February is the month of love but self love is perhaps the most important relationship you will invest in this year. Looking after ourselves is something most of us regularly neglect. Taking that hour for some exercise or twenty minutes to do a face mask, we simply don’t have the time or energy, yet ask us to make three different meals at tea time or stand for two hours in the pouring rain whilst one of your kids kicks a ball around, well that’s no problem. It’s easy to prioritise the needs of others above your own but it also leads to lots of other bad habits and resentment. Have you ever found yourself looking at your friends relationships and envying their supportive spouse or how your gym instructor has 3 kids and still looks amazing? When your own self esteem is low, the envy can become toxic. By making simple changes to your own self-care routine, you can break the bad habits and create better ones that make you look and feel great. So this February learn to fall in love with yourself again and it will change your life.
Ok so where to start? I’ve compiled a list of 10 simple things we’d all do if we had/made more time and how I make them happen.
- Exercise daily – this doesn’t have to be a full-blown work out but just reaching your steps target for that day is a small victory and makes you feel fantastic
- Exfoliate your skin – this always feels amazing. It takes 10mins and when you’re done, you wash away all the impurities that have been suffocating your skin and it glows
- Drink more water – this flushes away more toxic stuff than you can imagine. If you do one thing today do this.
- Use a hair mask – your hair is the crown you never take off,or so they say. When it looks bad you never feel good, so make it into the best it can be.
- Sort your stuff out– if like me you accumulate “stuff” then this can be a major headache and leave your mind as messy and stressed out as your room. Give yourself 15 minutes to organise your room every day. We all need a clutter/free sanctuary where we can get away from chaos so begin to make this happen
- Talk with your family – these it’s so easy to go an entire day without ever speaking to anyone. Sure, we text all day long but actual conversation with another adult how often do we do that? Give a friend a call even if it’s just for 5 minutes to tell them you love them it’ll make their day (and yours!)
- Be creative – this is different for everyone. I love drawing and painting so I would love having more time for this but it’s always an effort. Have a doodle book next to the bed and just allow yourself to scribble and doodle for 10 minutes. It’s proven to improve your brain function and mental well being
- Meditate – I’m not a spiritual person so for me meditating means devoting 10 minutes away from the kids and noise and just being quiet. I don’t find this easy to do but I tell my children I need a few minutes, I bribe the older two to watch the younger one, I go to my bed room and lie on the floor. If you need music to drown everyone else out for a short while go for it! But afterwards you should find yourself more patient and tolerant to the noise of others.
- Eat more healthily– this is so much easier said than done when you’re exhausted. And let’s face it in lockdown, we’re all exhausted no matter what our job status is. We all eat things we shouldn’t and then immediately moan about how we regret it. Next time you feel hungry for a sweet treat, have a glass of water first. Drink the whole glass of water and then give yourself the treat. According to scientists around 40% of the times we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty. Plus the water will fill you so the likelihood is you won’t eat as much or be hungry for more as soon as it’s devoured and it will also help you digest the food more efficiently. So win-win!
- Lastly but by no means least, laugh!There’s so much to be sad about right now and it can easily consume us all but my Nan always says a laugh a day keeps the doctor away and she’s right. Find something that makes you chuckle and look at it everyday. It could be a funny picture on your phone, a meme or a short video what ever tickles your fancy. Look at it daily and your brain will be fooled into boosting your immune system, improving your mood and reducing stress. Laughter truly is the best medicine so make it an essential part of your self-love system
- Remember guys, in the words of Whitney, “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all”, so have a fabulous February.