Woman holding valentine

Be your own valentine | Practice self-love

It’s the season of love, and it’s often easy to overlook your own needs around Valentine’s Day. Learning to love yourself is the first step toward improving your well-being—and your health to boot.

Make self-love a priority this month by taking time for yourself.

Practice self-care

You have many demands on your time, and while you’re busy slaying at work or caring for your family, your emotional and physicals needs sometimes get ignored. It’s difficult to be your best when your basic needs aren’t being met. So, make self-care, (or taking the time to maintain your physical and mental health), a priority and increase your well-being.

5 acts of self-care you can do in 15 minutes or less:

  • Take a brisk walk—exercise increases circulation, reduces stress and increase positivity.
  • Meet a friend for coffee—spending time with friends is a great way to decompress and gain perspective.
  • Take a breath—pausing and taking a breath may sound like a cliché, but deep breathing does relieve stress.
  • Grab a healthy snack—fresh fruits and veggies give you a natural boost.
  • Get to bed—getting to bed just 15 minutes earlier can help you wake feeling more refreshed. Getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Practice self-compassion

You are your biggest critic. Beating yourself up over a mistake is a natural part of being human, but self-love means having compassion for yourself.

Think about it this way: How would I treat a loved one who made this mistake?

You would probably give them a break and let them know that mistakes happen. Letting yourself off the hook for errors can lift a big weight off your mind, and help you think more freely and creatively.

Practice self-control

When you’re down on yourself, it’s easy to overindulge. Whether that means having a couple more drinks or cookies than you would normally consume, self-control is generally the last thing on your mind when you’re thinking about troubles in your life.

When you focus on self-love, control of what you put in your body comes naturally. It doesn’t mean cutting out all of the guilty foods you enjoy, but it does mean making health decisions intentionally. When you take that extra scoop of ice cream every once in a while, you can rest assured that you did it purposefully and from a place of control.

 

Learning to treat yourself better can make a significant change in your life-long health. Start your journey on the right foot by making happiness your health goal.