Self-Care is Self-Love

 

The 14th day of February, for centuries, has been the day in celebration of Saint Valentine. As are most modern holidays, the Feast of Saint Valentine has its origins as a pagan celebration complete with animal sacrifices and other charming traditions. It wasn’t for several hundred years  until St. Valentine became associated with this holiday by the Christian church; and then a few hundred more years later did love and romance become the theme for the day.

Today, Valentine’s Day as we know it is most well known as the day to celebrate and demonstrate your love for your significant other, and we do this best with copious amounts of sugary sweets, pesticide-ridden flowers, and over priced dinners. Ahh, what better way to say “I Love You” than with a store-bought card and a box of cheap chocolate.

All joking aside, this is a special day to honor and appreciate that remarkable person in your life. (And if you are finding yourself without someone to share this day, then this article is even more perfect for you) But before you go off planning that special day for that special someone showering them with love, I invite you to ask yourself one question:

How much love have you given your body?

We all get so caught up in our daily lives working, cleaning, cooking, paying bills, it seems like everything we do is for other people. Then a day like Valentine’s Day comes along and now we have to prove to our mate how much we care for them. In the midst of all of this, there is almost certainly one person who gets at the end of the bread line…You.

It’s been said, ad nauseam, “You can’t expect to love anyone else until you love yourself first”. This hackneyed little phrase, in whatever variation it comes, is actually quite true, regardless of how frustrating it is to hear. There is a lot to write about this, but that will have to wait for a future article.

February 13th, Valentine’s Eve

Before you show your love for your mate, don’t you think it’s worth the effort to show yourself the love You deserve? How will you love your body this Valentine’s Eve? There are countless ways to demonstrate this, and I’m going to share a small collection of ideas you can do for yourself this Valentine’s Eve, and any other day for that matter. The best way to help you find ideas on your own is to ask yourself the question: “What does my body need?” I’m sure you can come up with a big list of things, but here are a few to get you started…

Sleep

There is no better and more beneficial act you can do for yourself than to get a full 8, or even 9 hours of sleep. Your body only heals when it’s at rest, and sleep is the ultimate in revitalizing rest. The more sleep you get the better you body, brain and hormones work, and you’ll feel wonderful when you do.

Exercise

The opposite of rest is movement. And if your day does not include much movement, it’s about time to get up and give your muscles some nourishing activity. Improve your mood and your energy by going for a good walk, maybe a new yoga class, or perhaps even try some dancing.  Plus that good post-workout fatigue rushing tingles throughout your body is such a satisfying feeling. Your body will thank you.

Nature

When was the last time you stepped off the concrete and touched your skin to the Earth? It’s been a long time, huh? How about incorporating exercise and nature together and go for a hike at a nature center, or a walk on the beach with your shoes off. Spend some quiet time in a forest or a meadow listening to the whispering abundance of nature around you (cell phones turned off, of course). Let the warmth of the sun heal your body and spirit for a while. There are so many options near you if you just take some time to find them.

A Healthy Drink

In the morning , or any time, take a half a lemon and squeeze the juice into a clean glass. Then pour on top of that about a tablespoon or so of organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Fill the glass with fresh water, and then drink it down. You can have it all in one big chug, or sip it over a few minutes. This tasty beverage awakens your digestive system, while the tangy goodies help purify and tone your liver and kidneys. Who wouldn’t want that?

Massage

There is a tremendous amount of joy and relaxation you feel after a really good massage. Your nerves are calmed, your muscles softened, blood pressure’s lowered and healthy circulation is high. Now that’s Love.

Hot Bath

Find yourself a bathtub and fill it with very warm water. As it’s filling, add about 2 cups of Epsom Salts, 1 cup of Baking Soda, and about 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil. Light a candle or five, switch off the lights, and insert yourself into this warm tea of tranquility. The Epsom Salts release your muscles, the Baking Soda cleans, tones and alkalizes your skin, and the Lavender leaves you in an intoxicating, aromatherapeutic experience of relaxation. Stay in there as long as you want, or as long as you can stand those wrinkly finger tips.

Say “I Love You”

This one may be the toughest, yet most powerful task of all. Walk up to a mirror in your home, look yourself in the eyes and say, “I Love You”. Some may not be able to stand this, while to others this may be a daily routine. To look at yourself and say “I Love You”, and truly mean it, without feeling any inkling of anxiety is the ultimate test to prove your own self-love. Practicing this regularly, no matter how uncomfortable or awkward it feels at first, will really transform your perception of You, and eventually glide you to a genuine love and appreciation for yourself.

 

This is certainly not the end of the list. There are many, many more ways you can show your body and yourself real love. Please take a moment below to comment and share your ideas for Self-Love to add to this ever-growing list of appreciation.

When you feel the overflowing warmth and love inside that you have given yourself, then you have more than enough to share with everyone around you. Now is a perfect time.

 

A special Thank You goes out to Denize for this lovely idea!

 

Photo by Rachel Walker on Unsplash

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