So yesterday being Valentine’s Day and all, I thought it seemed relevant to write a post on love. But I’m not talking the sappy rom-com type, I’m talking self-love. I think Valentines Day is such a lovely day and I’m not going to lie, I loved the fact that I was able to spend last weekend celebrating with my boyfriend. It was really lovely to celebrate our love for each other with holiday planning for the summer, a homemade curry courtesy of Joshua himself and some delicious vegan avocado brownies! But, as long distances have an issue of being, well, long-distance, February 14th was spent indulging in self love!
I think self-love and self-care are seriously underrated. I only really discovered what they meant when I started writing this blog back in January 2016. And even then, it took me a while to reaallly understand what it meant to look after yourself properly. I’ll admit, hands up, I can really suck at looking after myself sometimes. I don’t always give my body the care it needs, but I’m learning to make time for this in my everyday! There’s no point being ridiculously busy if my body is drained when it comes to celebrating my successes! Even in my busiest and most stressful times I need to take a few minutes out to just chill!
Sometime’s it’s okay to say no to doing something if your body really can’t cope. You need to take the time out to let yourself rest before you take on something new. It’s the only way you can guarantee you can do the task to the best of your ability!
When I think of self-love I think of meditation…
But that doesn’t have to be what it means for you! I love just sitting and thinking of nothing whilst listening to some relaxing music, or focusing on some breathing exercises. What works for me might not work for you and that’s okay! If you want to try meditating and haven’t ever done it before, don’t worry I mentioned a really great app in my last post so check that out!
There are loads of ways you can show self-love, here are just a few I’ve come up with:
Have a bath or long warm shower
Have a mindful eating session of your favourite food
Embrace in some hygge and cuddle up with blankets and a hot drink
Have a phonetical or coffee date with a friend
Watch your favourite film even if you’ve already seen it a billion times
Pretty much just do anything that makes you smile, or feel warm inside!
Another really great way to show self-love is through exercise. Now I realllly need to stress, this is not exercising for weight loss, or anything like that! This is just from personal experience (and some science) that shows how the release of certain endorphins when you exercise can help improve your mood, sleep and energy levels. You should never feel forced to exercise, so listen to your body! You don’t have to push yourself too hard to feel the benefits, just like you don’t have to be a few kilos lighter too either. I’m a firm believer that exercise should be about enjoyment and happiness, NOT weight related goals. Having that kind of pressure on your body is no way to love it.
Try non-intensive sports like yoga or swimming or even just a walk round the park. All of them can give you a chance to connect with your body and nature and make you feel warmer inside. When I exercise I love seeing what my body is capable of and learning new things about it. That’s what self-love is to me.
I love my body, but for me self-love is about LISTENING to it. Yesterday, I listened to what my body was craving and got two portions of takeaway chips; one in between lunch and dinner and the other after dinner. My body was craving it and I felt like I would be punishing myself by saying no. I eat in balance and proportion, but I understand that sometimes saying yes is more beneficial than saying no. I didn’t feel guilty or bad or like I need to go to the gym because I ate the chips, I actually felt satisfied and happy that my body hadn’t been punished. I don’t get takeaways often, far from it! And since being vegan this month I haven’t had any where near as much junk food as I may usually do, so I think treating myself to what my body wants is completely okay.
Showing self-love can be done in so many ways, it’s just what is right for you. You need to learn to listen to your body; it’s limits, it’s desires and it’s needs. You’re allowed to treat yourself, you deserve it! But the key thing is is balance.
I’m aware this post somehow got uploaded half finished so I had to re-write it this afternoon. Sorry!