This is the month of LOVE! We all have many people that we love and we all tend to spend a lot of time and energy on loving others, but sometimes we need to take a step back and remember to L.O.V.E. ourselves. We can love others much more effectively and deeper if we are taking good care and loving ourselves. The new mom is always a great example of how we will give and do anything for that sweet little newborn baby often to the point of collapse! I see this play out with so many of my friends and clients to a lesser degree at different stages of life. We only have so much LOVE to go around and if you don’t focus on yourself first, you are most likely short changing those you love.
Four tips to help you LOVE longer:
1. LAUGH often.
2. OPEN your heart to yourself.
3. Vitalize with VEGETABLES!
4. Energize with EXERCISE!
Let’s start with LAUGH often. It all starts with having a real community, not just a social media community. Getting out and enjoying time with friends and family that pick you up and make you smile is critical to your health and well-being. No matter how life is treating you, a true friend should be able to help you to get to the point of seeing “this too shall pass”. It’s a good sign when you can laugh even when times are tough. Not every friend or family member makes you laugh, in fact, some actually bring you down and take your energy.
Recognize this, and instead of pulling away or pushing those people from your life, schedule time with them intentionally. It is useful to think ahead and give yourself a set amount of time to commit to those friends or family members, maybe meet them outside of your home so it can be a defined amount of time that you spend. It is great to give back and energize others, but if you are constantly trying to lift people up, you will soon be dragged down. Build yourself up with positives so that you can be of service to those who need you.
OPEN your heart to yourself. We give of ourselves to our spouses, our children, our employers, our co-workers, our parents… I could go on. How often and to what degree to we give to ourselves? Making and taking time for ourselves is essential to peace of mind and well-being. One of the best ways to ensure a little time for ourselves is to make a habit of it in the morning. It could be a 30 minute walk, a cup of tea or a green smoothie, and a little time for prayer or meditation.
Opening your heart to yourself can include asking others for help. When your plate is too full and you know it, it is best for you (and those around you) to ask for help. If you don’t ask, you will probably end up taking out some of the stress you feel on those you love. When you feel like you really need time to yourself, take it. Explain to your partner or family that you feel like you could give a lot more to them if you had a little time to yourself.
VITALIZE with vegetables! Do you want to eat healthier? Add more local vegetables. If you eat more vegetables, you will most likely (hopefully) be eliminating the higher processed foods from your diet. There are many local community sponsored agriculture options in our area and we should take advantage of them. The fact that you aren’t always choosing what you get means that you are expanding your palate for vegetables and the ones you are eating are FRESH and LOCAL meaning they have more nutrients! Win, win, win!
My basic guidance on healthy eating is to be proud of what you eat 90% of the time. If you “cheat” or eat things that you know are not the best choices only 10% of the time, you should not stress about it. The stress is probably more harmful to your body than the empty calories you may have consumed. Once you get in the habit of being proud of what you eat 90% of the time, you should be feeling well. If you are not, you should consider eliminating the following items from your diet completely (one at a time if necessary or all at once if you can): soy, wheat, corn, dairy, nuts.
ENERGIZE with exercise. We all know we should exercise, but are we all doing it? Thirty to sixty minutes a day is all it takes to make dramatic changes that PROLONG your life, keep you from needing medications, and makes you FEEL SO MUCH BETTER!! If you have not watched this video about exercise, you should do it now. It’s only 9 minutes and worth every second. Exercise is really the best step anyone can take to living longer.
I like to get out in the environment and have adventures with my exercise. I love rock climbing, skiing, and hiking and I try to have some kind of adventure with my exercise at least 10% of the time. Exercise should be fun and exciting and not just feel like a job or a monotonous task that must be completed. Exercise is the best way to feel better and enjoy your life more!
I hope that you are all already doing these things and that you can take my words as gentle reminders to keep you well. If you are struggling with L.O.V.E.ing yourself, I can help with a homeopathic remedy that will stimulate you to resonate wellness. Remember, L.O.V.E longer by L.O.V.E.ing yourself! Happy Valentine’s month!