It’s the month of love. How do you feel about it? It can be a time of division for those that love or hate it. Some people like the idea of dedicating a day to love and celebrating partners and the cheesy cuteness that overflows on the aisles in all the supermarkets. Others may see it as an excuse to show their nearest and dearest how much they care – celebrating the brilliance of friends that have your back and do an amazing job at cheering you on.
At SKPT we’re completely loving Valentine’s Day, but not for the reasons you might think.
We’re talking all about self-love and why prioritising yourself is the surest way to attract love and keep your wellbeing as the primary focus – even if you do meet the person of your dreams this Valentine’s Day.
There are lots of legends about Valentine’s Day, one of them is the story of a priest in Rome, who defied the Emperor at the time as he outlawed marriages, thinking that single men made better soldiers. Valentine apparently, continued to marry people in secret until he was discovered and executed.
Fast forward a couple of centuries and the world is a different place. Everybody gives the world access to all the corners of their lives. Nobody seems to keep any secrets, our lives and our love are shared across every platform. There is always something new going viral and the expectation that our connection with others whether that be online or in-person should be immediate is massive. What’s even more worrying, is that we often forget about the most important person in the picture- ourselves.
When people make the decision to put themselves into the centre of focus, it can be a massive awakening. We are often battling competing demands in life, whether that be running a business, working, managing a home or life with kids; it’s easy to lose sight of ourselves as life goes by. We know self-care isn’t easy – data from a report in 2016 found that only 43% of people in the UK were prioritising self-care and looking after their own health, (Integrative Medicine Research).
Loving ourselves may be a challenge for different reasons as well; maybe it’s internal. You might struggle with knowing our worth and recognising that looking after ourselves, inside and out is one of the purest and most enlightening forms of love.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, takes time, preparation and the chance for it to become a part of your everyday habits before it becomes a way of life. Self-confidence, work/life balance and being consistent are some of the greatest lessons you will take from a fitness regime and a dedication to go the distance.
Many people join SKPT because they’ve lost their love for themselves and they haven’t been first for a long time. Sometimes they want to find the right way to train and put themselves back on that list of priorities and 9 times out of 10, they never leave and they grow tenfold in confidence!
We hope you know how important you are because when you know how to love yourself first, nothing beats it. Keep harnessing that energy! And if you do one thing this February, choose to put yourself first.
So here are 10 top tips to love yourself first this Valentine’s Day.
- Cut yourself some slack. we all have down days and times when we forget to put ourselves first. Take 5 minutes now to think about what you’ve done for yourself this week.
- Schedule it! If it’s on the calendar, a post-it, your phone reminders or stuck on your dashboard in the car; write it down, put a date on it and get it done!
- Disconnect every once in a while. Most phones now have a built-in timer that will tell you how much time you’ve spent on your phone each day. Limit your use for a week, or set a time to step away from the distraction it brings and do something that allows you to be completely present. Write, move, dance, cook.
- Change your perspective on where you spend: Lots of people complain about the costs of eating well, but the reality is your body is the thing that keeps it all going – why aren’t you fuelling it in the right way? Review your shopping list and opt for the free-range or organic options if you can.
- Do a mind-body audit. Taking 3 minutes when you wake up to actually recognise how you feel in your mind and body can make the difference between burnout and bright sparks. Take note of any physical points of discomfort or mental fog – it just might give you a clue as to what your next self-care activity will be.
- Remember that there is no “right” way. Self-care looks like lots of things for different people. It could be saying no to the next social invite. Treat yourself to a new mattress or bedding to help you drift off into sleep or a full-on day of pampering at the salon.
- Find out what makes you happy. Our tastes change in lots of ways as we get older, the only thing that’s probably a constant is that you still secretly love your teenage crush. Try different activities and ways to do self-care, push yourself to try something new and fun, oh and don’t be afraid to do it alone!
- Say no a little more often. Nobody likes to disappoint family or friends when they ask us to do something with them or for them, but just like any good thing – whether it be wine, time or the chef’s special – the more we nurture, care for and give time to, the better we are for others. Always being available can turn into harbouring resentment pretty quickly, when doing things for others starts to feel like a chore.
- Rope in a friend. Set a challenge with a friend or a group of friends and swap and share ideas about what you’ve done for yourself each week, without feeling the guilt about spending on yourself instead of the kids, or pressing snooze on that alarm. You deserve it.
- Let love come to you. Whether you’re looking for romantic love, or just sick of being the only one making effort with your friends, take stock of what you seem to be giving all your energy to and make the conscious effort to just stop. When we stop forcing things to happen, it can attract everything in perfect timing. The saying goes, nothing happens before its time
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