There’s no other timely reminder to love ourselves than Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re with someone or not, self love and self care is something that we shouldn’t skimp on.
We’re going to be with ourselves our entire lives, yet we tend to neglect ourselves the most sometimes. I’ve learnt to focus on myself more over the past few years, and to just build up my love of and confidence in myself.
There are a myriad ways to take good care of ourselves and here are just 10 ways to get you started! I do these pretty often (sometimes on a daily basis) and thus, am deciding to share these with you.
1. Drink a green smoothie
I know, this is a pretty mom thing to write but nurturing our bodies and protecting our health is an epitome of self care if you ask me! There are many different sources claiming to have 2-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I’m not sure which exactly to believe, but having more vegetables and fruits never hurts anyone (unless you’re allergic!).
I realised that I rarely have vegetables in my meals whenever I go out to eat. And I don’t want to keep thinking about how to get my veggies in. Thus, a green smoothie was my way of getting the veggies in right in the morning.
I like my green base to be a mixture of baby spinach, celery, zucchini and cucumber. I used to use kale but I realised that my body can’t really process it well. The fruits include a banana for some creaminess, and some berries to prevent any spikes in blood sugar.
A little self love for your own body. Yoga really helps me to stretch out the tight areas and release any tension in my body. I do mine every morning and I find that it helps me get ready for the day. My mind is clear and my body isn’t all tight and achey.
Intense flow classes also makes me appreciate my body a lot more. The ability to move, to flow and to do the various postures; I’m so grateful for it.
3. Do a little mini facial at home
I don’t know about your, but I really don’t like to go for facials as I hate the extraction process. I’m also rarely have a slot for a facial into my schedule.
Thus, giving my skin a little love at home is my favourite thing to do at night. Currently, I’ve been using my Skin Inc Optimiser Voyage Trilight++ device at night before I go to bed (read my full review on that here). I also have been using a clay mask once a week to get rid of any impurities and gunk in the skin.
4. Read a book
I see books as potential for learning and self growth and I love to read. Nothing beats a good book and a cup of coffee anytime.
Personally, I prefer non-fiction books but no shade to fictional books either. It’s just personal preference. However, if you’re like me, perhaps you can check out the 5 Books That Have Changed My Life for some of my non-fiction book recommendations!
5. Listen to podcasts
If you’re not a fan of reading and am looking for something to listen to when commuting, how about podcasts? This is something I’ve been trying to do for a while now, instead of just spacing out to some music on the train.
Besides the option of audio books, podcasts are a great way to gain some insights and learn something new on the go. I personally don’t really listen to audiobooks as I prefer reading them hard copy instead, but podcasts are something I enjoy. Some of my favourites include The Mindful Kind, Optimal Living Daily and Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik.
6. Go to the gym
Yes, there are days that I dread heading to the gym (even though I have one right in my condo). It’s not something that I actively look forward to yet, but I know how it makes me feel. There is something about working out, lifting weights and getting stronger that increases my self confidence. Not to mention the cardiovascular benefits and the endorphins post workout as well.
As someone who isn’t fully confident of their body just yet, working out is a way of holding myself responsible for achieving my goals and for pushing myself to be more disciplined. Thus, it is a kind of tough love but great for myself, nonetheless!
7. Go to the pool or for a walk
I hate being cooped up at home or in the office. There’s something about fresh air that just rejuvenates me and makes me feel alive and happy. In fact, I am currently typing this post out by the pool. It’s so refreshing and I love these lil moments by myself.
A walk also really helps to clear my thoughts as I find it way easier to notice and organise them when I am taking a leisurely stroll. I like to do this without any music, otherwise I’d be singing along in my head (which is another form of self love therapy if you look at it!).
8. Review my goals
There are days I feel aimless and am not sure of what to do. Reviewing my goals is like checking a road map, ensuring that I know which direction I should roughly head towards. I also found that if I do not review my goals, I tend to forget what I should be doing or procrastinating and wasting time away consequently.
The only path to achieving what we want is to keep ourselves accountable. To give ourselves a mental refresher of what we should be working towards and making sure we stay in the game is one way of caring for future ourselves, in my opinion.
It’s like a heartfelt conversation with yourself. What are you trying to get off your chest? What do you have to think through? The blank piece of paper is definitely your best friend.
I currently use two kinds of journals; one is the five minute journal and the other is a lined notebook which I write in from time to time when I have a lot of things on my mind. It really makes me feel a lot better by putting pen to paper and jotting my thoughts down. Through this process, my thoughts get more organised and I can recognise what exactly is taking up mental space in my brain. Be it fears, doubts, or worries, writing it down helps to relieve some of the burden and stress that arise from constantly running those thoughts through your mind.
10. Wake up earlier
I know, if you value sleep, you might take me for someone crazy. But hear me out.
Especially if you have an office job with a fixed schedule, carving out time for yourself to truly do what you love is extremely difficult. And I’m not really talking about the time after coming home from work as usually we’re all tired.
In the morning, when you’re all fresh and the house is all quiet, this is the perfect time to treat yourself. Do some morning yoga. Start something that you’ve always wanted to work on. Take time out and drink a cup of coffee, slowly. Having to rush from the moment you wake up isn’t only stressful, but it’s also really tiring. More tiring that waking up one hour earlier and taking your own sweet time to greet the day, in my opinion. So how bout an extra hour of loving ourselves before we tackle the day ahead?
So I hope your valentine’s day is going well! Don’t forget, the most important person to love is really ourselves so give yourself a little (or a lot of) self care. You can’t give from an empty bucket, they say!
Sending you love and positive vibes,