Valentine’s Day is all about going the extra mile and doing something extra special for our significant other, friends, and family. But I don’t think it should stop there. Especially in this day-and-age, with all the chaos, noise, pressure, and competition that we face daily, I see it as a great opportunity to reconnect with ourselves a bit too, and practice self-love and self-care.
There are so many ways to honor ourselves and care for our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Even at the times when our schedules are super chaotic and crammed, incorporating even just a few small acts of self care can have a huge impact on our health, confidence, productivity, and overall happiness. And when we’re feeling good, we’re able to spread those positive vibes to others.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few ideas of things that you can do today, tomorrow, or better yet – every day of the year!
22 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Love
1. Drink plenty of water. In the morning especially, try to drink 16oz of water right after you wake up. This will keep you hydrated, and help your body fire up your metabolism, flush out toxins, and fuel your brain.
2. Be aware of the foods you’re eating and try to swap out unhealthy foods for nutrient-rich ones that make you feel good from the inside out. Even simple swaps can be a difference, like replacing white rice with quinoa, iceberg lettuce with spinach, and pastries with natural homemade treats!
3. Spend the first 20-30 minutes of your morning doing an activity that you thoroughly enjoy. This could be going for a bike ride or run, practicing yoga, reading, journaling, or anything else that gets you in a positive mood before you start your day.
4. Feed your brain with frequent bits of inspiration by listening to motivational audiobooks or podcasts during your travels, or whenever you have some downtime.
5. Start a new activity or hobby that you’ve been wanting to try, whether it be cooking, photography, writing, stock trading, learning a new language, playing an instrument, or anything else that sparks your interest. Start small if you need to – even short 10-15 minute sessions can really add up!
6. Walk as often as you can. Try to take the elevator instead of the stairs, go for a walk outside or around the building during your lunch break, and park further away from store entrances while you’re out shopping. Better yet, turn it into a little game using a fitness tracker! (I use the Fitbit Charge 2, which gives me gentle reminders to get at least 250 steps in every hour.)
7. Spend time outdoors and in the sun (and don’t forget the sunscreen!). Simply being in nature can have a relaxing effect on our nervous systems.
8. Practice mindfulness. Do each and every activity slowly and mindfully, and resist any urge to rush. Over time, your awareness, focus, and mental clarity will improve, and you’ll also begin to notice more of the simple pleasures of daily life!
9. Schedule in 2-3 blocks of time for checking social media, texts, and emails, and then turn off notifications all other times of the day to avoid distractions. If that’s not possible (due to the nature of your job, or for another reason) try to go tech-free for at least a few hours, like first thing in the morning or during the evening.
10. Choose your words wisely, and always try to speak positively – this will in turn have a positive effect on your mood, mindset, and overall outlook on life.
11. Be aware of your breath, and focus on breathing fully and deeply.
12. Spend time with yourself in complete quiet and solitude. Taking a break from noise and distractions – even for 10-15 minutes – will help you to feel mentally refreshed and rejuvenated.
13. Purchase one thing for yourself that will benefit your life, such as a healthy recipe or fitness guide (I’m loving BodyBoss’s – which I’m flipping through above), new exercise equipment, motivational books, a fitness tracker, or even a facial roller for a stress-relieving self-care treatment (I’m obsessed with mine!).
14. Clean and tidy up your living spaces to create a healthier, more relaxing environment for yourself. (Marie an excellent book on how to declutter your home, which I highly recommend!) Open up your windows to allow in fresh air (assuming the weather’s nice). This will naturally remove odors and toxins from your home!wrote
15. Create a little sanctuary or sacred space in your home where you can go to relax, reflect, or draw inspiration. It can be an entire room or den, or simply a little table or shelf where you keep mementos, vision boards, crystals, plants, photos, or anything else that fills you with happiness, inspiration, motivation, and/or serenity.
16. Buy yourself some fresh flowers. Pick out the sweetest smelling bouquet you can find so that it fills your home with its aroma!
17. Schedule an activity into your planner that gets you out of your comfort zone, meeting new people, and/or exploring new places. Link up with a local group – you can find all kinds over on Meetup.com, on Twitter (by searching your city or town name under ‘People’), and through Facebook groups – or tackle it alone for an extra boost of confidence.
18. Plan a vacation – even if it’s something small like a day trip to the spa, or an overnight camping trip. It doesn’t have to be any time soon, or you don’t even need to book it just yet. The point is to have something in mind that you can work towards and look forward to as a well-deserved reward.
19. Take time to relax, unwind, and reflect at the end of the day – enjoy a long bath, meditate, write in a journal, practice yoga, or simply sit down to a hot cup of tea.
20. Light some incense or scented candles to help create a more calming, comforting atmosphere while you’re at home. (I’m loving these incense cones at the moment- they smell so relaxing!)
21. Pamper yourself with a relaxing facial before bed, using your most luxurious skincare products.
22. Get a good night’s sleep. Try to aim for 7-9 hours so that you’ll feel well-rested and be able to function at your fullest the next day.
SHOP THE POST
What are some of your favorite ways to practice self-love?