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Resource

Building and maintaining self-love (plan)

Get Love plan (pulling the GOGL approach together)

Note: this resource is to support readers of the book / members of the GOGL programme.

Monthly Routine:

 

  1. Identify our value.
    Write a letter to ourselves in which we challenge our self to state why we are valuable.  Not a list of things we do, or our job title or things we did well.  Things that are of inherent value in us as a person.  We may be compassionate, considerate, thoughtful, patient, emotive, fun, loving, loyal, creative… writing them down in detail.  If this feels impossible, imagine what others might say or even ask a friend the first time you do this.
     

  2. People.
    Create a list of people we need to stay in contact with and people we should re-connect with.
     

  3. Plan to re-read sections of this book. 
    If we notice ourselves to be lost or confused when we reflect, we need to return to this book and repeat chapters that resonate with our current block.  It is expected that the information in this book will need re-reads and repeated contact, as there is a lot to digest and different parts become more relevant at more times.  There are also exercises within each chapter that are specifically helpful for those areas of need, which you can return to.
     

  4. Consider whether we need additional support.
    Do we need to reach out and ask for support, but our shame is holding us back?  Do we need a friend to help in a particular way?  Perhaps a therapist or GP conversation is needed.  Check regularly on whether we cannot continue alone, through the current challenge.

Daily Routine:

 

We must plan for all of these every day and expect to continue with this for the rest of our life.  We are hardwired to not engage in nourishing self-love and so the act of self-love has to be a discipline.  Expecting it to become automatic and without any effort from us, is a risk.

 

  1. Remind ourselves of our value.
    Every morning.  Start the day by asking ourselves in the mirror, “why am I valuable?”.  End the day with the same action.  When we are stuck, we need to return to the letter we wrote and remind ourselves. 
    This is a feelings exercise more than a words exercise.  When we state our value, we need to pause and really notice where we feel this in ourselves.  Feel proud of this and notice self-worth and that we are sourcing it.
     

  2. Plan for nourishing activities, every day. 
    List what we are good at.  These activities are go to’s for when things are hard.  Often, the things we are good at are things we enjoy doing and also nourish us.  Cooking, painting, running, games, puzzles, music, writing etc.  Be sure to eat well and to exercise, both are essential in any healing process.
     

  3. Have human contact.
    Plan to connect with at least one supportive friend we are able to share our feelings with (use the list created above).  We don’t need to share our feelings every time, but we need to be able to if we are emotionally in need.  The odd day off being with people is fine, we all need alone time, but be cautious that this doesn’t become a trend.
     

  4. Plan to connect with lost emotions. 
    Listen to music, watch movies, read books and poems.  Whatever medium connects you to emotions that feel locked down – these are useful.  Let yourself grieve, rage, pity and excite.  Emotional release is both healing and a route towards learning more about what you need.
     

  5. Plan to soothe.
    When we have identified we are stuck in the FOGS and re-read these chapters. Plan to use the exercises in specific chapters to address where we are stuck. Put these in our diary and ensure that we spend time with when it feels like they are taking control.
     

  6. Plan to reflect. 
    In whatever form, we need to regularly review how we are feeling and what our experience of our self in the world is.  Writing, talking, mindfulness, art… whatever place we are able to express.  Notice when we are confused by our past, our emotions or how to get self-love. 

 

Moment to moment routine:

 

In our day-to-day life, we need to develop new habits that help us to self-love.  Listening to how we feel, meeting our needs, avoiding seeking love from others and forgiving ourselves for finding this hard.  Try to pause, intentionally, during the day to notice yourself.  This can be between events, after a tea break or during exercise etc.  In these moments:
 

  1. Listen to your emotions.
    Listen out for the FOGS or any new emotions that disrupt you.  When we are feeling any blocks to our daily plans or our ability to feel value we have to question whether any of our old friends are now hanging around.  Learn to see and feel their presence as old friends and accept that they will be with us for all of our lives.  This does not mean that they control us.  They are voices that are communicating a need and it is the need we need to unearth. 
    Re-read any chapter in ACT II, when we feel a pull in the wrong direction.
     

  2. Meet your own needs.
    When we feel an old friend we need to activate our self-compassion, patience and a desire to meet our own needs.  Either guess what our need may be and meet it or use approaches we used before, which felt soothing.  Don’t expect these to work quickly but learn to always respond to ourselves, through practice, with this gift of caring.
     

  3. Avoid external validation.
    Notice when we are talking about our successes often to celebratory friends or being drawn to those who repeatedly rescue us from the FOGS.  We need friends to support us in hearing our story, reminding us of our past and pushing us to love ourselves.  We must resist finding a source of self-love in our friends.  It is our task to notice that we have value and that we are doing well. 
     

  4. Forgive ourselves
    When we find ourselves unable to deliver on any of these tasks, forgive ourselves.  We are learning and trying to nurture self-love.  We can expect to find it difficult and must be kind when we feel we fail.  These moments of failure are opportunities to learn that life will have many trials but being kind to our self can prevail in these moments too.  

Book chapter visual reference guide:

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