Love YourselfFebruary 9, 2021
We all recognize Valentine’s Day as a holiday to buy gifts and cook dinner for friends and significant others. All of our concentration is spent caring for loved ones and we may forget about the most important person in our life, ourself. 2020 was a stressful year and we are still experiencing the aftermath in these early months of 2021. I think Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to cut some time out for yourself and do things that you personally enjoy. Whether you have that “special someone” in your life or are an independent single, everyone can benefit from a little self-care.
Self-care looks different for everyone. It can be with a small act of enjoying a quiet cup of tea or something more extravagant such as splurging and purchasing an expensive item that you have been wanting. Whatever you would do for somebody else, it is okay to do for yourself. In other words, treat yo’ self!
Last year around this time I took a night to myself and treated myself to sushi, a nice bottle of wine, my favorite cookies from a local bakery, and popped on a movie that I had been wanting to see. It felt so relaxing to have a little date night with myself on my own time doing exactly what makes me happy.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show everyone in your life love, including yourself. That being said, you don’t need a certain day to treat yourself with kindness. Give yourself love throughout the year because you deserve it!
Show Your Body Love
Our bodies are capable of extraordinary things and it is important to take care of them. I’m sure you all know the best way to take care of our bodies is with a healthy diet and regular exercise, however that looks different for everybody. Find healthy foods that you personally enjoy. If you tell yourself that you are going to eat grilled chicken and cooked spinach every night, but you hate spinach then that will not be satisfying. You will end up dreading dinner every night. Finding foods that are both healthy and taste good help your physical health and you will feel more content knowing you ate something that you enjoy.
I love taking restaurant menu items and modifying them to make an easy and healthy at-home version. One of my favorite restaurants has a roasted vegetable and goat cheese flatbread. I made it at home using a store-bought flatbread (you could even use a tortilla!), spreading on some pesto, and loading it up with tons of veggies. This keeps cooking exciting and I still get to enjoy my favorite restaurant foods!
On that same token, finding exercises that makes you happy will be more motivating than ones you dread. Some people love the thrill of Cross Fit, Kickboxing, or other high-intensity workouts while others like to take it more slow with yoga or a walk on the treadmill while watching their favorite Netflix show. Often times the hardest part of working out is getting up, putting the workout gear on, and starting your workout. That process is much easier when you find a workout that gets you excited to move! For example, I LOVE to dance and I have fun doing exercises that incorporate the beat of the music into the workout. Whether it is a random dance cardio video on YouTube or a spin class that correlates to a music playlist, I always look forward to it. It allows me to pause the stresses of day-to-day life and listen to my favorite music while moving my body. Once I found a workout that I got excited about I noticed myself not just exercising more, but also looking forward to it!
Valentine’s Day is 6 weeks into the new year and perhaps it can be used as a checkpoint on your New Year’s Resolutions. The majority of resolutions made every year are focused on eating healthy and exercising more. Take this time to reflect on how those goals are coming along. Are you making progress? What is working and what isn’t? Did your goals change? If you are still motivated to reach those goals and are struggling, this can be a great time to try something new and give it a different approach.
Show Your Mind Love
It is so important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. I used to believe meditation only meant that you had to sit in one spot for a certain amount of time, focus on your breathing, and clear your mind of any obtrusive thoughts. This was SO HARD for me. I could never “turn off” my thoughts. I would sit there thinking “Am I breathing correctly?” and the session would end with me being more frustrated than relaxed.
Instead, I realized it would be more therapeutic for me to journal my thoughts and embrace them instead of trying to shut them out. I have such a busy mind thinking about to-do lists and different tasks and whatever else is on my mind. It has helped to “release” those thoughts onto paper, so I do not feel so stressed out forcing myself to try and remember everything. I aim to take a few minutes every morning to journal so I can conquer my day with a clear mind.
There are so many different ways to give yourself a mental break and relax a bit during a stressful day. This could look like going for a light walk (when the weather is nice enough), listening to some peaceful music, or taking a bath. Stress overload can have such a negative impact on so many aspects of health. Taking some time to breathe and reflect can help manage your stress.
Spread the Love
The purpose of Valentine’s Day is to treat your loved ones with kindness and show them you care. Once you are giving yourself love you can incorporate that into your acts of kindness for others. Try a new healthy recipe with the family (here is a fun turkey slider recipe), workout with your galentines, and enjoy quality time with your significant other. This Valentine’s Day show love to your family, friends, significant other, and, most importantly, YOURSELF!