Happy February 2017!
Ahhh….the month of happy hearts! Showering our significant other with candies and cards to reinforce how much we care! It gives us a dedicated time to express our love and make that special someone feel cherished.
Here’s a new twist this holiday…let’s pivot our perspective for this year’s Valentine’s Day to include the love we have (or should have) for ourselves!
The truth of the matter? Many of us do not take the time to cultivate self love and develop a routine of self care habits. Ultimately it becomes more challenging to give to the important people in our life. I have been thinking about this idea a lot lately and wondering…”great concept, but what exactly does self love look like? What does it mean?” In an effort to sway myself from a plate of macaroons as comfort food, I took some time to think about this as it relates to the different aspects in our lives.
What We Eat
Self love as it relates to what we eat can be a challenging one for many of us! Often the poor choices we make come from stress or searching for comfort and then berating ourselves afterwards. This becomes a vicious cycle. How do we develop a healthy relationship with food where the goal is to nourish our body? Try this tip before each meal. Pause before each meal and take a moment to check in with your body. So many of us become disconnected and often are not even aware of the cues our body gives us. Ask yourself “how will I feel after I eat this? What does my body need right now?” It’s simple, but not always easy! Eventually, you will start to crave the better choice without any effort, creating a domino effect of the best nutrition decision for your body.
*Quick Tip Reminder: Pause, Awareness
So many of us become disconnected and often are not even aware of the cues our body gives us. How do we develop a healthy relationship with food where the goal is to nourish our body? Pause before each meal and take a moment to check in with your body. Ask yourself “how will I feel after I eat this? What does my body need right now?”
Mirror, mirror on the wall…What do you tell yourself when you look into the mirror? Do you sigh in frustration at the things you don’t think are perfect? What does perfection even mean and is that what we really want anyway? Self acceptance does not equal complacency. It means making the effort to take care of your body, but completely loving yourself through the process. Beautiful women come in every shape, size and proportion but there is one thing they do all have in common. Confidence! I love the French saying “bien dans sa peau” which means to feel good in one’s skin. A woman that knows her strengths, embraces her quirks, lives in the present moment and has a wonderful time is perfect! What she does not do is go to a party and worry about her thighs.
Try this: at least once a day when you look in the mirror tell yourself something that you love about the face and body you see. This may feel silly at first, but you will be amazed at the difference it makes!
*Quick Tip Reminder: Embrace, Acceptance, Mirror Work
How We Move
I love this one! Time you dedicate to your exercise routine is precious! Find a physical activity that inspires you. Make it a time when you can connect mind and body, relieve stress, increase circulation all of which will give you a healthy glow. I also want to mention how you move on a daily basis. But how we move is about more than just exercise. When you walk into a room are you aware of your posture? How about your mannerisms when greeting someone? Do they exude confidence or a lack of? Even if we don’t feel confident all the time, taking the time to consider how you present yourself to the world will make a noticeable difference. Moving with ease and grace, sitting tall and making eye contact when speaking with someone is a great place to start!
*Quick Tip Reminder: Posture, eye contact
Our thoughts are our most powerful form of self love. Like anything else, the way you think is habit. Think about how you would speak to a close friend that you adore; treat yourself as your best friend.
This is the most powerful method of self love. Think about how you would speak to a close friend who you care about. Let’s say he/she made a mistake at work and was chastised by the boss. Would you say, “yeah, that was a pretty stupid mistake…I would be worried about still having a job Monday morning!” I would hope not! Treat yourself as your best friend. Compassionate, positive thoughts will change your life. Like anything else, the way you think is habit. Choose healthy, vibrant thoughts that are supportive and you will be amazed at how your life begins to change!
*Quick Tip: Meditation
Self Care Suggestions
- Start your day with hot water and lemon. It’s hydrating, full of vitamin C and cleansing.
- 5 minutes of meditation or breath work. If 5 minutes is too much, start with 3! It’s the consistency that makes the difference.
- 10-15 minutes of yoga daily. A great way to start the day or wind down at night. Increases circulation giving you a healthy glow and connects your mind and body like nothing else.
- Wind down with a warm drink at night. Consider hot tea with local honey or warmed almond milk with cinnamon or cloves. Very nourishing!
- Food prep night before to feel prepared for the next day’s meals.
- Eat good fats. A balanced omega 3 supplement will nourish your body inside and out. Not only will you feel the difference (this includes increased mental sharpness) but you will see the the health of your skin improve dramatically. Udo’s Choice 3-6-9 blend is the perfect addition to your routine.
- Dry brushing. This is a simple, effective and inexpensive way to beautify your body. You can choose a brush at any drugstore. Increases circulation, exfoliates the top layer of dead skin cells and decreases appearance of cellulite.
- Consider switching to clean body products (shampoo/body lotion/body wash). I have been amazed at how the health of my hair and skin have improved without the harsh detergents in most brands.
Consider adding one or two…or three! of these habits to your routine. These in particular have made the biggest difference for me in terms of setting the tone in the morning for my day or the evening to prepare for a restorative sleep. Experiment and see what feels right for you!
Wishing you much love!
Sarah Brown is a certified yoga instructor, licensed esthetician, wellness columnist and Crossfit junkie. She is the wellness coordinator at Live Young Studio and lives in Thomasville, GA, with her husband Wesley and daughter Phoebe. www.thebeautybroad.com