It's Valentines Day, and for many people, they will be celebrating with that someone special in their life. While we usually associate this day with couples, many women will find themselves alone on the 14th. What a great time to initiate some self love practices that will help nourish your mind, body and soul not only on Valentines Day, but all year long.
I know the whole self-love thing is being talked about all over the place right now, but most people still have no clue what that even means! It really means something different for each person, because we all have many different ways to show that we love ourselves.
I've found that when I feel my lowest, when my body has been the most weary and when I am feeling "less than", one of the things that gets me out of my funk is by drenching myself in self-love. It's not about being selfish, but about loving and caring for the body God gave us. Here are some of my favorite ways you can love the body you live in.......
1. Practice self-care.
This may seem like a no brainer, but it's at the top of the list for good reason. Get enough sleep to feel revitalized; attend a yoga class or go for a run; fill your fridge with healthy whole foods; drink plenty of water; and schedule in time for fun, adventure or relaxation. Value yourself enough to make self-care practices a regular part of your routine.
2. Buy yourself Fresh Flowers or a pretty houseplant
Plants add a sense of calm to your surroundings. They represent life and improve the air quality in which you live. . If you don't have a green thumb, get fresh cut flowers, but if you want to enjoy some green all year long, get a few different kinds (tall, trailing, spiky in different shades of green) to perk up your space. A pretty container will make it a showstopper.
3. Practice gratitude for yourself and your body.
Instead of focusing on what you perceive to be ‘wrong’ with you, focus on all of the amazing things you have to offer. Energy flows where attention goes, so the more you shift your perception towards your positive attributes, the more of them you will uncover.
It’s also important to remember that your body is just a play thing for your spirit. Love it, have fun with it, take care of it and feel appreciation for all of the wonderful things it enables you to do, but don’t invest your self-worth in your appearance. You are not a body, you have a body - you are a soul.
4. Clean out your closet.
This may be more therapeutic than you initially think. Cleaning out your closet will help you not only clean your room up a bit, but will positively affect your mind. Getting rid of old things will make room for new things to come in to your life! Cleansing your mind can sometimes work in the form of letting go of clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. that remind you of a certain time in your life that links to a negative vibration. Plus, a clean, organized closet eliminates overwhelm and screams order.
5. Make yourself a love jar with positive affirmations for the month.
Each day, pull one out and be mindful of the words throughout the day. Writing a positive note and soaking up those words are a great way to wake up each day. Examples of affirmations:
I am fearfully and wonderfully made
I am loved/loveable
I am a great Mom
I am worthy of love.
I am strong.
I am an athlete.
I can overcome adversity
I am stronger than my excuses
6.Get yourself some new workout gear
We know that getting some exercise every day is good for both the mind and body. Nothing gets me more motivated to move then wearing a great outfit that enhances all the hard work you've been putting in. Workout gear has gotten soooooooo cute, and the current trends make it easy to go from the gym to lunch with friends. I love prints, sheer cutouts and strappy bras. I also love motivational quotes like the ones in our Tribe collection. If you want to treat yourself to a great shirt, check them out here.
7. Join a meetup group, based on your interest, with like-minded souls. (hiking, biking, painting, cooking, book club, gardening, dancing)
8. Take a road trip and explore a quaint town in your local area.
Go antique shopping, enjoy a local coffee shop, eat lunch at a new restaurant. New surroundings will invigorate you and enhance your sense of adventure.
9. Learn to Say No
I'm still working on this one, but I'm getting better. While it may feel uncomfortable at first, learning to say no is important. You must be able to set boundaries for yourself and for your family. Volunteering is important, but if you are asked to teach Sunday school, volunteer on the PTA, and coach your daughter's soccer team, you may find yourself growing weary. Figure out your top priorities and then let go of the rest.
You can't be everything to everyone — and that's okay. Trust me, people will respect you when you stand up for yourself, and your relationships will flourish because of it.
10. Pack a picnic basket and connect with nature in the park. Explore some place new and create new experiences that get you excited about being outdoors.
11. Go for a relaxing massage or spend the day at the spa. (A personal fave)
12. Map out a plan for soulful activities for the next 3-6 months.
Doing so will give you purpose as you think about why you are here and what you want to accomplish. Sign up for a small group and get plugged in as a volunteer at your church. Giving your life away for good will do amazing things for your confidence and overall state of mind. What things keep you grounded and in touch? Put a night on the calendar bi weekly or monthly so you can plan.
13. Practice Acceptance
You are perfectly imperfect. Learning to accept yourself for who you are is the most important step to self-love. Stop comparing yourself to others and learn to embrace the person you are. Love
You have beautiful qualities, both physical and emotional, that draw people to you. You don't need to look or talk or act like anyone else. We all offer the world something different. That's what makes it so beautiful.
14. Declutter your work space
Living or working in chaos can deeply affect your mood and create a feeling of chaos within. An open, organized space can be freeing and uplifting. I'm not saying you have to keep your space perfectly clean, but taking a little time to tidy up can make a big difference.
Designate an area in your home where you can compile and organize items to throw out, donate or keep and put away. Getting rid of that pile of clothes you've been meaning to donate or sorting through that stack of papers you've been staring at for months can be quite refreshing. Think of it as getting rid of the old to make room for the new!
15. Pamper Yourself
Taking care of your body shows you have respect for the amazing temple your soul inhabits. Simple self-care techniques like dry skin brushing, taking a detox bath, giving yourself an at home facial or making a fun mask for your hair while you give yourself a mani-pedi are great ways to give yourself some love.
16. Nourish Your Body
Replenishing your body with clean water and real, whole food is a loving gesture. As they say, you are what you eat. If you eat garbage, you tend to feel like garbage. Show your body that it matters by providing the high-quality nutrients it needs to thrive.
17. Get yourself a Tribe
As we grow up, the number of friends we have tends to shrink. But that's a good thing. As we mature, we start to value our time and our friendships more and shift focus from quantity to quality.
The energy of your inner circle is contagious, which is why it is so important to surround yourself with uplifting, supportive people that support you. Distance yourself from the negative nellies and connect with people that bring out the best in you.
18. Be grateful.
Our inner dialogue tends to focus on the negative — whether it's physical features, a mistake we made, or an opportunity we missed. How can you look at these in a positive light?
Are you grateful to have a healthy body that you can move and transform? How lucky are you to have a good job to provide for your family? Are you thankful that you were able to learn so much from that one little mistake you made the other day?
Finding things to be grateful for on a daily basis can help change your inner dialogue. If you tend toward negative internal conversation, gratitude is a wonderful way to change that. I try to focus on gratitude each morning as it sets my brain up to be thinking positively all day long.
19. Get comfortable with "me time."
So many people struggle with the idea of taking time for themselves. They dedicate their lives to careers or children or ailing parents, and the thought of taking a couple of hours for themselves brings too much guilt to consider.
Well, I am here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking some "me" time. Even just an hour every now and then can help to recharge, reset, and re-energize yourself. This is not only important for your own well-being but for those around you.
If you run yourself into the ground, what good will you be to anyone else? Remember, you have to put your oxygen mask on first if you want to be able to help the person next to you.
I think this one gets easier as we age. I am definitely a people pleaser and try to keep everyone happy. In doing so, we often lose sight of who we are. We try to be perfect in our attempt to keep everyone happy. (so not possible) Instead of harping on that mistake you made or beating yourself up over another "failed" diet, learn to forgive yourself. If you've never failed, then you've never tried. And that is the ultimate failure.
Be proud that you tried. Think of all the things you learned from each mistake you've made in life. Every bump in the road has helped you become the amazing, strong-willed person that you are today. Embrace your imperfections and learn to forgive yourself.
Bonus!!!! Have fun!
Life is short! It doesn't have to be so serious. While there is a time and a place to be serious, there should also be plenty of time to enjoy yourself. When's the last time you danced? Or sang at the top of your lungs? Allowing yourself to be creative and let loose will boost your spirits and remind you that life isn't just about work. I recently had my clients do the cupid shuffle plank challenge. The plank is challenging, but when you make it fun, it is sooooooo much more enjoyable. I smile when I think about all these ladies pushing themselves, recruiting friends and daughters to do it with them. So Freaking Awesome!
And on that note, this Valentine's Day, as you think about how to show that special someone in your life how much you care for and appreciate them — don't forget about yourself. Practicing self-love is something that takes very little time but has the ability to transform your life .
Here's to helping you love the body you live in!!