See that picture there? It probably looks like a girl who feels confident, assured, dare say, even sexy? If you thought that, you would be thinking right, but that girl didn't feel that way for a long time.
Hi, I'm that girl. A few weeks ago, I had a mini-content photo shoot with Amanda Brisco Photography to get some updated content for min site and some new workshops I'll be hosting. I've worked with Mandy countless times in the past and am always in awe of the photos she captures. She has this innate capability to put you at ease and making you feel like a badass.
I also went into this photo shoot feeling the most confident I have felt in about five years. Five years ago, I was pregnant, four years ago I had a newborn, three years ago I had a baby and was trying to handle Single Parenthood and working full time. Two years ago, I I quit my job and a pandemic happened, and last year, my body, mind and spirit will still feeling crushed from said pandemic. But now, five years later I finally feel like I have reclaimed my body, my soul is healing, and my spirit is lifted.
I've been doing a lot of work on healing myself through the last year and a half. Self-Care Senorita was one of the catalysts for that --- to figure out how to find balance in life and not burn out. What I found with self-care is that a lot of it is really self-love. If I can't make time to meet my basic needs, that means I really don't love myself. Martyrdom from a societal perspective is what seems deemed a quality of goodness; you sacrifice your body, and your time for everything else, and you'll be rewarded with the praise that you are ever giving and ever doing.
You know what putting absolutely everyone else first did for me? Made me depressed, run down, exhausted, it made my ADHD barely manageable, panic attacks that disabled me, and migraines so bad I was hospitalized. There was no gold trophy at the end of that thanking me for giving up my absolute self. There was nothing, just me having to dig myself of a very deep hole to be able to be a person again.
So, I started saying no, I kept to myself, I spent more time focusing on the things that made me happy (and learning what those were) and practicing healing from a lot of aspects. Self-love is going to look different for every person, and at every intersection of their lives, but this is what self-love looks like for me.
Tori's Personal Self-Love Guide to being a Bad Ass Boss Babe Mom
1. Moving my body
- Cliche as it sounds, you really do need to move your body and exercise to give yourself true love. I like the gym, and I like working out, but I always found excuses because I was too busy, or not enough time, etc. But since the summer, and truly this winter I have made moving my body and exercising a must at least 3 times a week. I had to hack my brain, so I make it a habit I track, and I also only listen to the audiobook I'm not interested in right now at the gym (it's like my little reward). Since June I'm down 20 lbs, a pant size, but also feeling really strong and sexy in my body. I also can't stress enough how important it is for my son to see me make the time to care for my body. By me modeling this behavior at a young age, he will build the understanding early on, that exercise isn't something to dread, but something to love.
- I love a good Irish Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks. Those empty calories, and that delicious taste as it hits my lips brings me so much joy, like my soul lifts up out of my body on every sip. I also like chocolate, and really love carbs. If I cut all of those things out, I wouldn't really love myself very much because I would be cranky and always wanting them. So instead, I've built a better habit and routine with food. I limit how often or do a this or that scenario. If I have my coffee treat today that means no chocolate or your favorite snack later tonight.
3. Quiet Time
- I have a very busy, very loud toddler who loves playing. It's beautiful to watch him use his imagination and create all the scenarios with his toys, but whew, the noise. Add a 115 lb. dog whose bark echoes through the house, TVs, phones, iPad, etc. and it can be really overwhelming. Over stimulation of noise is really hard for me because of my ADHD and taking quiet moments is absolutely necessary for me to not be overload or become angry. When we have full days home, I schedule quiet time in for play time, and for myself. It's sometimes the only thing that can help bring down the panic and allow me the chance to balance myself. I also turn all electronics off; no background music or noise going on in this house.
- Ahhh my sweet friend sleep. For many years I did not get enough sleep. I worked too much and then had a kid and never slept because he never slept, and I still feel like I will never catch up on the amount of sleep I lost, ever, in my life. When B was a baby people would say nap when the baby naps, and I couldn't I always had to get something done. I sure wish I would have listened to them. B normally goes to bed between 7:30 p and 8:00 p. I used to stay up and work, or get other things done around the house, or I'm sure like many of you, turn the tv on and just mindlessly binge. Next thing I know its midnight and I'm climbing in bed, and at 5:00 am and cranky the next morning because I had little sleep. Now, when the little guy goes to sleep, I go shortly after. Getting an hour extra sleep a night has done wonders for my mental health.
5. Saying No
- No. No. No thank you. Not today. F* No. I don't care how you say it, but practice saying it. To people, to things, to places, to space. Say no. No to toxic culture. No to toxic people. No to overcommitting. No to the situations that make you feel uncomfortable. No, no, no.
6. Removing Standards
- I have always been a plus size girl, and until recently there has never been a standard of beauty that felt I could identify with. I always so blonde hair, blue eye girls, with long hair and size 2 waists. That was never me, and will never be (well, maybe not the blonde part). When you constantly see the "standard" and it doesn't look like you, you can begin to have some pretty negative thoughts in your head about your own worth. I said F* It and decided to start liking the things about me that felt special.
- In my single days I use to stay up late, sleep in, would work, and then do everything else when I had time. Now, I live off of my planner and Google calendar. Setting a routine for myself has become therapeutic. No longer am I having to be reactive to things that come up I did not plan for, but instead able to map out what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and where I have to be. There will always be something that pops up, but for this anxious mama, routine and planning has saved a lot of meltdowns from happening and lessened a lot of potential problems.
That's my list to self-love. I tell myself I can, and I will. I find something about myself every day I love and compliment myself on it, and I make sure to pass kindness and love on to others. Tomorrow I lead my first ever Self-Love workshop with 20 amazing people that I can't wait to work with. I'm sure I'll cry after, because of the energy and stories from 20 amazing individuals, and I find myself so blessed to be able to do the work that I do to support others on their journey.
So be selfish with your self-care, be over abundant with your self-love,