Being a month based around Valentine’s Day, we often find ourselves sucked into expectations of sharing love with others in certain ways. It’s important to remember love comes in many different forms, and most importantly that in order to give love to our fullest capacity we must first start with loving ourselves!
It can be far too easy within the mix of life to lose connection with ourselves. Life ebbs and flows. Work becomes demanding. Paying bills is a hassle. Making sure you have gifts for holidays can become stressful. Trying to fulfill expectations we have for ourselves can be painful. It all stacks up and suddenly we are trying to claw our way back into loving the people around us, which can be extremely challenging if we have been neglecting ourselves. That’s why I’d like to share a few ways to remind yourself of just how special and beautiful you truly are with the hopes that we can continue to make our love for one another flourish!
Did ya eat your veggies?
A simple way to love ourselves is to remember to eat food! When we fall into routines that do not support our digestive health, we can become
fatigued quicker making it harder to care for ourselves fully. In such a fast paced society this can become difficult. It’s easy to drink coffee to make us feel productive and/or alive, but like many stimulants coffee has the ability to suppress the appetite. This can trick us into forgetting to eat because we don’t actually feel hungry, the end result sometimes being another cup of coffee to keep us on the move! The problem with this is that our body can’t really function only on coffee. Although it is delicious (and addictive) this pattern can actually lead to adrenal fatigue which can result in a compromised immune system! (yikes!) It is important to remember as human beings, noting that we are all different and have unique needs, we all do need the same essential nutrients. Proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are all crucial for our cells to function. Not to mention, WATER!! If we can remember to eat meals that are nutrient dense, on a physiological level we can become stronger functioning. This can help to support our overall well being and encourage us to love ourselves on a deeper level. The idea being that we will have more energy and mental clarity to focus ourselves on nurturing our entire being and in turn nurturing the ones we love.
Have ya shook your booty?
Another simple way to show yourself some love is to get that blood flowing! Whether it be a walk outside, some jumping jacks in your office, or some kooky dance moves in your underwear at home--movement is a healthy thing! It is so easy to forget we have the ability to feel uplifted after just a few minutes of moving our bodies. So often, we can become sedentary which actually has some pretty damaging effects on our wellbeing.
Across the globe researchers have come to the consensus that sedentary behavior is linked to a 25 percent higher risk of depression in comparison to a non-sedentary lifestyle. An even more interesting fact is that the type of sedentary activities we choose can impact our wellbeing. Researchers found that those who choose to lead a sedentary lifestyle by watching TV were 13 percent more likely to be depressed, while those who chose to engage with the internet or on their computer were 22 percent more likely to be depressed. Making sure we have a balance with our activities can be the key to relieving the strain of depression. This can allow us to be freed from pain and support us in both our mental and physical journey to wellbeing.
Have ya loosened up on the reigns?
In the midst of it all, the real trouble can come from ourselves. We can be the
harshest critics on our own behavior and being. The truth is, nobody is perfect and in that; everyone is truly perfect. It can be so extremely hard to release the expectations we have on ourselves in situations. We can feel like we are not meeting certain standards for ourselves or that we could have done better or should be doing better or, or, or…. This locks us into a position of self sabotage which is the opposite of self love. Relieving ourselves of judgment on our actions and feelings allows for self-exploration in a new and beneficial way. Treating ourselves like how we would treat a child--with love and tenderness-- is a step towards understanding just how delicate we truly are. A nice way to reinforce this is with self-affirmations. As silly as it can feel, sometimes writing down the things you value can be an effective way to love on yourself. It is good to practice reminding ourselves of our strengths without immediately judging them. When we broaden our view on our self-worth it can help regulate our emotions thus leading to a greater state of wellbeing.
In the end, we are all truly amazing. It’s hard to remember that sometimes when everything feels stressful. Reminding us to do the basic things like eating and moving our body can help to support our ability to further nourish ourselves. Choosing to be soft with ourselves in our process is sometimes hard, but is always a beautiful choice to make. Forgiving ourselves even when we stray from a path of self love can be the first step to unraveling the beautiful mess that is us. Choosing to care for ourselves only opens us more and allows more space for us to love others deeply. May you be blessed in all of your discoveries! <3
About the Author
Katey was born and raised in the foothills around Mount Hood Oregon. She's a busy mama raising her new daughter, a yogi, an herbalist, and master tea blender. Katey has spent the last few years studying pre-med in preparation to become a naturopath, though she will be focusing on the joys of motherhood for now. She's passionate about sharing the powers of natural health and well being. She's awesome, and so are you!