Whether you're spending all your energy focusing on others or holding yourself to unrealistically high standards it’s so easy to get down on yourself.

To really manifest a healthy mind and body moving through this exciting new decade, we need to start kicking those feelings to the curb by participating in habits of self love.

As most of us know, feeling inadequate can not only mess with our mental health, but it can affect our relationships, our work, and our bodies too. Self love can mean so many different things (yes keep it clean!), but it always comes back to feeling good about yourself, even if there are moments when you're disappointed. Self love is about building self-esteem.

Use your ‘ideal’ self only as your guide. Don’t expect to reach that ideal but rather use it to give you direction and a positive, hopeful outlook. Use this together with your ‘internal compass’, your ‘intuition’ rather than depending on others for validation. I honestly don’t know any woman that hasn’t suffered with self-esteem issues at one time or another, but as I constantly grow and learn I realise that if you want to have a positive relationship with yourself, you need to put in a little work to get there. Don’t worry I’m still working on it too! We are always a work in progress and we should enjoy the process!

For me personally, Krave DanceFit and the physical affirmations that come with my dance fitness classes has helped me become strong and confident over the years. When you can find a community that can rise together and lift each other up it really is something special.

There are other habits we can adopt that also encourage regular self love:

1. Make Self Care a Priority

Take some time out for yourself each day to do something just for you. I know you’re super busy, don’t get anxious at the mere thought! This doesn’t mean you have to block out 2 hours to go to the Day Spa or book an expensive weekend at a retreat. I can really relate here…..I’ve been trying to finish a book that I started 3 years ago. Every time I open the draw and see that book I get really pissed at myself for never making the time to finish this incredibly funny, heart warming book that makes me feel so good. My problem is if I find any time to read I believe I should be learning, gaining knowledge or enhancing my business at the same time. With my busy schedule I’ve told myself that I don’t deserve to read for pure pleasure. So this year I’m going to take 15 minutes to read a chapter of this light hearted book with a cup of tea and that is most definitely a big form of self care. So whatever it is you want to do, that puts a smile on your face and is nourishing for your body and soul, do it!

2. Respect Your Body

A great act of self-love is to respect your body by eating healthy and exercising doing something you enjoy. Really listen to your body. Use the next 30 days to use your body a bit like a sound board - a place to tune into and listen. Learn what serves your body and what doesn’t. This will help you to treat your body well and refrain from eating unhealthy foods.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Sometimes easier said than done but start by being present in the moment. Let thoughts and emotions enter and leave without reacting to them and having a non-judgmental attitude. No re-read that again……imagine letting your thoughts and emotions leave with out reacting to them. It’s totally ok to occasionally not give a f*ck. Make sure you try this at times.

4. Allow Yourself Forgiveness

I’m sure we all know it, but sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that nobody's perfect. Nobody is. Not the girl who seems like everything is handed to her on a silver platter, not the seemingly perfect couple married for 30 years, not the girl on Insta with the perfect teeth and body, not the woman who keeps the home looking like a showroom, not your friend who has never slipped up, not the Mum who is so organised with the gourmet dinner on the table each night. A definite deterrent to self love is holding onto regrets or shame even about mistakes from the past. You are not perfect. Finding a way to forgive yourself daily or even for the past while still committing to improving your behaviour or living more closely to your core values will increase self love."

5. Take It One Day At A Time

In this day of instant gratification I see so many people just want ‘it’ now. They want a quick fix or results straight away. No change happens overnight, and the same goes for developing your self-worth but we are using the next 30 days to happily and soulfully work on it. Take each day one at a time and as you move forward, give yourself a high five for all wins – small and large.

6. Develop Some Long Term Goals

Allow yourself to make some concrete goals on how to really begin to love yourself. Develop some strategies and plans and work towards it - it may be starting your own little business, it may be something new you want to learn, it might be a health project. Give yourself credit for being open minded about heading somewhere new and unknown.

7. Stop The Comparisons

Again, I know we’re all guilty of this at times but you need to get out of your own head thinking that you are 'less' because others have more. It’s been proven that comparing your life to others on social media can lead to feelings of depression and loneliness, so try not to compare yourself, your circumstances or your journey to others on social media or otherwise.

8. Surround Yourself With Positive People

If you are trying to develop self-love, it can be extremely difficult if you're surrounded by Negative Nancys in your life. Are your squad positive, uplifting and open to treating themselves with love, compassion, respect, and dignity? Do they respect themselves, you and your space? If they are, great! They are your people!

Checklist: Are you hanging or influenced by someone who is……

1. Judgemental 2. Always complaining 3. Gives backhanded compliments 4. Puts you down 5. Negative - starts sentences with “I can’t”, “I’m too…..” 6. Always scowling 7. Always sees the glass as half empty 8. Always fearful of attempting anything difficult, different or new 9. Fearful of being judged by others.

Try to hang with people who might be more positive, understanding, encouraging, non judgemental that can give you more positive energy and peace of mind when you're around them.

9. Do Things You Love

Nourish your soul! What are your interests, hobbies, passions, things that you're good at? Doing those activities that make you feel good activate an area of the brain that controls how you feel about life.

The more you love yourself, I mean truly love yourself, the happier you will feel and the more motivated you will be to accomplish what you want in life.

Shereen x