Five self-love rituals to add to your life | East Bay Area Boudoir Photographer

October 23, 2021

As much as I love giving people images of themselves that show how beautiful the world sees them, I am incredibly passionate about teaching my clients how important self-love is. Self-love comes in many forms, and getting a boudoir session done to document your beauty is just one of them. In my pre-guide and Private Facebook group, I am consistently posting tips on how you can show yourself more love daily before and after your boudoir session. 

The tips I give are ones that I hope my clients take with them for years after their boudoir session to feel more love towards themselves every day. Self-love is something that we need to practice every day, not just for a special occasion. It is the cornerstone of keeping ourselves balanced and experiencing the best reality possible. 

1) Meditation 

It may seem like a bizarre thing to do, considering our culture has promoted a hustle, go go go way of life. But meditation allows us to slow down and spend some quality time with the most important person in our lives – ourselves. Using breath work (like this meditation here), quieting our mind, we can slow down our nervous system and allow messages to come through to us that can help us re-center ourselves in our daily lives. 

Meditating even 5 minutes a day is proven to help create more self-awareness, increase our patience, reduce our negative emotions, control our anxiety, reduce depression, reduce age-related memory loss, as well as a whole list of other benefits such as : 

  • Helps fight addictions
  • Generates more kindness to ourselves and others 
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Helps control pain
  • Increases our imagination and creativity
  • Improves Cognition
  • Increases immunity

For even more information on the benefits of meditation, check out this page from Positive Psychology. 

2)Daily Stretches / Yoga 

I know, I know. You’ve heard that you should do yoga over and over again. Well, I am here to be another person telling you how amazing a yoga or daily stretch routine can be for your well-being.

Not only will stretching and yoga help you prep to do all of those strenuous poses during your boudoir session with me, but they will help you feel better physically and mentally every day that you do them. Even just waking up and doing 5 minutes of stretching or yoga can change how you physically and mentally feel for the rest of your day. 

Have no idea where to start? One of my favorite YouTubers, Yoga with Adriene, has great videos for beginners and experts alike. Also, her dog is adorable, and an added bonus of watching her videos 🙂  

Start with this great video and tell me how you feel after! 

Soft sweet and romantic boudoir image in pink Victoria's secret by East Bay Area body positive boudoir photographer Heather Elizabeth

3) Gua Sha Massages

If you follow me on Tik Tok or are in the Self Lovin’ Junkies Facebook group, you have probably seen me talk about Gua Sha and how great it is to use before your boudoir session. However, I have found that it has benefits outside of getting your face feeling de-puffed and awake the day of a photoshoot. 

But wait… what is a Gua Sha?  A Gua sha is a small, smooth massage tool used in ancient Chinese medicine to promote blood flow, relax the face muscles, and can be used on your whole body to help heal chronic pain. Using a Gua sha the morning of your boudoir session can create Lymphatic drainage to de-puff the face, make a face life effect, and de-stress you, so you are calm and collected before your session. 

I look forward to my daily gua sha massages. I start with the chest, and after I am done with the neck and face, I will start using it on the rest of my body while listening to affirmations or soothing music. Sometimes I will even do it while watching a favorite feel-good movie to get myself in total self-care mode. 

Want to start adding Gua Sha into your routine? Maed has this great guide on starting gua sha massages with a great visual guide. 

Tatooed Boudoir Photography wearing Victoria's secret in the San Francisco Bay Area East Bay by Heather Elizabeth Photography

4) Affirmations

This is where people start to feel cheesy, but I am so passionate about the power of affirmations. 

At first, you will feel ridiculous looking in the mirror, saying, “I am beautiful”. But the power of this simple act has created life-changing differences in how I see myself. 

Our brain is a program. We have been programming ourselves for years with the things society puts into our heads. We’ve been looking into the mirror, telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough. Aren’t pretty enough. They aren’t worthy of love. That we hate our legs, and we hate our arms. All the horrible things we affirm ALL DAY LONG… that is programming us. And it hinders the way we experience reality and the reality we create for ourselves. 

Our thoughts (along with everything else) are energy, and the energy we are putting out with our constant negative thoughts are creating our experiences in the world. But don’t just take my word for it; much more intelligent people like Joe Dispenza and scientists have proven it with research and actual data.

When you affirm that you are worthy, beautiful, captivating, and fantastic, it changes how you see yourself and how people view you because you view yourself differently. 

And even if all that wasn’t true, it just feels a hell of a lot better than calling yourself a piece of shit all day. So try out affirmations or if you can’t think of any, listen to some affirmation tracks while you are in the shower or going on a walk. I listen to Roxy Talk’s affirmation tracks repeatedly throughout the day to keep my thoughts in check and the positive affirmations flowing! 

Artistic boudoir photography in the San Francisco Bay Area by Heather Elizabeth Photography

5) Shit that brings you Joy

I can’t take credit for this idea, but I recently got it from one of my favorite motivational speakers Roxy Lee.  

Take some time today to free-write a list of things that bring you joy. They can be so small and seem meaningless when you have a whole list of things to get done throughout the day… but these are the things that light you up. The things that you could get lost in for hours because they make you so damn happy.  

An example of a Shit that brings you Joy list…

  • Reading books
  • Watching Marvel Movies
  • Watching Lord of The Rings 
  • Watercolors
  • Walking my dogs in nature
  • Beach time
  • Anything Disney
  • Lighting a candle and meditating
  • Reading Tarot Cards
  • Calling a friend or hanging out with them
  • Playing video games

So what is on your Shit that brings you Joy list? How can you put some of it into your daily schedule to light yourself up a little bit more?

Artistic and moody boudoir photograph by East Bay Area San Francisco Boudoir photographer Heather Elizabeth

These are tips that I would love for my clients and others to implement into their daily lives. Our whole world reflects our inner condition to us, so the more that we love ourselves, the better that our lives get.

Looking to book a boudoir session with me so we can rev up your self-love for this year? I have just a few spots left in 2021 and am booking for 2022! Let’s celebrate you with some incredible images that capture your true, beautiful essence. Contact me today and let’s start the process.