December 2016 was one of the toughest months of my life.  I was 6 months postpartum with my second son and the truth is, I felt like years of all the things just came crashing down on me all at once to the point I hit rock bottom and felt nothing.  No happiness. No sadness.  Nothing.

People around me who loved me told I needed to find help… I denied it.  I knew deep down there was something wrong, but I thought it would just go away on its own.

January 2017 after so much emotional pain and seeing that it was hurting my family, I decided to seek help.  I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression.

It wasn’t an easy road to recovery. At first I was embarrassed and thought people would think I am crazy and seeking attention.  SO much STUFF just kept coming up with self-confidence, self-worth, and alway comparing myself to others that I just wasn’t good enough.

I went through some pretty dark moments suffering from full on panic attacks, the ones that you are aware of your surroundings but you have trouble breathing, you hold your legs in close tight because you feel paralyzed and can not move, and essentially you feel like your going to die.

This journey has led me to find more compassion with myself and to learn to love myself more.  To understand that I am worthy of all the good things and that I have been given my own unique talents and gifts to share with the world.

Today, I’d love to share with you the top 10 things I have learned on this journey of self love and hope that these things I have learned can help you in some way.

1. Exercise: this has been my number one way to balance my emotions is through exercising daily and fueling my body with healthy food.  It is the one time I am able to get out of my head, push myself just a little more.  I do strength training in the comfort of my own home through what I call Netflix of workout programs.  I have been running since after my 5 year old was born, but I have recently pushed myself to go a little more further and running races. This part of my life has been so rewarding for my self love routine its made me stronger, confident, and most of all happier.

2. Personal Development: personal development has been perceived in many ways in todays society but the truth is, this has really been an important piece in my self care routine.  I love reading books and few of my favorite authors are Rachel Hollis, Tony Robbins, John C. Maxwell, Brendon Bouchard, and Darren Hardy.  Any book from them is worth picking up and reading.  Podcasts are also an modern day essential in the personal development world and they are great to listen to when you are on the go.  My favorite is Rise from Rachel Hollis.

3. Seeking the opportunity to communicate your feelings:  being able to communicate how you feel has really helped me overcome a lot of hurdles in my marriage and with myself.  wether it be with a professional, your spouse, a trusted friend… being able to communicate is key.  Its not complaining. Being able to talk about whats on your mind helps get those emotions out. I talk to my husband all the time now even when I go to deep and he doesn’t understand… He still listens.

4. Doing something for you: wether it be soaking in the tub, a walk through Target without the kids (seriously just as good going to the spa), getting a message,  finding a few moments for yourself each day or taking up a new hobby do something that makes you happy.  My photography has really helped me to create some wonderful happy thoughts over the last 7 years and my recent endeavor of creating Bei: Be Beautiful hair accessories with a story.

5.  Gratitude: finding gratitude in your day is so essential.  I write down 5 things I am grateful for each day.  It can be as simple as being grateful for your toothbrush to being grateful for the strength you receive everyday.  No matter what just be grateful for what you have NOW.  If you focus to much on the things you don’t have, that is huge trigger for anxiety to creep in.

6. Tell yourself everyday how awesome you are:  This may sound so egotistic, but the truth is its not.  We need to reassure ourselves that we are doing our best and the we are good everyday.

7. Serving others:  serving and adding value to other peoples lives has been a great way to help me to forget about the negative thoughts going inside my head and being able to do something bigger than myself.  How can you feel bad if your helping someone else?  You simply can’t if you are doing it with intention.

8. Make your bed everyday:  make your bed every day.  It gives you a sense of accomplishment that you started the day with getting something done.

9. When a negative thought about yourself comes up, replace it with something good about yourself: This one can be challenge but once you can train your brain, you will become more aware of the negative thoughts you tell yourself.  Every time a negative thought pops up, replace it with a positive thought how exceptional you are, that you are doing your best, how talented you are etc.  Set reminders on your phone for certain times throughout the day to remind yourself how awesome you are,

10.  Be patient and have grace: the road to self love is not easy when you have nagging negative thoughts every day.  Be patient, have grace, and forgive yourself. You are doing better than you think!

Be Awesome today,

Amber