Written By Julie Paiva, CHHC
New Years has come and gone, and now Valentine’s Day is already here. How many of you thought just a month and half ago on New Years that this year would be different? How many of you have had this thought for as many new years as you can remember yet still are unsatisfied with whatever healthy change you intended to make?
Make Time for You
Why does this happen? We are great at prioritizing everything in our lives, spouses, children, friends, our jobs, chores but fail to follow thru with ourselves. When is the last time you made yourself important? We tend to put ourselves at the bottom of our to-do list. This is often because of a lack of self-love and self-acceptance. Without a deep sense of self-love, your life will always seem too busy to take care of you!
Love and Accept Yourself
This Valentine’s Day I want to think of the heart in your chest exploding with love for yourself. I’m not talking in an ego sense where you prance around with your nose up in the air acting better than everyone else. I’m talking on a core level where you truly love and totally accept yourself. Self-acceptance and self-love go hand and hand.
It is not Selfish to Care for Yourself
Perhaps your thinking this sounds selfish. It’s not and once you master it you will realize that without self-love and self-care you are left feeling drained, depleted, often angry and resentful at the ones you love the most. It’s like what you hear every time you get safety instructions on an airplane – apply your oxygen mask first before assisting others.
Thoughts are Powerful
Maybe you think you have a good sense of self-love already. Some of you might. I challenge you to reflect on all the thoughts that run through your head every day. It is said that some 60,000 thoughts run through our minds daily and less than 10% of those are conscious. Your subconscious thoughts are the ones that are the tapes of sayings and statements that run over and over in your head every day. Examine these! What does your mental atmosphere look like?
What do You say about You?
In our efforts the be healthy it is important to be good to our minds and our body. When you are mindful of your self-talk, many of you might find that the thoughts you think and repeat to yourself are primarily negative. These negative thoughts are demeaning to yourself. (I’m getting fat, Nothing looks good on me, I’m always forgetting everything, I can’t get anything right, etc.). These negative thoughts are an accumulation of all the limiting beliefs that we have gathered throughout our lives. If you are truly honest with yourself, you will be horrified at what you tell yourself all day every day. Things that I am sure you wouldn’t dare ever say to someone you love.
Eliminate Self- Criticism
When you work on self-love your goal is to eliminate self-criticism and reprogram our minds with loving, positive thoughts. Valuing yourself, accepting yourself and make self-care a priority can add in improving your self-talk dialogue. Self-love is not a quick fix. It is a continuous practice. Start by being mindful of the thoughts that you think especially the critical ones. Don’t beat yourself up if you notice a negative thought. Just quickly replace that thought with something positive. For example, “Ugh, my stomach is getting fat,” can be changed to “I am happy with how my body performs for me. I am learning to love all parts of my body.”
Think Healthy Thoughts
It is an act of love to take care of our body. We need to cherish these temples we live in. If we want our body to perform so that we can do everything we want to, we need to fuel it with the cleanest food we can, exercise it and most importantly love it. Your cells are aware of every thought that you have. When you are angry with yourself, you are telling your body that you hate it or parts of it.
Heal Yourself by Loving Yourself
Our body has an innate ability to heal itself. Healthy foods, beverages, movement, sleep and thinking positive thoughts helps our bodies to work with ease. The only side effects to self-love is you will be healthier, happier, more productive, more loving, and less stressed plus you can reduce inflammation, lose weight and feel great on top of that! So this Valentine’s Day, start by paying more attention to loving you!