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  • kerrilindsay

The Pause.

What is self love? Why is it important?

For some it may sound like a luxury rather than a necessity. And it's a term being thrown around like a new fad. In reality, the world we live in today we are being driven to work hard, to live up the standards and expectations of others. We are constantly being pressured to excel and do everything right - all of the time.

As I write this, I am 2 days away from celebrating my 5 year anniversary from the day I hit my rock bottom. 5 years from when my body said enough is enough, it's time to pause. 5 years of a continuous journey of learning to live being a heart attack survivor.

We wear "busy" like a badge of honour. We are continuously looking to keep up with the rest of the world. We stay up later, get up earlier, all to find time to push ourselves a little harder. We skip lunch breaks and we have turned Sundays into a workday - all the time telling ourselves, it's just for now - it's just until I get caught up.

Our inner critic is continuously telling us we could have done better, and our drive for perfectionism is not only linked to many adverse health conditions, it's also making us a society prone to anxiety and depression.

Here's what I know for sure.......

If you don't stop & pause, life will do it for you.

When I think back to the day my life was forced to hit pause, I often wonder if I could have prevented it. The signs were there. Big, bold, and neon flashing signs. But I didn't see them. That's what happens, life pauses happen because we are to busy, too disconnected, or too burnt out to heed the warnings. Life has a way of communicating with us, we just need to tune in and listen.

(Side note : There was no way even my doctor could have known what was about to happen - SCAD symptoms are not normal HA symptoms. Nor are HA symptoms in women the same as they are in men, so I encourage you to know the difference.)

Sometimes the signs are subtle. Losing your keys, leaving your hair straightener on, forgetting what you needed from the grocery store. I hear women tell me stories everyday - all subtle signs it is time to slow down and really look at what is going on.

I learned to pause the hard way. If I had never had the heart attack, I wouldn't know what I know now. And instead of spending my time wondering if I could have prevented it, I chalked it up to a learning experience and now I spend that time incorporating daily self love in hopes of preventing another one.

Self love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, & spiritual growth.

Figuring out what self love looks like for you is a big part of our mental health, and for many, self love is just another way to say self care.

When we make ourselves a priority we are far more likely to make healthy choices in all aspects of life. You are more likely to nurture your well being by eating healthy and exercising. You love yourself more when you take better care of yourself and your basic needs. In return, when you are nourishing yourself with healthy activities, sound nutrition, exercise, and proper sleep you are better able to cope in the times you do need to push yourself a little harder - because heck ya, we all have dreams and aspirations to chase. Incorporating small daily self love habits also makes us better mothers, wives, sisters, and employees. You can't pour from an empty cup.

Self Love and our mental health are interconnected. Both are made up of our feelings, thoughts and behaviors, both require us to make ourselves a priority. Both require us to check in with ourselves and notice what we are feeling, look for connections between triggers and emotions and choose our reactions to life's events rather than letting our emotions get the best of us. Learning to put ourselves first is no easy task, but it is the first step to taking back control and learning to make healthier choices.

We all know habits are not built overnight but with consistency, repetition and small steps forward, taking care of our mental health is a large part of our everyday journey to living happier, healthier lives. Finding harmony in the midst of doing it all.

All my love,

Kerri xo

PS. February is Self Love Month at Harmony Ignited - If you're ready to make you a priority, grab a girlfriend and head over to Harmony Ignited's Facebook page and join the Self Love Club's 14 day challenge! Join here.


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