If there was ever a need for taking an entire month to focus on your own self-love and care, it’s now! This past year has been physically and emotionally draining, leaving many of us feeling more anxious, depressed, isolated, and alone than ever before. With the one-year mark of pandemic living coming up, your mental health and wellbeing may be a little more strained than usual.
That’s why, this February (the month of love) we’re dedicating the entire month to more self-love and doing whatever it takes to feel mentally and emotionally supported. Are you with us? If you’re ready to show yourself a little extra care this month, consider these steps for an extra love-filled February:
Invest in Yourself
This sounds great, but what exactly does it mean? Investing in yourself means spending the time it takes to learn and grow. It means you’re choosing YOU and bettering yourself for your own health and happiness. Maybe you want to grow professionally, change careers, or hone in on one specific skill. Or, you might want to dive deeper into your past experiences in order to build healthier relationships. Whether you decide to read a new book, enroll in an online class, or finally start therapy, do something this month to invest in you.
Here’s the thing about health: your physical, mental and emotional states are all connected. When one aspect of your health takes a hit, the other aspects are affected too. That’s why taking physical care of yourself, is just as important for your mental and emotional wellbeing as it is for your body. Going for daily walks (or any kind of movement), regular personal hygiene, eating well, and getting enough sleep can all help support your mood, self-esteem, and happiness.
Create A New Nighttime Ritual
Building off of your daily physical care, creating a nighttime ritual can help support you — mind, body, and soul. Whether you decide to meditate or do yoga, read, take a bath, sip some herbal tea, or journal your thoughts from the day, committing to a new ritual can help ease every-day stress. Both your body and your mind will benefit from slowing down (and unplugging) before bed. Following the same ritual each evening can help you relax and even fall asleep faster. While we can all agree that sleep isn’t the most glamorous or exciting thing in the world, it’s good for your health and an important aspect of self-care.
While taking part in celebrations is usually a group activity, being festive can be a fun solo-sport, too. Whether it’s a national holiday or milestone birthday, celebrations give us something to look forward to and enjoy. And yes, you can still be festive during a pandemic. Here are some special events to celebrate this month: February 7th: It’s Super Bowl Sunday and while we can’t exactly claim to be big football fans (sorry), enjoying a spread of homemade nachos while taking in the halftime show sounds pretty good to us!
February 9th: National Pizza Day. Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat pizza?! From veggie toppings to cauliflower crust, there are so many ways to personalize your pizza. In fact, there are so many varieties to choose from, we won’t judge if you decide to celebrate Pizza Day more than once this month.
February 14th: Of course, the National Day of L-O-V-E. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to create heart-shaped confections, watch your favorite rom-com, decorate your place with hearts and flowers, or mail out handmade cards.
Okay, we know this is supposed to be all about you, but the truth is, we're human and we need connection. Even if you’re a bonafide introvert, you still need human interaction. Lockdowns and physical distancing this past year have restricted our ability to socialize and connect with others. So whether it's through FaceTime or actual family time, commit to more connection this month.
If you live alone, reach out to your family and friends on a regular basis. Be open and honest about where you’re at and how they can help support you. And if you live with others, try turning the tv off, putting down your phones, and having some WiFi-free time. Deeper connections occur with conversations where we open up and are vulnerable with one another, and when we have the opportunity to share new experiences with each other. You will feel more fulfilled, supported and loved when you have that connection you crave — so don’t be afraid to connect with someone, old or new!
As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup; it’s important to care for yourself first so that you can show up fully for others. This month is the perfect time to show yourself some extra love and support.
Which of these steps for a more love-filled February resonates the most with you?
While January is a time to start fresh, it’s important to get into the right mindset before attempting change. Starting out in a place of self-acceptance, we can decide to make a lifestyle change to support our health and wellbeing.