If you’re searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror and start today with some SELF-LOVE. Self-love is not necessarily an easy job for a lot of people, but owning our story and loving ourselves can be one of the bravest things we will ever do and it’s an on-going work in progress. Finding self-love and self-care doesn’t make you selfish, it just means you won’t settle for less than you deserve because you understand and respect your own needs. Practicing self-love and self-care often just simply means extending the same respect and care you have for others to yourself. Working self-care into your routine with small achievable steps can promote mental, emotional and physical health. Here are a few tips that might just inspire you to start your own SELF-LOVE 101!!

1. Take Time for Yourself and Dedicate it to Self-Care – We all have a tendency to stretch ourselves really thin between work, daily life, family, social commitments…pencil in time for things that rejuvenate you. Carve out some alone time and try not to spend it just scrolling through your phone or computer. Mindfulness activities can be so beneficial helping you check-in with your emotions. A massage, a bubble bath, listening to your favorite music, a walk, meditating, reading a great book…me time is healing, beneficial and will have long-term benefits.

2. Get Enough Sleep – Sleep is SO important and often so overlooked. How often when you are super busy or stressed does your sleep cycle take the hit? When you have so many things on your plate, it can be easy to justify late nights and early mornings just so you can squeeze everything in. Especially when it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But, when you sacrifice your sleep, your mental and physical health can be negatively affected. Getting enough sleep is the foundation of all forms of health, so creating a good bedtime routine is a good first step towards improving the quantity and quality of your sleep.

3. Exercising – Physical activity is so tied in to our moods as well as our physical and mental health. A key part of self-care and love is maintaining your physical health so that your body is functioning properly and serving you. Another key part of self-care is our mental health and exercise is so important to our mental health! Exercise boosts endorphins and helps us relieve stress. If you are over-worked or stressed, making time to go to the gym might seem overwhelming, but carving out time for an exercise routine is exactly what self-care and self-love is all about. And, once, you have established that routine, it becomes part of your dedication to taking better care of yourself.

4. Eating Right – How can you expect to be the very best version of yourself if you feel terrible? Paying attention to your diet is an important part of self-care and love because it directly affects how you feel as well as your energy level. Eating healthy is beneficial in countless ways, it leads to higher levels of energy allowing you to do more in a day than you thought possible. Eating healthy does NOT mean dieting all the time, it’s not as much about your weight as it is about how you feel – finding those foods that fuel and nourish your body. Eating healthy, non-processed food can actually help your short-term memory – brain fuel!!! Make sure your plate contains lots of color every day, leafy greens, vegetables, fish, fruit…you will be amazed at how great you can feel once you are putting the right fuel in your body!

5. Forgiving Yourself – Embrace self-compassion. We all make mistakes, big and small, and while at the time they may seem earth-shattering, they probably aren’t. Life moves on and so should you. Embracing self-compassion will allow you to reflect on your actions with kindness, empathy and support, which will allow you to forgive yourself for whatever happened. Holding onto a grudge against yourself can be as damaging as holding a grudge against someone else. Grudges require holding on to a huge amount of negative energy, which can be so exhausting. Letting go of the negative feelings you might have about yourself or your actions through forgiveness will free up your energy and emotional capacity so that you can embrace more self-love.

Happy Valentines Day – here’s to more self-love!!!