February is a time that often inspires people to think of love and relationships…with other people, and often to the point of self-degradation if someone does not have a partner to share this time with.
But why damage your relationship with yourself, over a relationship (or lack thereof) with someone else?
Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will have-let’s take all the “love in the air” during this time of year and direct it towards YOU!
But how can you show yourself love in an easy and healthy way?
While I love the whole “Treat Yo’self” idea, I also believe that self-love activities should be performed more frequently than on a special occasion (which also tends to be expensive, time consuming and over-indulgent) and can be expressed in simple ways that don’t derail your goals!
Bear in mind that what self-love routines you specifically choose to implement is entirely up to you, but to help give you an example of what I mean, I wanted to bring you something from my own healthy lifestyle habits...
(If you would like more personalized suggestions, please set up a virtual coffee with me at AdaptedToYou.com)
Here are my own personal Top 5 Self Love Basics:
1: Make the bed every morning.
Making the bed is like a little gift to your future self.
When you finish work, chores, errands and everything you cram into every day, you will be able to go home to a clean and comfortable bed to lay in.
It will be soothing for you to just look at at the end of a long day, let alone be able to crawl into!
This helps you start your day with a motivated mindset focused on a successful day.
When I wake up in the mornings the very first thing I do is turn around and make my bed while thinking to myself “Thank you for all of the hard work you’re going to do today. Let me help you a little by setting up your rest space right now while I have fresh energy!”
It’s simple, it costs zero dollars and takes only 5-10 minutes but it’s something I am immeasurably grateful for at the end of every day!
2: Listen to or recite morning affirmations.
Affirmations are “I am” statements that help you rework your negative and sabotaging thinking patterns by replacing them with empowering statements.
For example: “I am powerful. I am worthy. I am loveable.”
Affirmations are a powerful tool in overcoming self-doubt and limiting beliefs-they can literally transform your perspective of yourself especially when used first thing in the morning or while falling asleep.
This is great for people who suffer with depression and anxiety as it combats the mental illness by starting your day with positivity, self-love and powerful intentions.
Personally, I listen to 10-30 minutes of YouTube Affirmation videos every morning while I make my bed and start getting ready.
This helps me accept and respect that I may not always wake up in the best mood, but I can at least help myself make it better by putting in this type of effort for myself and my day.
3: Remind myself to eat periodically.
Eating regularly is something most busy women struggle with because everything seems so much more important than making the time to sit down and eat: work, family, chores, errands, friends, etc.
The reality is that eating is a necessity of life and making the time to eat healthy meals it is a great way to affirm yourself “I am paying attention to you. I care for you. I can and will provide you what you need.”
We tend to think of eating as a primarily physical need (and truly, it is) but prioritizing the time to eat is also an emotional need–you need to prove to yourself that you can take care of your most basic necessities to really make yourself feel loved.
I personally make sure to eat every 2-4 hours and I try to eat the type of nutrition I need based on what I am doing. Additionally, if I am hungry and it is not an eating time, I do not deny myself or my hunger pains-I feed myself small bits of healthy foods until the hunger is satiated. Check out my Eating for Energy blog for tips about using nutrition to keep your energy high!
4: Take time for daily activity.
Regular activity supports healthy metabolic function, posture, stamina and more!
Giving yourself time to do more than going from sitting at a desk all day to sitting on the couch all night is a way of telling your body “I take responsibility for your wellness because I appreciate what you do for me!”
This physical activity does not mean that you should look a certain way or do any specific type of activity-just something that mobilizes and warms up your body.
Your body loves to move, stretch, get the blood flowing-a lack of movement is often associated with chronic pain and injury.
My Hip Stability Program is great for those of you that suffer chronic low back pain.
Personally, I like to give myself time to stretch every morning before getting out of bed. It let’s me feel and soothe my body first thing in the morning and sets the precedent that my health is a priority in my day!
5: Commit to resting in the evening.
This is another one that busy women tend to forego-they are more likely to work until they crash than they are to allow themselves at least 30 minutes of downtime.
Instead, show yourself love by committing to 30-60 minutes every evening of something about you, from you, for you!
Again, this recovery time should be specific to you, your likes and your needs but it should be something that helps you (and all 5 of your senses) rest and relax after a long day.
Personally, I like to finish everyday with a 2 hour routine (if possible) of journaling, reading, soaking in a warm bath and coloring in a coloring book.
Obviously not everyday permits a 2 hour evening routine so if I have to shorten it up I will do maybe 10 minutes of journaling and 10 minutes of deep stretching (I use this stretching program). The point is to commit to ANY amount of time where you can focus on you, your rest and your recovery!
And that’s my self-love basics: the easy everyday ways to remind yourself that you love yourself best!
You don’t need a ton of time, money, space or anything extravagant-all you need is yourself and the belief that you are worth this effort!
With everything you do everyday for everyone around you, it’s important that you remember to include yourself in that work-that’s what is going to allow you to continue growing happier and healthier through all of life’s trials and tribulations.
You are loveable, you are valuable, you are WORTH IT!
This article was written by Elexis Smolak CPT, CNC, founder of Adapted Fitness and Integrative Health and Fitness Specialist. Learn more or schedule a virtual coffee at AdaptedToYou.com