25 ways to love your life + yourself today

 
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For most of my life I struggled with the juxtaposition of who I was and who I wanted to be. I envisioned a life of undying happiness, a lavish lifestyle, natural beauty, grace, confidence and great success. However, internally I was judgmental, insecure, unable to focus, lazy, and letting each day pass with focus on how tomorrow will be different, I'll be different.

I am not exactly sure where or when the switch happened. But, it did. The main difference between my life then and my life now is that I F*!$%ING love myself. I think I am absolutely fabulous, I treat my body as the temple it is, I wake up each day and express my gratitude to myself for all the wonderful things I have and can do, and I no longer have that inner dialogue in my head that would constantly criticize myself. My mind and my body are finalllllly connected.  It's not narcissism or self obsession. It is the realization that by loving yourself, you allow the world to love you back. Too cheesy for you? Listen lady, When it comes down to it, all you have in this wild, wild world is yourself.

Below are 25 things I do to love myself. From morning to night.

1. Open those curtains and let the sunlight in. Take a deep breathe and say, "Thanks for this day." Even if you're still tired and don't want to go to work. It's a new day and you're alive!
2. Immediately make the bed and put anything that is out of place away. Mess = Stress. Plus, you wont be tempted to climb back under the sheets.
3. Fill up your sink with Ice cold water. I throw an ice pack in there too. Dump your face in there and hold your breath. If you weren't awake before, you will be now. Plus, the cold water stimulates your blood cells and gives you that coveted glow.
4. List the things that you are grateful for. Your ability to run, your health, your easy commute, that cashmere sweater that you got on sale. big or small- express gratitude for it.
5. Do some light yoga and stretching. A walk in the summer. Get your blood pumping.
6. Make a smoothie for breakfast. Mix up those greens, favorite fruits, chia seeds, whatever.
7. Dry brush your entire body to increase blood flow to the heart and to make skin smooth and sexy.
8. Shower and start the day off feeling fresh. Always finish with a blast of cold water.
9. Turn on some tunes. Gangster rap or Eric Clapton- whatever gets you going.
10. Massage lotion all over your entire body. I prefer organic coconut oil.
11. Make sure when you leave your house that all the lights, AC and TV are turned off and that you have everything that you need for the day. Leave your sanctuary in a way that you'd like to come home to later- clean, organized, relaxing.
12. Get to the office and fill up your water bottle and mix some hot water with Apple Cider Vinegar (I also use this as toner and in my hair before conditioning). This gets your metabolism going. It is an acquired taste but you'll get used to it. Always have your water bottle with you. OD on water.
13. Concentrate at work. Write everything down. Make To Do lists. Dedicate yourself to your job while you're in the office. Be thorough. Impress your boss or the people you manage by how organized and enthusiastic you are about the work. Don't complain or gossip- it makes you look insecure.
14. Take a casual stroll at lunch and get some fresh air. Even if it is the middle of the winter- go outside and embrace the cold.
15. Email your grandparents, call your parents, gchat your best friend. Stay connected to your inner circle and dedicate yourself to maintaining these important relationships.
16. Before leaving the office, make sure that you did what you needed to get done that day. Don't push things off for tomorrow. Attempt to set yourself up for a fresh plate.
17. When you leave the office, leave it behind. Focus on the rest of your evening whether it be spent having "me time" or with friends and family. Don't bring office drama home with you. No one outside of the office really cares. Really.
18. Exercise. This is a must. This keeps my mind and body connected. I exercise daily and hate taking rest days.
19. Find a new healthy recipe that gets you excited.  Turn on some jams and create your masterpiece. I love cooking to Bob Marley- it reminds me of my Mom. Plus, food tastes so much more delicious when you're the chef. Aim to try one NEW recipe per week. WWGD- What would Gwyneth Do?
20. Enjoy a glass of Red wine. Buy a more expensive bottle so that you will want to savor it. Trust me, I know just how easy it is to accidentally drink half a bottle. Hell, sometimes a full bottle. 
21. Romance yourself. Turn the lights down low, light a couple candles and take a bath. Turn on some Al Green and soak.
22. Repeat #10 and massage yourself with oil. Your feet, neck, ears. Go to town.
23. Feel the luxury in a comfortable robe. I'm all about that robe game and have several in different materials and lengths. My favorite is my full length, ivory silk robe. I feel like Kate Middleton in it.
24. Turn on the TV or read a book. We all have those guilty pleasure shows that we can't pass up. Forensic Files, anybody?
25. Dedicate yourself to getting a nonnegotiable 8-9 hours of sleep each night. Rest is so important. This is your body’s opportunity to restore itself from the effects of stress, toxins, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures that occur during the day. All these benefits and all you have to do is lie there!

I hope Lux Lake is a place that will guide you to be a better version of yourself. To learn to care for yourself and relationships. To realize that there is enough good and happiness to go around for everyone. No bullshit. No fast tracks. Just real, honest living and loving. 
 

Enjoy!

Madeline