Sure, Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about your significant other, but it doesn’t have to be…
We think Valentine’s Day should be just as much about loving yourself! But, forget about fairytales, flowers, and expensive dinners for a moment; let’s go look at some ways you can empower yourself and feel the self-love by focusing on your health.
1. Move your body.
Whilst self-care can revolve around getting a massage or getting a good night’s sleep (we’ll touch on that later), movement as self-care is an absolute must. Exercise can improve your mood, give you energy, and support positive mental health, and more.
Improved mood & mental health.
Exercise stimulates brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed, providing a noticeable emotional lift. If you’re feeling low, working out might be the last thing you feel like doing and it can be hard to be motivated, but the science doesn’t lie — you’ll feel way better afterwards! Exercise is especially powerful in reducing the symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
It’s a weird concept, but exerting energy gives you more energy. Love yourself by building strength and boosting endurance as you deliver oxygen and nutrients to your body. Hitting the gym helps your heart and lungs work more efficiently, and when this happens, you have more energy for work, play, and everyday activities.
We’ve never met anyone who isn’t looking for better sleep — even the “good sleepers”. Physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and go into a deeper sleep. This is even more true if you work out earlier in the day.
Reach & maintain a healthy body weight (and healthy body image!).
Emphasis on healthy; healthy does not necessarily equal muscular or thin. “Healthy” looks different for everyone, and whatever it looks like for you, exercise can help you get there. Prevent unwanted weight gain or achieve healthy weight gain, maintain weight loss, ramp up your metabolism and burn extra calories.
When we feel good about our appearance, we also get a boost of self-confidence. This feeds back into positive mental health and a healthy body image.
2. Eat right.
Yep, nutrition and self-care go hand-in-hand. Instead of getting wrapped up in oppressive diet culture where “food is the enemy”, remember that food is the ultimate form of nourishment. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in your ability to stay active, regulate hormones, maintain a healthy gut, and think clearly — good food really is an investment in self-care.
And just to be clear, we’re not talking about depriving yourself of the foods you love. More often than not, sticking to a strict diet tends to be the opposite of good nutrition and self-care and actually creates a lot of fear and anxiety around food. You’re encouraged to have that burger or plate of pasta, just remember to have it all in moderation and aim for a balanced diet.
3. Rest & relax.
Leave the housework, studies, caretaker roles, or other obligations for a moment and invest time in whatever simple self-care activities bring you joy. Nothing springing to mind? We asked some of our Sista’s how they invest in rest, and here’s what they said:
Having a coffee and reading a book.
– Seeing a friend.
– Going for a walk.
– Watching your good movie.
– Soaking in the tub.
– Getting a massage or manicure.
– Putting the kids in day care for the day.
– Doing something crafty.
– Napping (and yes, taking a nap totally counts as an activity!).
Relaxation is key to slowing your heart rate and breathing rate. It’s proven to reduce blood pressure and ease muscle tensions, making it an awesome self-care tool for stress management as well. However you like to chill out, your physical, mental, and emotional well-being will thank you for a bit of R&R.
Love yourself at Sista Fitness.
It’s never too early or too late to start your self-love journey at Sista Fitness. Our members and staff have created a haven for every woman to focus on themselves and achieve their health and fitness goals. Browse our facilities and check out our memberships to see the Sista Fitness difference for yourself. You can even sign up for a casual pass if you’d like to try us out before you officially become a Sista. We hope to see you soon!