Love. An emotion that is as frustratingly complex as it is beautifully simple. We use it to describe our feelings for everything from romantic partners and pets to snacks and celebrities we’ve never met, but how often do we direct it inward? Probably not often enough, so this February, as you’re planning to show your love to your partner, family, or friends (and yes, your animal companion), plan to give yourself some love, too.
We’re all for buying yourself heart-shaped chocolates or treating yourself to a massage but in this case, we’re talking about working on something deeper. Self-love is the sense of worth and appreciation for yourself from yourself. It’s a recognition that an investment in your well-being and happiness can impact all your other relationships. You can nourish your self-love through self-care, which involves choices and actions that support your physical, psychological, and emotional growth.
Here are a few ways to work on your self-care during the month of love to empower you to feel your best:
MOVE BECAUSE YOU LOVE YOUR BODY
In the world of fitness, movement is too often associated solely with working out to change the way your body looks so that you can learn to love it. We’re here to upend that. Move because you love your body not because you want to change it. And forget the idea that you have to break a sweat to benefit from movement.
Whether it’s a HIIT workout, yoga, walking, or stretching, the act of moving your body puts you in touch with your physical vitality. It doesn’t have to take long either, so consider creating 15 to 30 minutes of space a day to simply appreciate the way your body moves.
HOLISTIC NUTRITION OVER TEMPORARY DIETS
If you’re going to move because you love your body, you should eat because you love it, too. The food you put in your body shouldn’t be viewed as a reward, punishment, or passing trend. It’s what fuels you day in and day out.
Consistent food choices that are unrefined, unprocessed, organic, and whole can have a lasting impact on your quality of life, so consider putting in the time to understand the relationship between food choices and how your body responds to them. That includes habits like reading food labels, taking note of how certain foods make you feel after you eat them, and understanding the unique nutritional needs in the different stages of your lives.
MEDITATE TO BALANCE YOUR MIND AND BODY
That meeting that’s coming up. Those things you forgot to grab at the grocery store. A lunch date with a friend. The news alert on your phone. The car that’s driving too close. That playdate you scheduled. The thoughts going around in your head in seemingly endless circles. And yes, those TikTok videos that make it so easy to keep scrolling. Hour in and hour out, multiple good for us, not-so-good for us, important and extraneous somethings and someones are clambering for our attention.
The practice of meditation is about making time for your mind; to focus it on the present, redirect your thoughts and increase awareness of your physical and mental self. Like movement, it doesn’t require very much time out of your day. Here’s how to get started: set aside as little as 15 minutes, take a seat in a calm place, notice your body, and create awareness around your breathing. If your mind wanders, be kind to your wandering mind, and focus on recentering yourself in the present.
ROUTINELY RELAX & RESTORE
Relaxing to restore your energy reserves should go hand-in-hand with the hard work you’re putting in throughout your day, so make it a habit instead of treating it like a reward. The benefits of unwinding can have an immediate impact on your mind and body including lowered heart rate and blood pressure, improved digestion and sleep quality, reduced stress and muscle tension, improved brain function and memory, and decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Relaxation is an essential component of wellness and at Fitness Premier, you have access to a range of tools that make building it into your routine easy. Visit our sauna, try a BrainTap meditation headset, lay back in a hydromassage or cryotherapy bed, sink into a massage chair, or experience our Therabody jet compression boots and Theragun percussive massage therapy devices. You can try something different every time you visit!
As you begin to incorporate more self-love into your life, remember that taking care of your needs and well-being is not an act of vanity, conceit, selfishness, or narcissism. It’s an act of self empowerment that can redefine how you feel inside and out.