11 Steps to Self Love

Every once in a while it’s good to bring yourself down to earth. Lately I've been a little detached – making plans to travel the world, hanging out with my incredible friends every single day, heading down the shore to see my mom, taking a lotttt of time to work out, shower, and then lay around. I've been floating through life. My bedroom is a mess, my office is a mess, and I’M a little bit of a mess. My dog needs grooming and a vet visit, my studio needs completing, I need to go grocery shopping, I need to write an article for a magazine, I need to schedule some client meetings, and I need to blog. Basically, I need to get myself together. I’m overwhelmed. And when I get overwhelmed, I kind of shut down. And when I shut down, I think about it a lot and I become frustrated. Then I start to feel like crap. Whenever I feel like crap, I put on some lingerie, do some self portraits, and then I feel about a million times better. Empowering myself, feeling sexy and beautiful - feeling strong – it always helps me. Always. It seems really silly, doesn't it? But I love what I do, and it’s such a huge part of my life that of course it’s going to make me feel better. If I could have my own boudoir photos done every week, I would do it! If I could photograph boudoir sessions every single day for the rest of my life, I’d be the happiest woman in the world.

If you know me at all, you know I try to practice self love every single day, but lately I've just been a bit off. Hey, it happens, right? I decided to take today and just process this mess (and take my poor Penny girl to the vet). I grabbed my journal and just wrote and drew. I found myself writing a list of things that help me feel good, so naturally I’m going to share that list with you babes.

So here are my 11 steps to self love:

1. Give yourself a damn hug.

Wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug. Very Stocksy_txp8a87a27fRBI000_Medium_495513-800x533simple and very efficient.

2. Exercise.

I don’t mean work out because you’re overweight – I mean work out because it will get your energy up and your spirit over all will be glowing. I’m NOT telling you to go out and run 6 miles a day, but go do some yoga, go for a jog around the block, take your dog for a walk, etc.

3. Start accepting compliments.

If someone complements you on your hair, don’t say, “Ew my hair?! My hair looks so bad today!” Just smile and say thank you.

4. Surround yourself with people who uplift you.

This one is very simple. Is someone bringing you down and making you feel bad about this or that? Cut them off. If your friends pressure you to do things you don’t want to do, or if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend who doesn't let you go out without them or who doesn't want you doing something that you want to to do, move on. Do you people in your life who constantly put you down and make you feel like you aren't good enough? OVERCOME IT AND GET THEM OUT OF YOUR LIFE. It’s difficult, I know. I've been there more than once, but it is SO necessary. Trust me.

5. Cry it out.

Yeah man, just let it flow. Sometimes you have to cry, and that’s totally cool. You just have to let it happen.

6. Stop and smell the roses.

Seriously, go to Produce Junction, get some flowers and put them all around the house. Put them in some pretty vases and sing to them and dance with them and all that good stuff.

7. Dance.

Now put on some freaking Beyonce or 2chainz and get low. Shake your butt, shake your boobs, move your freaking hips. Grab your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your mom or your dog, and just dance. I literally dance 60% of my day away.


8. Buy some lingerie.unnamed (8)

GUESS WHAT. I don’t have a boyfriend but I still buy lingerie. I’m sitting here right now writing this in some lingerie. That’s what I do. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel feminine and beautiful. I just did some boudoir self portraits today because it makes me feel good. It makes me smile, and I like doing things that make me smile.

9. Go eat a cheesesteak.

This one is pretty self explanatory. Indulge. Treat yoself.

10. Accept the fact that you’re amazing.

Look at yourself in the mirror and let yourself understand that you are YOU. No one else in this world is you. That’s a really incredible thing. You’re an individual human being living on this earth and you are amazing. You are capable of amazing things and you are going to DO amazing things.

11. Have pictures of yourself.chayenne

I know, I know…you’re like, “Cheyenne, you’re a boudoir photographer, and you just want us to book you for a session so you’re making this list and including pictures in it.” Nah, I don’t really care if you don’t want to book a session with me. It sucks, because you’re missing out on a REALLY freaking good time, but hey, if you don’t want to book a session, then you don’t want to book a session….but YOU NEED PICTURES OF YOURSELF. No, they don’t have to be pictures of you in your underwear. They can be selfies. They can be snapshots of you and your dog or your kids or the Eiffel Tower. Just have them. Print them out, write the date on the back of the picture and put it away, so 60 years from now, you can pull them out of that old shoe box and smile and laugh and remember how happy you were. I am so thankful my mom took so many pictures of my brother and I when we were kids, but she was in hardly any of them and THAT makes me so upset. She is such a beautiful woman, and now that I’m a photographer, I make sure I take as many pictures of her as possible so I have them forever. I make sure I have a lot of pictures of myself as well, and that I get in as many pictures as possible when I’m out with my friends and family. It is so freaking important.

Photo Credit: Healing Lifestyles, Live Your VieCheyenne Gil

How do you practice self love?