Welcome to the month of love! February is full of red and pink candies, ads of couples telling you how happy they are to have bought “xyz”, and rushing about trying to meet holiday “standards.” Whether you are single and dreading it, married and fearing it, or a mom just trying to find an edible recipe for gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free cupcakes for your kid’s class, V-day can get us all a bit stressed out.
Well, instead of wondering if you will get a valentine this year let’s flip the script, be a little self-focused, and get some good habits while we’re at it. Here are a few ways to take extra good care of yourself this month. S.E.E. how you feel once you put these in action!
Sleeping well: Did you know that you can train your brain to sleep well? With a few simple adjustments you can get better, more restful sleep. Start by eliminating distractions. Your room should be as dark and quiet as possible. Next, pick a bed time and a wake time and stick to them within about a half hour in either direction. Now start a sleep routine, pick four actions (brush teeth, put on PJ’s, shower, stretch, pray, etc.) that you do just before bed and do them in the same order at the same time each night. Finally, only use your bed for sleep. You are training your brain that when your head hits the pillow it is time to rest, so do all your paperwork, hang out time, and scrolling through Instagram somewhere else.
Eating well: Eating well is so tricky sometimes, isn’t it? If you don’t eat enough, you lose energy. On the other hand, over eating causes many people to become lethargic and feel guilty. Neither is good self-care so try these tips. First, learn your habits and work with them, not against them. Are you content to eat three meals a day, or do you graze? Find a pattern that works for you and that you can easily maintain. Second, do you have a sweet tooth? Are you a lover of all things salty? Set yourself up for success by not denying those cravings but indulging them with the phrase “rare and appropriate” in mind. Don’t deny yourself a cupcake, just don’t eat six instead of lunch.
Enjoying well: What brings you joy? Find something that makes you happy and do it every day. The easiest and most joy-bringing actions tend to get forgotten when we are busy and stressed which is exactly when you need them. Enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon. Take a walk outside with friends. Spend an extra long time giving your dog a good belly rub. Your goal is to find joy-bringing activities and prioritize them, make room for them, put them on your schedule. Reward yourself for everything you have to do with something you genuinely want to do.