With the passing of the so-called month of LOVE, we got to thinking. Regardless if you bought-into what the month of “love” brought, Valentine’s Day, chocolates, flowers etc., love is important. But what kind of love are we talking about? What if you don’t have a lover to share the day/month/year with? What if we do have someone to love and we showered them with gifts or maybe went to a nice dinner, did we do anything for ourselves? When is the last time you viewed love as the way you loved yourself; viewed how you put yourself first? Do you put yourself first? Self love. No matter if you are in a relationship, are single, or have a love interest at all, loving yourself is something that you can always do a bit more of.
The saying goes, “You can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours isn’t already full”. What they’re saying is that you must first take care of yourself, your needs, and your health before you can fully give of yourself to others. With the demands put on us from everyone else’s schedule, it is easy to want to cater to them all the time. The truth is, you and your time are important too!
Here are a few ways to recharge yourself that will leave you feeling empowered, happier, and healthier!
I’m sure some of you are thinking, “well that’s selfish” or “you just don’t understand, my kids/husband/wife are my top priority”. We understand that. But we also understand that if you are not making time for rest, healthy stress management, and a bit of time to yourself, eventually, it will catch up to you and leave you feeling burnt out and exhausted. Not allowing you to fully give love to those at the top of your priority list.
Here are a few ways you can start to love on yourself a bit more so you can feel refreshed and rejuvenated:
There is a common misconception that sleeping is something you should do only if you have time for it. As a matter of fact, that couldn’t be more incorrect. Research has proven over and over that sleep is the number one most important medicine you can give your body. It gives your brain time to recharge so it can be sharp for the things you ask it to do and it also gives your muscles, bones, and joints the refueling that they need, especially after difficult workouts in the gym. If you aren’t making time to sleep 7-9 hours per night, your healthy diet and exercise plan may be suffering big time.
Do you remember the age old days of writing in your journal? Perhaps you recall the saying, “Dear Diary, today I…” What we’re talking about here isn’t far off from that. Journaling encourages the brain to sort through what has been going on inside of your head and allows you to get that onto paper. Maybe they’re ideas, thoughts, hopes, dreams or just straight venting. Taking even just 10 minutes a day offers you over 60 hours in your year to reflect on what has been going on in your life and to see how far you’ve come. Taking time to reflect on your life, your day, and your self evaluations can give you insight on where you are and where you would like to be. Plus, writing your thoughts and feelings on paper is stress relief at it’s finest.This helps to create some distance from “our stories”. Allows us to read them aloud, breathe, and move on from them. When we can create some breathable distance from our stories or the things that occur in our life, especially the stressful situations, we can move from them and eliminate their ability to control us. Still triggered by an event or argument that happened 6 months ago? Journal it, read it aloud slowly, breathe and attempt to close it to lessen its power over you.
Take yourself on a date.
Now I’m not talking about having to go to the fancy restaurant to sit and eat alone. If that is something you enjoy doing, by all means, go and do it! We’re talking about taking yourself out to do whatever it is you thoroughly enjoy doing. Grab a cup of coffee and get lost in a book at a coffee shop, take yourself to a movie, or go play a few rounds of golf by yourself. You’d be surprised at the things you will learn about yourself when you take some time to just hang out with yourself! Have a random couple of hours free on a weekend? Go see a movie alone- entertainment and alone time!!
Get a massage.
Getting a massage is not just about helping your tight muscles feel better. (even though it is, but that’s just the start.) Taking care of yourself involves every aspect of the body and massage therapy is a great place to start. Especially after hours and hours of intense workouts in the gym, it is always safe to say you could use a massage. Massage therapy can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, eliminate headaches and releases endorphins (the body’s natural “feel good” chemical) into the body, thus making you feel even better than before!
Listen or play music.
The music you listen to, whether you realize it or not, plays a huge role in your mood. Playing music offers a sense of stress relief as well as listening to music that puts you in a relaxed mood. Find a new song, sing your favorite old song, or play a new tune on your instrument. Before you know it, you will be relaxed as you get lost in the music that you listen to.
Workout (I know, I know! We say that a lot…)
,Movement of any kind is a form of stress management. It can also be viewed as “me time”. A place you can go to enjoy something, do something for you, join a group of friends or even feel accomplished. The way you view working out can help. Instead of something you HAVE to do for your health, maybe it’s viewing it as something you get to do? Try asking someone who is injured and can’t be active how they feel about working out. We suddenly start realizing the beauty of activity when we can’t do it for a while. Along with healthy eating, exercise is one of the best ways to take care of your health and put you first! Not to mention- what better way to work off that work stress by throwing around some weights with your Edge Body crew?? Way better than taking that work stress home with you.
Loving yourself doesn’t have to be an extravagant event at all. It is important to take time out of your busy life and the demands of others to give yourself permission to enjoy the things you like doing. Maybe your self love is coming to the gym and getting a workout in or going to the mall and buying yourself a new pair of shoes. Whatever it is, keep on keeping on and give yourself some love! AND this all begins with your language about yourself, towards yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself all the time. (Even as coaches, we tend to be negative towards ourselves and our own goals at times. No one is perfect.) So give yourself a break once in awhile. Positive changes always start with some self-love. So when you wake up in the morning tomorrow, perhaps start your day off with a positive comment from you, to yourself in the mirror. See how differently you view that day… and go from there!
…If you need some help to jumpstart this positive talk: You’re great and deserve some amazing things! Now create an awesome day…