Imagine how you treat yourself on a daily basis as if you were another person, in a relationship with you. Do you say sweet things to yourself? Is there time you set apart to focus on loving your body and mind? Or would you want to ghost you ASAP. We often beat ourselves up with negative thoughts, abuse our bodies with harmful choices, and mute how our body and mind feel despite signals for help. These behaviors wreak havoc on our mental and physical health as well as our relationships with ourselves and others.
In honor of dear old Saint Valentine - a once real man that was converted into a hallmark card holiday - we are providing you with a list of things you can do to practice self love all year long.
Many people have used The 5 Love Languages in their relationships to improve communication with their partner, give and receive more love, and grow closer in intimacy. This tool can be applied to yourself as well. By understanding and practicing the language that speaks the most to you and understanding what is means, you can carve out the time to improve your mental and physical wellness.
*Practice daily affirmations. Our thoughts precede our emotions and behaviors.
*Recite mantras that encourage self-compassion. Bring your attention to being good to yourself.
*Journal your strengths and everything about you for which you are grateful. Document everything you accomplish, feel good about, do right, like about yourself, etc.
*Keep your self-talk positive. Turn down the volume of your inner critic and choose to be your best coach or cheerleader.
*Prepare healthy meals for yourself. Put thought and effort into grocery shopping and meal preparation.
*Create an organized, clean and aesthetically pleasing home environment for yourself. Love where you live, even if on a budget.
*Schedule regular physical, dental and mental health check-ups. Address any health concerns in a timely manner if they arise. Without your health, you have nothing.
*Dress yourself up with love and care. Put on that dress you’ve been wanting to wear and brush your hair, do a face mask, or take a bath.
*This doesn't mean you have to buy yourself $700 Gucci Slips. You can give yourself a thoughtful gift that doesn’t cost anything. Make yourself something, pick wildflowers, adopt an animal, whatever!
*If you are going to buy something, buy only what you love. Don't allow things in your home and closet that don't bring you happiness.
*Set aside time for daily mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.
*Make time for leisure and hobbies. Time for play and enjoyment is an important aspect of celebrating the gift of life.
*Prioritize sleep and exercise. You must reboot and revitalize your physical being.
*Do not over-schedule, over-book or over-commit.
*Stretch your muscles and give yourself a massage with a foam roller. Relax into your body.
*Release toxins by taking a hot bath with epsom salts. Release the stress and soak in the love.
*Moisturize your skin with lotions or oils. As you touch your skin, thank each body part for all it does for you.
*Give yourself a spa treatment: manicure, pedicure, facial, deep conditioning treatment, etc.
Dr. Kristin Neff, a self-compassion expert, explains that often, we are much harsher to ourselves than we would be to others, or than how we would expect others to treat us. So, to replace this harsh inner voice with a kinder one, you can simply notice it — which is already a step toward quietly subduing it — and actively try to soften it. By speaking kinder to ourselves and practicing the love languages, we can change our mental and physical wellness and our overall happiness.
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