Health Wise: Self Love Practices for February and Beyond


We're coming to the end of the month of love! Valentine’s day goodies filled the stores, and we got a sneak peak into some warmer weather. Most importantly, the drag of January is behind us!

With Valentine’s Day in the rear view, let’s keep love on our minds. Love is a beautiful thing to celebrate, and we want to bring attention to a very important form of love - self love!

Have you been practicing kindness toward yourself, as much as towards others? Have you celebrated who you are, and acknowledged your accomplishments? If you’ve fallen short on that, you’re not alone. Self-love sometimes gets forgotten as we try to make sure others in our life are happy, and as we tend to focus on our shortcomings and things we need to “fix” instead. Plus, February is a time many of us evaluate our progress on “new year’s resolutions,” and may treat ourselves unkindly in the process.

So, what can we do to show love and kindness to ourselves? Here are some ideas:

  1. Evaluate your goals with an open heart. Have you taken some steps, no matter how small, in the direction of your goal? Celebrate small steps, rather than waiting for big leaps.
  2. Soften your goals if your initial ideas have not gone as planned and start again. It’s okay to change a goal that doesn’t fit with your life realistically!
  3. Reward yourself rather than punishing yourself. Make a list of things you have achieved or things that have gone well, and practice this technique anytime you feel you are falling short. Reward yourself with breaks, activities, hobbies, and social activities rather than isolating yourself or telling yourself what you don’t deserve.
  4. Practice mindfulness and meditation. Loving kindness is a great meditation to focus on self-love and being at peace with yourself. Here’s an example:
  5. Nurture your mind with hobbies and learning. Try a new hobby, listen to a podcast or watch a documentary, or sign up for a class. We get a rush of dopamine from learning something new!
  6. Care for your physical self with stretches, workouts, massages, and other forms of physical self-care. You only have this one body, and rather than focusing on its flaws, nurture it and strengthen it. Focus on longevity and health over weight or appearance. Explore nutrients you might be missing, try healthy but delicious meals, and move more, whatever that looks like for you. Get outside and breathe fresh air as much as you can, anticipating nicer spring days ahead!
  7. Engage your senses - try a new candle or a scented bath product, a new meal, or new music. Feed yourself beautiful and enjoyable new things.

Every day can be a self-love celebration, in February and beyond!

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