When I think of February, I typically think, Valentine’s Day. It seems to be everywhere you go with hearts, flowers, special “Be Mine” gifts, and blissful couples posting about their love … Yes, for some Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to indulge in romance, but for others, it is just a day that could cause anxiety. Honestly, Valentine’s Day has a lot of commercial hype!
Whether you have a spouse, a significant other, or a special friend, showing someone you love them should occur everyday – not just Valentine’s Day – especially the love you show for yourself! This is the most important love affair of them all.
Putting the big V-Day aside, let us welcome in those warm fuzzies with an open mind and heart so that you feel strong and confident in your everyday!
WHAT IS SELF-LOVE & SELF-CARE?
Self-love is plain and simple. It is the act of loving yourself by accepting your imperfections, your weaknesses, and anything that contributes to your own well-being for happiness.
Self-care is the way we care for our mental, physical, and emotional health. It’s through activities we do daily to achieve our best selves. Self-care is how we show ourselves self-love.
The most important love is the love you have for yourself. If you truly love who you are, your energy will shine, and you will be able to love others in return. Practicing self-love and self-care offers you the same respect and care you give to others.
Now more than ever, it’s important to develop good self-care habits through a consistent routine.
7 Steps to Practice Self-love Daily
Practicing self-love is a practice that will evolve over time. Be open to making mistakes and learn from them so you can mature and flourish. Here’s a few steps to help you develop a consistent self-loving routine.
1. Recognize & Accept your Emotions
We all have those days where we’re not in the best mood. Let’s face it, no-one is happy all the time nor are they the best version of themselves at every moment. It’s important to acknowledge that you may have an ‘off day or week’ and this could create a variety of not so pleasant moods. When this happens, recognize your emotions, accept them, and then learn from them so you can take care of yourself.
2. Self Talk
Self-talk is the inner dialogue that constantly runs through our heads. Usually this happens unconsciously and is often expressed through our subconscious in thoughts and feelings. The self-talk can sometimes be negative which leads to self-doubt or lack of confidence. When you start to feel anxious or caught up in your head, tell yourself good things that encourage you that it’s going to be ok! For example, when you wake, tell yourself a positive affirmation, “I CAN do this and I WILL”.
3. Nourish Well
You have heard the saying, “you are what you eat”. How can you expect to feel your best if you don’t eat good foods? Nourishing your body with the right foods contribute to how you feel, energetically and physically. Caring for yourself starting with fueling your body with an array of colorful fruits and vegetables, along with proper hydration. When you eat well, your body will feel well and you will have the energy to function optimally.
4. Exercise Daily
Do you feel anxious or get moody when you don’t get a daily workout dose? That’s because it’s linked into our mood and plays a roll on our physical and mental health. Exercise boosts endorphins and helps to release stress. Exercising doesn’t have to be so challenging that you’re sore for days. Rather, it can be simple and enjoyable like going for a walk, dancing to your favorite song, or just moving your muscles to facilitate blood flow. A few dedicated minutes a day will help strengthen your mental and physical health. Also, exercise because your body deserves love, respect, and healthy attention. Not because you have to.
5. Rest Up
We’ve all heard it many times: Get more rest, take a break, get more sleep. There is no doubt that most of us underestimate the importance of getting enough rest. When we are super busy or stressed, we tend to try to race the clock to squeeze everything in, which may cause your sleep cycle to take the hit. Lack of sleep negatively affects your mental and physical health. Getting enough sleep is paramount to keeping at the top of your game so that your mental and physical body functions optimally.
6. Commit to Yourself
As with any endeavor, it doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and a commitment to yourself. Self-love is a process that takes effort to be kind to yourself. It’s not about instant gratification or a quick fix to brighten the moment (example; retail therapy!) It’s great in the moment to ‘fix’ your mood, but try to be mindful that self-love is a dedicated commitment to you, the one and only!
7. Take Time for You
It’s a wonderful characteristic to be the care giver, the social light, or the one everyone depends upon, but this constant care for others leaves no time to care for yourself. Carving out a daily ‘me time’ will not only make you feel accomplished, but it will give yourself priority to feel good. It’s not selfish to prioritize alone time- it’s necessary to feel self worth and respect to yourself. When taking time for yourself, be mindful that you don’t need to be doing anything specific. This is a time that you are able to reflect inward and rejuvenate you!
SELF-LOVE WORKOUT || BOOST YOUR INNER STRENGTH
As a tribute to Valentine’s Day, let’s give yourself some extra love with a fun workout you can perform on your Total Gym. This movement session contains a balance of the three main pillars of fitness: cardio, strength, and flexibility. The workout will get your endorphins flowing and contribute to making your entire body feel strong and confident.
• Perform each segment in circuit format, with little to no rest between exercises.
• Perform each circuit 1-2 sets, then move to the next circuit.
• Choose to perform by reps (10-15 reps/ exercise) or timed intervals (45-60 secs/ exercise)
• Example; perform the Cardio Circuit for 1-2 sets, then move to the Strength Circuit for 1-2 sets, and finish with the Flexibility moves.
• Take your time when performing the Flexibility exercises. Move into the stretch slowly and breathe into your comfortable range of motion.
No accessories, low- medium incline
1. Incline Jack – Plank Slide
2. Mountain Climber – Push-Up
3. Plyo Squats (on floor)
No accessories, low-medium incline
1. Reverse Lunge
2. Inner Thigh Slides
3. Straight leg lowers
Attach Cable, adjust incline to your strength level
1. Torso Chops (R/L)
2. V – Curl – Y
No accessories, low- medium incline
1. Runners Lunge
2. Figure 4
3. Forward Fold / Childs Pose
Be sure to check out the video demonstration to see how to perform the Self-love exercises on your Total Gym.
Reminder, let your self-love shine by caring for yourself. A great way to work on this is to move, dance, or sing out loud … Love will show you the way! Referring to the famous “LOVE” song by Nat King Cole…
L – is for the way you LOOK at your self.
O – is for the ONLY one you see you call me.
V – is because you are VERY extra ordinary
E – is because you mean EVEN more than anyone that you can adore!
Love is all you can give to yourself everyday!