In February we celebrate love. Love has many meanings, much more than just the love you have for your children, your partner, parents, siblings, friends etc. Love needs to begin with you and it needs to be unconditional. We should expect the most love from the one we spend the most time with, right? Accept that we are all human, we will all make mistakes and we will all have the days we feel like we are winning.
How you care for yourself.
What do you do for yourself that is mindful, physical and self-loving every day? Is there a day that goes by that you are not doing anything for a loved one? Why do we treat ourselves different? Self-love and self-care are probably at the bottom of most of our priority lists. If you don’t love yourself how can you be mentally, emotionally or physically capable of loving others?
Physically we need to move and be active. If you think about the way humans functioned before we had all the luxuries and conveniences of life that we have today, there was significantly more physical activity. We didn’t have structured exercise 100 years ago, we didn’t have gyms or stationary bikes, we moved all the time. Entertainment wasn’t found by sitting on a couch and watching television or playing a handheld video game. Doing something for you physically cannot only improve us physically but is needed to decrease stress and improve our overall well-being.
People always ask me what the “best” form of exercise is. Truly the one you will do, is the best, of course, as long as it is safe. Whether you find peace on a walk or stress relief on a run, or you need accountability in a group class, you will reap benefits of physical activity. Remember to never beat yourself up about not getting it done, or not doing enough. “Life is a journey, not a destination.” If today isn’t your best day, re-set tomorrow! If you turn it into a negative feeling for not going long enough or not going hard enough, you will ultimately stop or put it off until the following Monday or the next month. This will also put off your results and the positivity that should come from doing good for yourself. Find balance, one day may be a vigorous workout, one day may be more mindful. Allow yourself to get comfortable being uncomfortable, but also allow yourself to accept the days that your body needs recovery and peace more than intensity!
Life is full of stress, anxiety and pressure is all around us from social media to instant gratification and high expectations to be “on” all the time. It is so important to disconnect from the world every day. Take a yoga or meditation class, close your eyes and just clear your mind. Try to be in a moment without thinking about what is coming next. Taking time to disconnect doesn’t have to be scheduled or structured, maybe just stop and breathe setting a timer for 1 minute. “There’s an app for that!” There are many apps you download and have a few moments of meditation. There are many apps that can help with taking a “mindful time out”.
Fueling your body with love and respect
When it comes to eating, most of us just do it involuntarily, without a thought of what is in the food we eat? How does it affect our health, our feelings and our behaviors? How does it affect our environment? The American food industry has changed drastically over the years and is affecting us mentally and physically. Nutrition can help us to have strong immunity, a strong mind, fight off disease and protect us from aging and illness. Be kind to yourself when you eat. Fuel your body with whole foods and fresh chemical free foods. Avoid processed, artificial and preservative filled foods. Eating well makes us feel good from the inside out.
Being truly good to oneself; mindfully, physically and thoughtfully is truly loving oneself! Fall in love with taking care of yourself; body, mind and soul!