What do you think about when you hear it’s already February? One thing which I think February is always associated with is Valentines Day! Generally a holiday for couples to show each other a little bit of love (and for singletons to either fully embrace the day, simply ignore it or become completely anti-valentines). I am declaring this year though valentines should no longer be just for couples, but instead you should show another important person in your life some love. Here’s my complete guide on how to show yourself a little bit of love.
Let’s talk about… Self-Love!
How many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror or in a photo and pointed out all the things you dislike about yourself? Or felt guilty when you’ve missed a spin class after a full weeks work, when your muscles are simply knackered? Or spent an hour bingeing on Facebook? This is basically the complete opposite of self-love!!
It’s one of the things we neglect the most – looking after ourselves. Yes, you may drink green smoothies every day and go to the gym 4 times a week and not eat carbs on weekdays, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re looking after yourself. Self-love is all about changing your thinking, being kind to yourself, taking time to de-stress and listening to your body. Practicing self-love can make you feel calmer, lighter, self-confident and generally a bit happier. It not only positively affects your relationship with yourself but also those around you. If you’re not yet a self-lover then don’t panic because by following the guide below you can start the change your habits and start to love yourself a little bit more.
List the Things You Like
You can do this in a few different ways but the most important thing is that you start to shift your focus away from looking at the negatives. The first way is to make a list. Go get a piece of paper right now and make a list as long as you can of all the things you like about yourself. Maybe you have pretty eyes, or great legs? Maybe you give great advice or can simply make a fantastic cup of tea? It doesn’t matter how trivial you think it is, write every little good thing about you down on a piece of paper. DO NOT write down a single negative!!! Keep the list close by for when you need a pick me up.
Another way is to simply tell yourself something nice every time you look in the mirror. Instead of going “do my arms really look that big?” focus on something you love about yourself. Or why not do a 3 a day. At the end of the day pick 3 of your favourite things about yourself that day. Did you do something kind? Or did your hair look particularly fabulous today?
The more you say kind things to yourself, the more you will feel the benefits!
Cut Out Toxic People
If the people around you don’t make you feel good about yourself then to be quite brutally honest – they shouldn’t be in your life! If they make you question how you look or make you feel bad about the things you do, then you do not need that type of negativity in your life. Surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good about yourself and bring out the best in you.
This is such a biggie! One of my favourite meditations is one by Madeleine Shaw on her Glow Guides app, where she says “Spending even a single second of your life comparing yourself to others is one second too many. Your goals, achievements and contributions are unique to you”. Stop spending your energy thinking about other people. There will always be someone faster, stronger, healthier, smarter or more well educated, the only thing you can control is who is happier by living in the moment and accepting fully who you are. Concentrate on your own achievements, and the things you enjoy and are good at. This will certainly make you feel a little more self-loving.
Switch Off Social Media
This is a continuation of my last point. Social media is your best friend and worst enemy. Yes it’s great for keeping up to date with friends, getting some inspiration and generally browsing the latest news but it’s also the worst place for making your life feel inadequate. I touched on this in a recent post ‘Let’s Talk About… Reality”. The people on social media are simply showing you a snap shot of their life; their ‘best bits’. I guarantee you that all those people with the fantastic lives who make you feel a little bit rubbish have just as many insecurities as everyone else. Start off small with a 20 minute switch off before bed and then try at least a couple of hours a day when you do a complete switch off. No phones, no messages, no Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. Switch it off!
Make Some ‘Me’ Time
In modern day life we kept so swept up with the million and one things to do we often forget to fit time in our schedule to do something fun or take time to relax. It’s important to put some time aside to wind down or do something we love. Maybe you can only set aside 10 minutes in which case I highly recommend some meditation. Maybe you feel like you’ve got no time because you have to work out tonight, if this is the case make sure you pick an exercise you love. If you used to love dancing as a child, why not try an adult class? Or try rock climbing or surfing as something a bit different. If you’ve got a bit longer, go for a coffee with friends, have a long bath or make time for a cinema date. By doing little things that make you happy your fitting in time to show yourself how much you love you.
Fake It ‘Till You Make It
This is one of my biggest tips. When I first heard about positive affirmations I can’t say I was completely convinced, but as time’s gone on they have completely changed the way I think. Positive affirmations are a way of changing your mind set and telling yourself as often as you need how amazing you are or how amazing things can be. Essentially they are a type of mantra you say to yourself even if you’re having difficulty believing it just yet. Some of my favourites are from Jessica Sepel’s ‘The Healthy Life’, where there are whole pages of positive mantras to tell yourself. The more you do the more you will believe it and the more you can fall in love with yourself. Some of my personal favourites include:-
“ I am worthy”
“I am grateful for my body and all it does for me”
“I allow myself to feel good being me”
“I will accept progress instead of perfection”
“I am healthy, happy and enough”
“My best is all I can do and I am happy with that”
I hope you’ve found a little something in this post which can help you work towards feeling happier and your own skin and make you feel a little bit more self-loving. It’s so important to take time to love yourself as you’re the person you spend the most time with.
So whether you have somebody else to love or not this February, spent a little bit of time showing yourself some self-love.