Sometimes the best way to show others your love and admiration is to practice a little self-love first.
It may sound obvious, but the things we need most in life often get shuffled to the bottom of an endless to-do list. Sound familiar?
We challenge you to put a pin in Valentine’s (for now) and prioritize self-care in your everyday routine. It’s all about healthy living through little moments that don’t have to break the bank. Take the time to feel good and have a little fun this February.
Because self-love is more important – and easier to practice – than you probably think. It often looks like changing things up and adopting a new perspective on the status quo.
Easy self-love tips to get you started
Self-care routines start at home
It’s important to make a habit of showing yourself some love. And there are lots of ways that self-love can express itself. A little aerobic exercise is a great way to start the day. And it doesn’t have to be grueling! Movement of any kind is a great way to get your heart pumping and greet the day.
Of course, every action should inspire an equal – and opposite – reaction. Make time to relax, too. Light candles. Warm a bath. Gestures about health and well-being don’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. Every day should include at least a couple of activities that benefit you, and only you.
It’s super important to stay committed to new things. To learning, to trying and challenging ourselves – within reason, of course.
Try a new fitness class – like yoga. Or visit a museum on your own. Try a basic online language course (there’s an app for that)! You could even think about traveling somewhere to try out your new language skills.
It’s important to start small. Take a few baby steps outside your comfort zone.
Change up your routine
This season, ‘same old, same old’ is out. Sound intimidating? It doesn’t need to be! You could change up your commute one day this week – take a different bus or walk along the scenic route (weather permitting, of course).
You could also shake up your meal plan: try a new recipe or a fresh spin on an old classic. It’s scientifically proven that changing your routine is very, very good for you.
Pro tip: Trust your instincts when changing things up – it’s also always okay to decide something new just isn’t for you.
Okay… permission to be corny for a minute? How about 15! It’s always possible to make time to do a little dance. No need to save those moves for the club. Throw on your favorite tunes, let off some steam and – most importantly – get in touch with your body. Release the feels and frustrations that build up across any busy lifestyle.
Let loose and do it regularly. Your body and mind will thank you.
Declutter & make space
Making room for the new and retiring the old. It doesn’t get more self-loving than that! Refresh your space one step at a time. Declutter to free your mind and lighten your spirit.
For example, you could create a special place where you always leave your keys. Dedicate a container for your coziest socks – and retire (or repair!) the ones with holes in them, while you’re at it.
There’s nothing more intimidating than doing a massive clean. And that’s not what we’re recommending here. Recurring theme: baby steps. Make your space and your things your own, on your terms.
Moments of mindfulness
Just like you take time out for meals, sleep and errands, remember to take time out of your busy day to get centered. To empty your mind. To practice gratitude. Sit with yourself.
And you don’t need to go full hippy – unless that’s who you are, of course!
Start a journal (just a few words at a time is fine). Listen to a calming playlist, or meditate with incense. You could even introduce a mantra like this one: ‘I fill my heart with love every day.’ Each time you utter an affirmation like that you give a little gift to yourself. And they do add up over time.
Pro tip: When meditating or practicing mindfulness, it can be helpful to set intentions. And they don’t need to be lofty – being present and enjoying the experience are excellent options.
Unleash your inner artist
Humans are creative creatures – that’s a fact. We all have the capacity to express feelings and ideas through art. No special training or extra-special skills required.
If you can acknowledge this fact about yourself, you’re already off to a great start. Next step? Try a sketch. Or a poem. Buy a paint-by-number. Or turn on some music and borrow the kids’ crayons for a few hours.
This one’s scientifically proven, too.
Become a plant parent
Plants are beautiful. They produce oxygen and brighten any space. What’s not to love? Seems like pretty simple math to us.
The ritual of caring for your own little green guy can be a grounding and rewarding experience. Find a plant suitable for your space and climate, whether indoors or out. Almost anyone can develop a green thumb.
And if not, there are some extremely hardy plants out there, too.
Above all, be kind to yourself
Life can be a rollercoaster full of twists and turns. Whether it’s sunny or storming right now, there are little steps you can take to put yourself first. And prioritize health and happiness along the way.
Practice makes perfect, of course. This is why introducing simple changes into your routine can be the most effective way to practice self-love.
What you put into your own well-being will often become reflected in the places where you least expect it. Relationships. Opportunities.
Self-love is all about building foundations for the life you want to lead.
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