You’re in the right place. At least, that’s just one of the ways I talk about the subject of self-love. And when better a time to love yourself than in the month dedicated to lovers around the world – February.  Yet, before you rush out for some overpriced roses, you should know that I advocate loving yourself first. 

Which I know is often easier said than done – especially in our modern frenetic world – but finding moments of calm in your daily routine doesn’t have to be assuming the legs crossed, feet stacked ohm-position. 

The continuous pursuit of ‘more’ in our daily lives often eclipses our sense of self. This relentless drive leaves many of us feeling stretched thin, stressed, and ultimately disconnected from our true selves. All too often, we put the needs of others – family, children, colleagues, friends, lovers – above ours.  Even my dog has a better life than me some days. Understanding and practicing self-love has become more crucial than ever. As a hypnotherapist and breathwork coach, my journey from a state of high anxiety and depression to a place of profound self-acceptance and peace underscores the transformative power of self-love. 

Through mindfulness and self-care, I’ve learned not just to survive but to thrive, embracing a life where my opinion of myself outweighs the judgments of others.

Our actions and reactions are governed by all the wonderful workings of our brains. Freud believed that we’re 10% conscious, 90% subconscious. More research and studies have since discovered that it could be anywhere between 1/99 to 5/95. 

Whatever statistic you believe, all we really need to understand is that the brain is far more subconscious than it is conscious. 

The conscious mind handles logical thinking, analytical thoughts and willpower.

The subconscious is a vast repository of all of our memories and experiences.  

Everything you’ve ever seen, read, heard, smelled, or experienced is stored there. 

Every happy memory 

Every sad memory. 

Everything that has frightened, empowered, or done whatever to you is stored in your subconscious. 

It forms the backbone of our core beliefs that shape our reality. It’s our values and affects the way we react and think. It’s visual, it’s literal, and is the storehouse for EVERYTHING. 

All the feelings and emotions.  

Between these two lies the critical factor, a guardian that filters information based on our subconscious blueprint. 

Changing deeply ingrained beliefs, such as the notion that putting ourselves first is selfish, requires patience and persistence. It’s about reprogramming our critical factor to accept that self-care is not just a luxury, but a necessity for our sanity & mental agility.

Your critical factor is a bit like a bouncer at a swanky nightclub that has a strict dress code. 

If we try to slip anything past it that flouts our Subconscious Blueprint (our rules and core values) it tells us to pack up and fuck off. 

This set of rules that we live by means that our Critical Factor decides whether or not something is going to be allowed in or out. 

For instance, if one of your core beliefs is that you have to put everyone above yourself because this is what you’ve witnessed growing up and you’ve had drummed into you, when you come to start trying to put yourself first the critical factor is going to tell you it’s wrong. 

Much like you can change the dress code in that swanky club, you can modify our core values & beliefs to ones that match our selves as adults. 

It isn’t as simple as swapping out a sheet of rules though.  

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, without being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. As someone who has woven mindfulness into the fabric of my life, I can attest to its power in transforming one’s mental landscape. From being a person once governed by anxiety, I’ve learned to anchor myself in the now, appreciating the beauty of the present without the weight of the past or the uncertainty of the future. Mindfulness can be built into the simplest of activities, turning them into acts of self-care and moments of calm. From the mindful savouring of a cup of tea, focusing on the sensations of the moment, to engaging in deep breathing exercises, mindfulness brings us back to the centre, to a place of calm and clarity.

You have probably heard of the cliched saying “You cannot pour from an empty cup”.

Putting yourself first is absolutely acceptable – and sometimes that can take a while to become a comfortable acceptance if it hasn’t always been the ‘norm’ in your life. When you have a family, caring responsibilities, a job, a business – there are always going to be times when you have to put the needs of others above ourselves. And that’s okay.  

It’s when we NEVER take a moment of calm for ourselves that we begin to burnout, leading to exhaustion, fatigue, stress, anxiety… the list goes on. For your own health (and sanity) you need to bring it back to you.

To self: Self-care, self love, being selfish. These moments build into a foundation for a healthier mindset, which often then cascades into other areas of your life – your physical health, mental health, and emotional well-being.

Embracing self-love starts with small, intentional actions. It’s about creating moments of pause in our day to connect with ourselves, whether through meditation, a mindful walk, or simply enjoying a cup of tea with full presence. These practices are not about escaping life but about enriching it, allowing us to return to our tasks with renewed energy and perspective.

The magic is in doing self-love as much as you can 

And by ‘it’ I mean putting yourself first. 

Embarking on the journey of self-love & mindfulness is like training for a marathon without prior long-distance running experience. The key is to start small and gradually build your resilience & capacity for self-care. Launching headfirst into prolonged meditations that don’t work because the dog is barking & the kids are fighting, or looking at a sheet on 101 Mindfulness Exercises that causes your brain to melt is going to lead to burnout rather than growth. 

The essence of self-love lies in granting ourselves simple moments of reprieve, the kind that allows us to recharge and realign with our inner selves.

These breaks are the cornerstone of self-care, offering us a chance to lower stress levels, boost productivity, and enhance our overall mental health. Whether it’s enjoying a quiet moment with a book, taking a leisurely walk, engaging in meditation, or practicing mindfulness, the activities we choose to fill these breaks with should reflect our personal preferences and contribute to our sense of peace and happiness. 

  • Stop and have lunch. 

There’s a lot to be said for taking an actual lunch break rather than sitting hunched over your laptop or eating on the go. 

  • Go for a walk (or a wheel) 

It doesn’t need to be miles and miles or tackling the Wrekin, Snowdon or Mount Kilimanjaro, a brisk walk (or wheel) around the block or up and down the road will get some fresh air into your body and make you feel infinitely better.  

  • Have a bath  

Run yourself a nice warm bath, add some bath salts and relax.  Rejuvenate. 

  • Make yourself a cup of your favourite beverage 

Sit and enjoy it, instead of leaving it go cold on the side & forgetting where you’ve set it down.  You can even bring a little mindfulness to it by noticing with each mouth full (yes I realise I just said ‘mouthful’) the taste, temperature, smell, texture, sound. Focus only on drinking your cuppa and every time your mind wanders, bring it back to that. 

  • Sleep! 

Take a nap or have an early night.   Being tired is a major contributing factor to stress and weight gain. Keep to a regular bedtime and wakeup time every day and it can have a positive impact on your mood, energy and potentially even your weight over a prolonged period of time. 

  • Stroke something furry (or not furry if you prefer) 

Your dog, gerbil, rabbit or whatever pet you own.  Spending time with a small creature can aid relaxation and induce calm. It gives your mind a break from whatever you were doing. Again, try it by staying present with the sensations, bringing your mind back to what you’re doing if it wanders off thinking about what to do for tea or what to add to the shopping list. 

  • Have sex. 

With a partner or yourself. Those feel good endorphins when you reach climax are not a bad thing. 

  • Sing 

You might have the voice of an angel, you might have a voice to shatter glass. Load up your favourite playlist, crank up the volume and sing your heart out.  Singing is known to produce those good endorphins to help lift your spirit.  Sometimes singing makes me ball my eyes out. I let the tears flow, allow the emotion to escape and just keep going until I feel all the stuff that’s making me feel crap has gone. 

  • Dance 

You don’t need to have moves to rival Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Tatum Channing or the next winner of Strictly. Just put on your favourite tracks, turn up the volume and shake your ass.  The fun and frolics and wee bit of exercise will help produce some nice endorphins to lift your mood.  

  • Tell Some Jokes 

If you can’t think of any, look them up on the internet. Or watch some stand-up comedy. Sometimes, laughter really is the best medicine. 

  • Be Positive

Sometimes we focus too much on all the stuff that’s going wrong instead of what’s going right. Be grateful. Practice gratitude, whatever that means to you. 

  • Thank you’s 

Say thank you. For things, people, experiences, anything. Whether it’s being thankful to a God, the Universe, yourself or someone in particular. Feel the joy of the things that are good in your life. 

One point to remember with these exercises, keep a pad and paper next to you (except for when you’re having sex with someone, we don’t want to give them a complex or performance anxiety), you’ll be surprised but this is the time your brain will often have some pretty fantastic ideas. 

Keep a note of them so you can flesh them out when you’re back in work mode. 

You won’t kick yourself then for forgetting them once you are back to it. 

The journey towards self-love is personal and unique. It’s about finding practices that resonate with you and incorporating them into your daily life. Whether it’s through guided meditations, exploring mindfulness apps, or simply taking time to reflect and be present, the key is to start small and stay consistent.

As we navigate the complexities of modern life, the call to return to ourselves, to cultivate self-love through mindfulness & self-care, has never been more relevant. It’s a journey of coming home, of recognising that in the quiet spaces we carve out for ourselves, we find our strength and our peace. Let this be an invitation to you, to begin your own journey of self-love, one mindful moment at a time.

If you are looking for ways for well-being without the wanky bits, you can drop me a message on Facebook or via email

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