Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I have to admit- it is one of my favorite “holidays.” I simply love that it’s a day filled with love, positivity and compassion for one another (and ourselves).
Improving your self love is not an easy undertaking. Just like anything else it takes consistency of sometimes putting yourself above others and speaking to yourself in a way that you maybe don’t always feel comfortable with.
So many of us can benefit from improving how we love ourselves first.
Here are a few actionable steps that have helped me personally over the years and that I use with my clients:
1. Eating and Moving Your Body Out of Love, Not Hate
I see this so often. Maybe it’s eating specific foods because they are associated with health or weight loss. Doing certain workouts because they make you sweat or make you sore. These are behaviors that are rooted in negativity. Instead, focus on eating and moving your body in a way that you love. Eat good food because that promotes optimal health and healing. Allow balance with your diet in moderation because that supports your mental health. Do workouts because they make you stronger and fitter. When you focus less on the negativity and more on the positivity, you will be amazed how your
relationship with your body and health improves.
2. Setting Boundaries For Your Mental and Physical Health
Do you have boundaries in place for the things that matter most to your mental and physical health? For me, I need Sunday evenings to myself. I need this time to ensure I can get some cooking done, write to-do lists and feel organized for the week ahead. Because of this, I make sure to never make plans on Sunday evenings and if traveling, I always work my travel plans around this. Additionally, setting boundaries with your habits can help support your mental and physical health. Maybe this is sticking to a set wake-up and sleep time daily to ensure you can fit in time for your workout or putting your phone on do-not-disturb mode at a specific time so that you can start your bed time routine.
3. Journaling and Introspective Time
I absolutely love journaling myself and have many of my clients do it as well. It is so beneficial for writing down ideas that cross your mind at night, creating to do lists for the next day and setting goals. I use my journal every single night and reference back to it at the end of the year so that I can see growth that happened over the year. I know journaling can at first feel uncomfortable. Give it time and continue to allow yourself to just simply write whatever is on your mind!
4. Stop Surrounding Yourself with Negative Environments
Are there specific people, places or things you do that truly make you unhappy? Maybe this is a friend that always body shames themself or an activity you do because you feel like you have to but that doesn’t bring you joy (i.e. stepping on the scale, doing workouts you don’t enjoy, etc.). I encourage you to consider what these environments might be. Write them down and find a replacement environment that feels more supportive and truly brings you joy.
This Valentine’s Day I hope that you spend it with people you love and also, find time to love yourself! Remember that loving yourself is not an overnight accomplishment but a constant commitment to choosing positivity and happiness.