“You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people” --Anonymous
Be Your Own Valentine! It’s that time of year. An endless sea of candy hearts and red roses as Valentines Day approaches. And like most of us, you probably go out of your way to make sure those special people in your life feel “extra” special. Showering them with poetic cards, chocolates and flowers shows how you feel. That you love and care for them.
But what about you? What do you do to care and love yourself?
Too often we spend our lives nurturing and giving to others, easily neglecting our own wants and needs. Self love and self care aren’t about being selfish or self-centred. They are about loving ourselves for who we are and taking the time to care for ourselves in the ways that matter to us. Quite simply, having our own power to make ourselves happy and acting kind toward ourselves is not only essential for our well being but also impacts the well being of those around us – our spouses, children, family and friends.
In light of the “month of love”, I thought I would put together a list of my top 10 easy self-love and self-care practices. Give these a try today, tomorrow, and every day!
1. Practice Mindfulness
Sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing. When thoughts enter your mind, let them pass through without judgment and refocus on your breathing.
Not just for your babies. A short 20 minute nap mid day has been shown to increase productivity and decrease sleep deprivation. Take the time to add to your sleep bank.
3. Listen To Music
Whether it’s the new Beyonce track or some mellow Mozart, music can be relaxing as well as energizing. Take time to actually listen to the music and let your mind wander.
Adult colouring books are super trendy for a reason. Colouring can act to calm and
clear the mind as you focus on one task.
5. Get Outside
Taking a short stroll can clear your head as you enjoy the surrounding scenery. Listen to the birds, people watch or just breathe in the fresh air.
6. Treat Yourself To A Treatment
Receiving massage therapy, acupuncture treatment, chiropractic care or physiotherapy gives your body a chance to restore and recharge especially after a stressful day or week.
Try reading for pleasure – magazines, blogs, books, whatever! As long as its not reading that causes you stress
8. Do Yoga
Yoga has the ability to calm the mind, nourish the soul and at the same time re-energize the body. Spend a few extra minutes in savasana before and at the end of class to focus on breathing and mindfulness.
9. Take A Bath
Water is soothing and relaxing not only for tight and tense muscles but also for the mind. Add essential oils, use candles, grab a good book and climb in!
10. Think Positively
I know it’s easier said than done but working to practice positive thinking will not only help ease challenges but will also improve your relationships. Repeating positive affirmations daily is a great way to start!
Happy Valentines Day!