February is the month we celebrate love.
But have you forgotten to give the most important person in your life the love they deserve?
You know the adage: “If you are in an airplane and the captain drops the masks, whose mask do you put on first? Yours or the person next to you?”
You put yours on first, of course. You have to make sure your physical and mental needs are met before you can begin to take care of anyone else. It's basic common sense.
This worn out example has been used so many times to describe self care that it has become cliche. But, that doesn’t mean any less true. The problem is, as often as we have heard this adage said, there are still people (especially women, let’s be honest) who ignore the message and continue to overextend themselves to the point of exhaustion.
That's why self-love is so important. But you don’t wait until Valentine’s Day to give yourself the time and attention you deserve. You can make every day an “I Love Me Day!” and make a point to shower yourself with love and kindness every chance you get. The most important person in your life is you. Never forget that.
Below are ways to show yourself a little love and nurturing before you focus on everyone else:
Indulge yourself by taking a day off from your regular responsibilities. Find a babysitter, sleep late, order delivery, and spend a quiet day at home alone. You need to refill the well if you plan to take care of everyone else.
For one day, ignore your Facebook feed, turn off the news Channels, and don’t open Twitter. These negativity delivery services are in the business of fear mongering doom and gloom. Protect your energy by shutting out anything that brings you down. That goes for any media you consume: If it makes you feel anything but positive, turn it off.
Be firm with your personal boundaries. Strong boundaries set limits and show the people around you that you are a person who honors and protects yourself. Non-negotiable barriers safeguard your energy from “energy suckers” who might try to take advantage of your generosity.
Try a yoga class or meditate. There are so many online class options now, there really is no excuse for skipping. Yoga calms your mind, stretches your body, and helps you be present in the now. Meditation can be like a drug to help you destress and find peace inside the storms in your life.
When is the last time you got a haircut, or a color touch up? What about a facial, massage, or manicure? These might seem indulgent, but so what. You deserve it. Take time to give yourself special treatment.
A mid-afternoon siesta is like a gift from heaven. If you are exhausted mentally and physically, a nap will do your heart and soul some good. Set your alarm for 30 minutes (if you have to), close your eyes and drift away from it all for a few stolen minutes.
Spend a little time online shopping and buy yourself something new. When is the last time you bought yourself something just because? You don't need to spend a ton of money. Sometimes the smallest things make a biggest impact.
We all could use a little bit more self love. It's hard to put yourself on the priority list when you have family responsibilies, community commitments, job duties piling up. But, paying attention to your physical, mental, and emotional needs is honestly the only way you can keep up with it all and still feel good. If you don’t make yourself a priority, no else will.