LivingLove & Relationships

I ‘is’ my Happy place

By Monika Sharma a Counseling Psychologist and Life Coach

We live amidst some difficult times. There are personal and professional challenges one has to face on a daily basis. And what is also a keen observation here is that each one of us is fighting a battle of a different kind. The social paradigm is changing all around us and that too at a pace which is overwhelming to grasp. It is alarming to see that we allow these external factors to influence our choices and behavior and happily ignore that one thing which we need to hold on to, that one element which keeps us in touch with our core– self-love. We as women put others before ‘I’ – we put our ‘I’ in other’s lives, but forget to direct it to ourselves. Ask yourself, is your ‘I’ the way it is at the moment, a happy place to be in? Have I made it happy, have I loved it the way it deserves to be loved before I direct it outwards to other people and other things?

Loving always begins with oneself. We live in times where love is professed through elaborate insta-worthy proposals, grand gesturing and posturing on social media and the number of likes to these are tantamount to a personal high. But what is this profession of love that is not really felt deep within? This goes for love for the self too. #SelfLove posts on social media are dime-a-dozen. But does that post actually reflect your belief system, or is it you churning out content you think others will like and raise your social image equity?

Can we show more love to ourselves in real, everyday ways? Buy yourself flowers, light some scented candles and enjoy a hot shower after a stressful day at work, treat yourself to that crab-rich meal that bring joy to your heart.

Have you noticed that the products that you use affect how you feel about yourself? A certain face pack makes you feel better pampered than the other. A certain shampoo fragrance make you feel more confident in how your hair looks and feel rather than the other. Let us dwell on the choices we make in our personal spaces and how they play out on our mood and mind.

Can we choose the right personal care practices and accessories, can we be more discerning with what we allow to touch our body, mind and soul. Products which uplift our mood, people who make us happier, passion which keeps us going and a belief that loving myself precedes all of the above. Tell yourself, ‘because I am special, I choose to keep the company which makes me feel special and pampered on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.’

  1. Use the right personal care products. They are called ‘personal care’ because they are meant to do just that – Care for your person.  When I changed my relationship with what I use in the shower space and allowed a certain level of premiumnessI was craving in this area, Iexperienced incredible shifts in my moodWe often ignore that our bathing space is our personal sanctuary and what I do there will drive my mood and my sensorial call. When it comes to my personal care range, I have a fetish for innovation. I tried the Fiama Scents Body Washes because they are endowed with a unique touch activatedfragrance technologywhich lasts for 8-hours, has skin- friendly beads that get locked on to your skin when you bathe.In a tropical country like ours, long lasting freshness is definitely a luxury we deserve and Fiama Scents gave me just that. A small shift but I realised it made me smell good and feel beautiful and this aspect played a part in making me feel better.
  2. Dress for the shape and size you are today: Are we really happy with the way we look and how our body is shaped up or do we constantly struggle to change or achieve that elusive waistline / bustline? While, self-improvement is not something which should be berated, lets indulge in a radical act of self-love by accepting ourselves with what we are endowed with. There was a world which happily existed even before size zero caught our fancies. Not to say, one shouldn’t exercise to lose weight but the motivation to start the work outs will also happen as natural offshoot of loving your imperfections and embracing themI tried the dance fitness classes at Cult Fitness and realised that I enjoy that regime more than boring interface with machines at a gym. So there you go!
  1. Discover what style and clothes make you feel good: Allow yourself to discover what style, clothes, accessories make you feel good, reflect who you truly are and bring you joy when you wear them. Don’t settle for anything less. This is a powerful way to practice self-love and self-acceptance. If you feel a bit stuck, go on a discovery shopping trip and simply allow yourself to play and explore. Do a review of your wardrobe and be ruthless about anything that does not feel good, reflect who you are, how you want to express yourself or does not fit. Personally, I love the way FabIndia aces the ethnic look, they keep it basic and understated. Zara is another brand which I like which fits so well with my sartorial sensibilities.
  1. Commit to Daily “LoveHabits”: Daily acts of self-love are a beautiful way to show yourself the love, respect, and level of care that you truly desire. Plus, they make you feel really good. Select LoveHabits that work well for you—habits that feel uplifting, regenerative, and/or energizing. The key is to unapologetically commit to daily LoveHabits. Self-love is your divine responsibility. When you commit to a deep, loving relationship with self, your entire life will positively shift in the most incredible ways. So the next time you pass by the Starbucks Café, stop by and treat yourself to a coffee and cupcake. Or when you see that gorgeous ‘Da Milano Bag’ tempting you from the window showcase of the shop, step in and indulge. Yes, you read it right – Self Indulge!
  1. Give Yourself a relaxing oil treatment:  We live in a fast-paced world where the basic demands are taking a toll on our bodies. The contemporary challenges have adverse effects such that having a good night is almost impossible. Using essential oils have healing properties. They also help in boosting energy levels and relaxation. Mixing the appropriate bath oils with water will have rejuvenating effects on your body.I am favourably disposed towards ITC’s Bath Essentials portfolio and their range of Fiama’s body oils. They have a combination of moisturizing, rejuvenating and revitalizing ingredients, bring nature and technology together, products that crafted to suit all skin types, enriched with exotic natural extracts that soothe your skin and refresh your senses. 

So are you ready to make your ‘I’ a happy place to live in?

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