February is the month of love, there’s no denying it. So much of this month is dedicated to celebrating the Loves of our lives.
I learned this African saying from Maya Angelou:
“Be careful when a naked man gives you a shirt.”
You may be asking yourself what this has to do with February and these Loves I speak about.
This is all about loving ourselves…
How many responsibilities do you have during the day? How many times do you find yourself spent? Exhausted? You’re not literally naked, but you are bare to the bone, without much to give to these Loves of your life?
Here’s the bottom line: If you aren’t taking care of yourself, then you don’t have much to give.
So, in honor of this Month of Love, below are some easy ways to cultivate more self-care and love for our bodies and minds. Let our cupeth runneth over… (A little Shakespeare to add to the romance effect.)
5 Easy Ways to Love Yourself a Little More
It’s that simple. Do one thing each day that is just for you, because it makes you happy and no one else. It doesn’t have to be complicated. This is love, People!
Tidy up loose ends.
Do you have a project or a to-do item that keeps getting bumped to the back of the list because you don’t have time? Or maybe you have borrowed something from someone that needs to be returned, or you need to have a tough conversation? As soon as you finish reading this, make a date to get started. Begin to clear the cobwebs of your life, and your energy will lift. You will feel free-er to give your mental energy to other activities that boost your confidence and joy. This creates space for more love in your life. Period.
Move your body.
You and I have both read the research behind the positive effects that exercise has on our mental state. This most frequently takes the form of a dance party for me. Justin Timberlake, anyone? Boost your spirits in an instant, put on your favorite tunes and shimmy around the house, or get outside and go for a walk. 5 minutes of this and you’ll feel joyful, I promise.
Create a compliments jar.
A few years ago I had a mentor instruct me to create a ‘compliments file,’ so I reached out to those who know me the best and I asked them what they thought was great about me. This was highly uncomfortable at first. Who am I to ask for compliments? Ewww… But, the mentor’s instructions were invaluable. Along our life path there are always bumpy patches where we feel beaten down and deflated. So often we assume people know how we feel about them, but having these compliments in writing and referring to them frequently boosts my spirits in a way that nothing else can. They are written pep-talks, and an act of self-love, as these compliments become reminders in the ways I (want to) see myself, too.
Bring the spa home.
I don’t know about you, but no matter how hard I wish for it I have never had a girls spa day since my kids came along. An entire day filled with facials, massages, hot stones, and bubbling tubs seems to be a distant dream at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I can’t treat myself at home. After the kids are settled (sleeping? watching a movie with Dad?), I take the extra time to give myself a mini-pedicure or a facial and I just sit, and get this…. I relax. I don’t get on my phone, but I might read my favorite magazine or book. Sit and unwind for anywhere from 5-20 minutes. I swear to you, this one habit incorporated into your routine once or twice a week will change your life.
Self-love and care are topics we may frequently balk at as mothers of young children. Who has time to truly take care of themselves when you’re busy pulling hummus out of your hair?
Two words: You do.
Make the choice to make the time. Communicate with loved ones that these things are priorities, and declare this the month that you begin that long awaited love-affair you’ve been longing for.