.

 

Okay you guys.. if you have been following my page for a little while, you'll know that I personally have gone through a lot of growth lately. I have been learning to view my anxiety and depression as a gift – anddd, my journey has hugely included books. I was never a reader before – but now, I'm hooked. Self help books are where it's at. My favourites: The Universe Has Your Back – Gabrielle Bernstein Anything by Louise Hay The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte Tears To Triumph by Marianne Williamson When @chaptersindigo asked me to get involved with their #alwaysbereading campaign, I of course said yes! SO, friends, get out there, check out your local @chaptersindigo, read some books, learn to be your own best friend and love yourself! What's your favourite book? Comment below or share using the hashtag #alwaysbereading #experienceindigo

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

4. Learning self-love.

 

Hi. I have 400,000 followers on social media, and this is what I look like every morning. At first, I didn’t want to share this photo. I was thinking how I should brush my hair out first, then maybe I’d look better. But, nope. This is me. No makeup. No fake lashes. No hair to hide behind. This is how I start every morning. I am not ashamed of this bare face. I am not ashamed of my blemishes. I am not ashamed of my blonde basically invisible lashes. I am not ashamed of my dry lips. I am not ashamed of myself – and you shouldn’t be either. While this may not be the most flattering photo, it’s real. If you’re a female, and you shower, you most likely have a bare face with your hair wrapped up in a towel at some point in the day. I want you to celebrate this part of you. Self love isn’t only for hashtags and a face full of makeup. Self love is looking yourself in the mirror when everything is washed away and knowing you still accept yourself. It’s time for you to love who you see in the mirror. It’s time for you to love yourself. I have put together a FREE offering that highlights my morning routine for being my most confident self. It includes the steps I follow each morning to love myself – and it has nothing to do with styling your hair in a certain way or how to apply concealer. You can access it through the link in my bio!

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

5. Living a guilt-free life.

 

This wasn't gluten free, sugar free or calorie free. It was guilt free though.

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

Sophie, we salute you. 

Trending

For many women, their daily beauty routine can be a source of frustration.

If one brow is aching more than other, or you can’t seem to get your eyeliner to match then you could get up throwing bronzer all over the place in irritation. Don’t even get us started on trying to find the time to ‘bake’ our faces. 

The people at Revlon partnered with Fordham University in the US to see if a daily beauty and self-love routine could help women increase their self-confidence- and improve how they felt about their relationships.

They asked several women to start a daily ritual of self-affirmations and keeping a journal. 

First the women and their partners were quizzed about their relationships- and what they identified at the biggest insecurities and turn-ons for the women.

Confidence was cited as being a big one. Then, the women were given their new daily routine. 

Find a private place where you can spend a couple of minutes going through the ritual:

– Look at yourself in the mirror.
– Apply fragrance or scented lotion.
– Apply eye makeup.
– Enjoy a mint or piece of chocolate.
– Apply lipstick or gloss.
– Take a slow, deep breath. 
– Look at yourself in the mirror.
– Smile.

After one week, they were asked to come back and give a report of how they felt about themselves. Meanwhile, their partners were asked to listen, and things got very emotional. 

After trying their new routine, 97 per cent of the women felt a positive change in themselves. 

It was also discovered that 71 per cent had an “increased desire for romance,” 69 per cent were more open to finding love, 77 per cent felt more outgoing and social and 74 per cent said they were more likely to flirt.

You need to watch the whole video, but grab some tissues first because it will hit you smack bang in the feelings! 

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Nate Bagley was a single man fed up of hearing all the love stories. From scandal and divorces, to fairytale romance, he just couldn’t handle it. So he decided to spend a year interviewing couples.

During his adventure, he was very surprised to find the key ingredients needed to maintain a healthy relationship:

Self-love
The happiest couples loved their partners as much as they loved themselves. They were independently happy and knew how to take responsibility for their actions.

Commitment
They stood by each other no matter what. If things got a bit rocky neither one would walk away from the relationship.

Trust
They trusted each other and didn’t feel the need to undermine one another. Since they’ve proven that they are each other biggest advocates, they were both emotionally secure.

Intentionality
The happiest couples tried to experience some sort of meaningful connection or create a fun memory on a daily basis.

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