Practising self-love & self-care

I’ve been working on my Self- Care collection for a while now, and it seems to be really resonating with people. The ‘Self-Care’ collection was designed as daily reminders to be kind to ourselves. The ‘Self-Care’ ring was designed exactly to do that. When I made the first prototype I didn’t like how wonky my writing looked. Then it was cast into silver and it reminded me of how I used to write quick reminders on my hand when I needed to remember something important. That is exactly what I wanted this collection to be about. I love that that these reminders are built into jewellery, and unlike pen on your hands it can’t be washed away.

There’s been a lot of talk about self-care and self-love and it think it’s absolutely necessary. It’s necessary because in a world full of social media which imposes self-comparison and serious mental health issues, it’s important to recognise when your space and your mental health is feeling jeopardised. It’s important to pull yourself out of the world for a second to refocus and recharge.

I turned 31 this year and I’m in a really good place in my life, mentally and emotionally. However, like many people life hasn’t always been great. I’ve had really tough things to overcome that have knocked my confidence and set me back. I know I’m not alone when I write these words and I’m not going to go into detail about the things I’ve had to overcome because it doesn’t feel relevant, when I know so many people in the world suffer. So I decided I wanted to write about the changes I’ve made in my life that have got me to this positive place.

I’ve always considered myself a strong person. I’ve always just got on with whatever was thrown my way and would always continue with a smile on my face like nothing was going on. That was until I was confronted with something a few years ago that completely shattered me and without any control over my emotions, my past came flooding to the surface. Before I could push down my emotions and plaster them with a smile, I was forced to deal with what was actually going on for the first time in my life. I was forced to take action and practice self-care. So I started a therapy called kinesiology which helps to work out any trauma you have been through. Much like with any therapy you go through it’s not an easy ride, it’s emotional and traumatic. It’s not a case of talking about your past and then you feel fine. You have to work through past experiences and reprogram them. Essentially it’s reprogramming yourself entirely. I struggled with this because for the first time in my life I didn’t feel ‘strong’. I felt weak. I felt like I was falling apart at the seams. Years and years worth of hurtful experiences were there right in front of me and there was nothing I could do but to relive them and then reprogram them, and only then could I move on from them. It took time, and of course it’s still work in progress but now I feel strong again, and not a fake plastered-on smile strong, an actual strength that I didn’t know existed in me. From my therapy I’m more equipped to deal with my emotions. I’ve learnt to feel them and let them pass instead of bottling them up to just present themselves at a later date.

Therapy doesn’t work for everyone. It’s not always the right cure and it’s certainly not the only way to practice self-care. However, for me it was absolutely essential in being able to move on with my life. I also found peace in using crystals, meditating and living a more spiritual life. Astrology has always intrigued me, I’ve always read horoscopes and read up about my star sign. Like a typical Aquarius, I am a free spirit and travelling was always my absolute dream growing up. In my teens and early twenties, it was the only thing I wanted to do. It wasn’t until buying a house at the age of 23 with the wrong person, that I realised I needed to leave and follow my dream of travelling. So I did, and I honestly believe this was the first stage of taking control of my life and practicing self-care. It was the first time I did something for myself and not for someone else.

I didn’t realise it at the time but taking the first steps into self-care actually organically led to self-love. By taking responsibility of my life, working through past experiences, and taking steps to do things daily that made me happy it meant I was practicing self-love. I was unconsciously telling myself I deserved to be happy. I’ve always struggled with confidence in myself. Everything nasty you could say to yourself I’ve said it, I hated the way I looked, I was never smart enough, never creative enough, not likeable. That’s how I felt most of my teenage years and into my early twenties. My lack of confidence was stemmed from my past and I enabled it by telling myself things like that all the time. I entered a series of relationships that were toxic and wrong for me and when I was hurt by them I blamed myself. It’s hard to think of the girl I was growing up because I feel sad for her now.

For me self-love is about protecting my energy and space, I’ve worked extremely hard to get to a peaceful place and I will continue to work at it. I feel very happy and confident now and I’m very grateful for the life I live. Now I say no to things I don’t want to do, I listen to my body when I feel tired, tell myself positive things every day, I don’t beat myself up if things go wrong, I write lists of things I’m grateful for, I travel when I need to have a break, I dance when I’m feeling low and I’ve started a career in something I love. I don’t think I could have started This Story without giving myself the attention first. That’s why the self-love collection is particularly important to me and I hope that everyone finds a piece in it that resonates with them too.

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