During this month focused around LOVE, I think it is the perfect time to bring the way we show ourselves love to center stage. It's time to flex those self-love muscles, ladies! Self-love is finally being talked about more often and instead of this perception that it is self-indulgent or selfish, we are starting to understand how vital self-care is to a healthy and balanced existence.
But how do we really prioritize taking actionable steps to make self-love and self-care part of our daily routine? To me, self-care is the way I show myself love and I believe it is a daily practice that requires placing yourself higher on your to do list. Prioritizing our overall wellness (physical, mental, and emotional) is the greatest form of self-love out there. When we first take care of ourselves, we are then able to give more to those around us. I’ll share with you some tangible ways that I incorporate self-care into my day and why these acts of self-love have become so important in my life.
I would like to encourage you to build your own self-care practice and see how your energy shifts in a more positive direction. Below are some examples of how I put self-care into action on a daily basis. Some days I am able to dedicate more time than others but the intention is always there and that counts for something! I always say that these small daily gestures can add up to making a huge impact on the way we show up for ourselves. Just like Pilates, self-love is a practice- it takes time, dedication and consistency. It is so easy to say “I don’t have time for that,” but the truth is that we make time for what is most important to us. My hope is that you believe you are worth it and that you weave acts of self-love into your forever lifestyle!
Start By Being Kind to Yourself: This is my #1piece of advice! Positive self talk is everything. Our thoughts lead to our feelings, which lead to our actions. If we speak lovingly to ourselves, then we are in a happier state of mind and are much more likely to act with love and kindness towards ourselves and others.
Do more of what you LOVE: Maybe it’s taking long walks while listening to music, reading a book and sipping a cup of tea, making a new recipe for the family to enjoy for dinner, or decluttering your home so you feel less distracted and more organized. Do more of what floats your boat! Try to do one thing each day that fills your cup, even if it’s just for a few minutes!
Nourish Your Body: I am straight-up talking about nutrition with this one. What we put into our bodies has a direct and dramatic impact on our ability to feel good (or to feel like crap). One of the reasons I love the Whole30 Program so much is that it brings my nutrition to the forefront and I fuel my body with only whole foods that optimize my performance. Preparing and eating healthful meals is how I show myself love because I care about the way I feel. Of course, there are also days where I indulge and “treat” myself, but what I have found is that these once coveted treats (like excessive amounts of sugar and alcohol) actually make me feel awful and they aren’t worth it. To me, nothing tastes as good as eating clean feels.
Move your Body: DUH! This one is a no-brainer! My entire blog last month was dedicated to this very topic and how to help get you moving daily (click here to read!). It’s a scientific fact that exercise releases endorphins and boosts our immunity, which makes us happy AND healthy! Exercise also makes us feel strong and capable in our own body and mind- this combination is SO powerful and allows us to live a more full and confident life.
Restore Your Body: Proper rest, myofascial release on a foam roller, trigger point massage with a lacrosse ball, stretching, mindful breathing, meditation- you name it! These are all extra ways to show yourself love and are things I do daily- not all of them in one day, but I make it a point to do at least one per day! Find what feels good for you and make it part of your AM or PM routine. For example, I set my foam roller and ball by my bed to serve as a reminder to roll out and do self-massage before bed. Top that off with some stretching and I sleep like a baby! Takes 5-10 minutes and doing this gets me off my phone right before I get in bed.
Spend Time Alone: I have always been independent and someone who highly values my alone time. Now, more than ever, I consider time by myself sacred. I absolutely love my family but unless I have time alone to reset and regroup, my patience level wears thin and I feel like I'm going to snap at anyone who crosses my path. With the kids and likely your spouse always around, it's a lot more challenging to have time alone, but I strongly urge you to make it happen! Being alone is not comfortable for everyone, but I believe it is so important for our personal growth and sanity. We learn so much about ourselves when we can be alone with our own thoughts. Learn to love and appreciate your time spent with just YOU.
Set Clear Boundaries With Others: We all live in a culture of being over-scheduled and consequently, overwhelmed. Covid slowed things down a bit for most of us but it can still be hard to say NO or to give yourself space from people who lower your vibration. I am getting better at this as I get older, but I have learned that when you draw clear boundaries to protect your time and energy, people respect you more. It feels good to put yourself FIRST which is a perfect example of self-love.
Treat Yourself: Last but not least! This is where getting a massage, chiropractic adjustment, reiki healing, acupuncture, lymphatic drainage techniques, nails, a blowout, maybe even buying a new outfit or some fresh flowers for your home- whatever puts a smile on your face and is something you do for YOU! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but saving up for special and fun treats like this every now and then feels good and is well-deserved!
By implementing these acts of self-love, they also help us led by example to those around us. For me, with two young daughters watching my every move, it is imperative that I model what it means to not only love them, but to love me too. Love is so powerful in all forms- the love we give to others and the love we keep for ourselves!
I hope these suggestions inspire you to love more on yourself this Valentine's Day and far beyond! XO!