“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”Shakespeare
This Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to allow yourself to bathe in a little extra love and connect to the heart of you. In order to be of value to those around us, we have to be good to ourselves, first. After all, we can only give what we ourselves have. If you have nothing for yourself, you have nothing to give others.
You may have heard the phrase, “How we do one thing is how we do everything.” We can approach daily events and tasks in our lives either as a chore or as a way to honor ourselves and others. By coming from a place of “I get to ____” instead of “I have to ____” or “I should ____,” we approach life from a more grateful and appreciative state.
This changes our perspective and, therefore, our life.
We rarely think of doing our best as a form of loving ourselves. But, when we live this way, doing our best not only honors our efforts but shows a respect for Self and builds positive self-esteem. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about giving our most authentic and honest effort. Doing so is a form of self-love that impacts not only you but improves the lives of everyone around you.
I want to share with you 30 ideas for turning everyday activities into an expression of healthy love for Self. Choose regularly from this list and add more of your own. Take the next 30 days and see how many of these you can check off your list. See if you’re a happier and more present person. That’s the best Valentine’s gift to YOU!
30 Ideas For Showing YOU Some Love
- Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. That’s it! Sound simple? It is! Now do it!
- Cook yourself and your family a healthy meal from scratch. You’re not just making food. You are making a nourishing meal made with love. It’s like the difference between a house and a home. It’s all about the feelings you’re experiencing and your personal touch. While eating the dinner, all will benefit from it, including you, because you took the time and effort to nourish yourself and your family. You can also recruit the gang to help and make it a family activity. There’s a certain satisfaction in eating something you helped create. And if you’re eating your meal by yourself, I’d argue it’s an even greater extension of self love. I distinctly remember part of a Hallmark movie I watched last summer, where the woman says to the man, “Don’t you ever get tired of cooking meals like this for yourself?” And he replies with, “I like to think I’m worth the effort.” Yes!! YOU are worth the effort, too.
- Move your body often throughout the day. Our bodies and minds crave movement and stimulation. Do 10 push-ups, 25 jumping jacks, squats, arm circles, some stretches… Micro movements throughout your day add up to surprising results. Repeat hourly or whenever you are feeling sluggish. Call it playtime!! Remember when you were little and you played outside? You thought moving your body was fun. Jumping rope, riding your bike, playing basketball on the driveway. Moving is still fun. Energy begets energy. You’ll charge your batteries and be more energetic in your day.
- Turn on some music and dance. Think you can’t dance? Yes, you actually can. There’s a primal urge to move when music is playing. Have fun and let the music move you. Remember the saying “Dance like no one is watching?!” Just let go and have fun!
- Feeling stressed? Rushed? Tired? Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds and then exhale out also through your nose – yes, we should be inhaling and exhaling through our noses.
- Hug someone. Never underestimate the power of a hug. Studies show it reduces stress, boosts social support, raises oxytocin levels (our feel good hormone), and boosts our immune system. The power of touch is huge. I hug as often as possible, but I also know the other person is okay with that and therefore, welcome and reciprocate the hug.
- Appreciate, appreciate, appreciate. Spend more time appreciating and less time complaining or finding fault. Every time you feel like complaining, turn your attention to something else you can be appreciative about instead. Focus on what’s right in your life and let your words reflect that.
- Do nothing. Most of us are too busy on a regular basis. When we have an empty moment, we tinker on our phone or turn on the TV. Instead, be intentional about doing nothing and see where that takes your thoughts. We all need more space to simply rest and BE.
- Tell yourself 3 things you’re grateful for. It’s a great reminder of the blessings in our life. Even if it’s just that “I woke up this morning, I’m breathing, and I have the gift of another day.” Which, let’s face it, are not small things, yet we sometimes take them for granted.
- Tell your children 3 things you’re grateful for about them. When my kids were little, part of our bedtime ritual consisted of them telling me 3 things they were grateful for in their day and then me telling what I’m grateful for, which often included something about them. They still remember and refer to the significance of doing this to this day.
- Tell your significant other 3 things you’re grateful for about them. This helps to renew and refresh your relationship and keeps you positive-focused.
- Pet a dog (or a cat if you prefer that).
- Go for a walk outside. Connect with nature. I really push getting outside for the many health benefits of being outdoors. Movement + outside = Win-win.
- Stop and smell the roses – or any flower you see. Literally! Take a moment to really look at it’s beautiful color, smell its fragrance. Admire the intricate detail in it. Have you ever really seen how much detail is in one flower? Take a moment now to do that.
- Cut way back on simple and processed sugars. This ties in with #15. Eat those veggies instead of the processed stuff. I promise you will feel better – and that’s what this list is all about.
- Stand up taller and work on keeping your posture upright. You’ll look and feel better and approach the world in a more confident way. Studies show how we carry ourselves affects our mood. Are you walking around slumped over with your head down? You set yourself up for a less energetic and depressed state. Standing tall? You’re ready to face the world.
- Exercise – not just for your body, but for your brain. We are meant to move often and throughout our day. Your brain benefits from better decision-making, more creativity and productivity, and personality development. Your body benefits from strength, stamina, increased energy, and flexibility for the body. Think of it as a way to honor the beautiful body and mind that you have and the more-than-capable vehicle that physically and mentally carries you in this world.
- Compliment someone. You’ll make their day. Make sure it’s authentic, true and from the heart, and you’ll get a boost of good feelings about yourself, too.
- Write down your dreams, desires and goals. Pick one and make a plan to make it come true.
- Tell yourself “I love You!” and give yourself a compliment. You can’t love anyone else well if you don’t love yourself.
- While you’re at it, make sure everyone else you love knows it, too.
- Laugh more. Laugh often.
- Take the high road, always. Give the benefit of the doubt. Show respect even when others don’t. You’ll never regret it. It’s called character.
- Prepare healthy foods or snacks so they are easy for you to use later when needed. Being prepared sets the stage for adding and maintaining healthy habits.
- Drink bone broth and make soups with it. Nourishing for each and every cell.
- Give yourself the gift of good sleep. Turn off electronics at least an hour before bed so you can calm your mind. Read our blog on getting daylight in your eyes to help with sleep at night, too.
- Nourish your brain by reading. This goes with the previous suggestion. Turn off the TV an hour before bed and read.
- Or journal. Journaling at the end of the day is a wonderful way to help process your thoughts from that day and about your life in general. Also, pose questions for your dreams. I sometimes ask myself a question before I fall asleep and the answer or an idea comes to me in my dreams.
- Keep learning. There’s always more growth ahead.
- Do something you love. Every. Single. Day! Find time to enjoy something that really makes your heart sing and feeds your soul everyday, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. This is so important! We stay excited about life when we are doing things we love.
We tend to focus on the big events in our lives and think that’s what makes us happy (or not). But really, it’s the moment-to-moment, day-by-day string of thoughts and feelings that add up to either a happy or unhappy day, then month, then life. Choose to build a life of happy moments whenever you can!
With love from my heart to yours ❤️,