Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or none of the above, there’s always room to be made to incorporate self-love into your day – every day, for that matter! Now, if you’re new to the Greener Nutrition blog, you may be wondering, à la the great Tina Turner, “what’s ‘self-love’ got to do, got to do with it?”, and to that I would say, welcome! You might have a bit of catching up to do, and apologies for the puns… you might want to get used to them.
Before we get into it, let’s talk about the idea of ‘self-love’. You may have heard of this in different contexts but in this case, ‘self-love’ means caring for, accepting, nourishing and supporting the self. This is especially relevant when supporting healthy body image and food relationships for clients, as a lack of these concepts can lead to negative behaviours and self-talk. Self-love is the difference between exercising because it makes you feel good, vs doing so to change or ‘make up’ for an ‘over indulgence’, or looking in the mirror and accepting yourself for the way you are, vs wanting to change yourself.
Unfortunately, like most things, getting to a place where we want to care for ourselves and feel like we are deserving of these changes does not happen overnight. Once implemented, however, the outcome can be life changing. When we start to love and care for ourselves as we would for a loved one, we can give ourselves the nourishment we need without question, hesitation or fear – whether that’s listening to our bodies hunger cues and feeding ourselves in response, eating chocolate because you want to or opting for some vegetables because you feel like it; all these things become a lot more accessible when we start loving ourselves in the way that we deserve to be loved.
So, here are a few tips and tricks to help you put your self-love on top (I’ll admit, this one wasn’t my best!) of your to do list, this Valentine’s Day and beyond:
1. Do something that brings you joy every day: This may sound quite simple, but it’s you that has to live your life everyday, so why not live it joyfully in a way that makes you happy? Something as simple as taking time to yourself to make a fancy drink, do a face mask or text a friend can be massively beneficial in allowing yourself a moment of joy in the day. Whether it’s something big or small, treat yourself! You deserve it.
2. Listen to your body and give it what it needs: Again, easier said than done, but listening to our bodies needs can save a lot of frustration and sadness in the long run. You’d listen to your body when you need the toilet, so why can it feel unnatural to feed ourselves when we’re hungry? Our bodies have been with us since birth and they aren’t going anywhere, so the least we can do is try to honour them and support them back.
3. Become obsessed with journalling: Whether you mean to or not, it will happen. Trust me, I do not shut up about journalling, and for good reason! Brain dumping, practicing gratitude or understanding your feelings a bit better; whatever the reason, journalling can help you deep-dive into what you need from yourself to live joyfully. Using prompts can be a great way to start, helping you understand yourself more deeply.
4. Counter your negative thoughts with positive ones: For every bad thing you can say about yourself, counter it with something good. This can be difficult to implement if you deal with negative self-talk and it’s ok if doing so feels difficult. You’re allowed to feel good or even neutral about yourself, and being your own best friend rather than your own worst enemy can go a long way in helping to change the narrative.
So, there you have it. However you’re spending Valentine’s Day this year, a little self love can go a long way. Get back in touch with yourself and do things that you enjoy because you deserve it! It’s funny how other areas of life can start to feel a little bit easier or less daunting when we start to care for ourselves the way we care for others and it really is true what they say… all you need is self-love. (Sorry, I had to!). Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you have connected with this blog and are looking for some support and encouragement to create a healthy lifestyle that is suited to you, let’s chat! My Nutritional Therapy packages incorporate these teaching elements and are made to nourish and support you to help you reach your goals. You can find my contact details here where you can get in touch via email. I look forward to speaking with you.