The Month of Love is officially here. <3 Typically, we associate this month with showering our significant other, friends, and even our kids with love and affection (and loads of sentimental gifts). But what about ourselves? Why is it that we tend to forget about the importance of showering ourselves with affection and love? Too often—especially as mothers and wives— our own needs get put on the back-burner in an effort to continue taking care of our families and others. We forget to take care of the most important person in this world…OURSELVES! Now let’s not mistake this for narcissism and think I’m telling you to obsess about yourself, but the raw fact of the matter is that if you don’t show love for yourself, you can’t passionately and completely show love for others. If we’re not continuously sprinkling love on ourselves here and there, we risk falling completely out of love with ourselves. This can lead us down a path of self-destruction: Bad habits, poor nutrition, negative thoughts, and overall unhappiness.
Over the years, I’ve opened up about my own personal struggles with body image, confidence, and eating disorders. It has taken me years of education and experience to finally find the beauty that exists within myself. Today, I’m sharing with you all of my shortcuts I’ve found along the way. Behold… my top 5 ways to fall in love with your body (in a healthy form, of course)! Some are simple, some may seem silly, but I assure you—they all work.
Some of my favorite Love Yourself Items (Find My Shirt Here):
Love Tip #1: Exercise Every Dang Day. Yes, exercising will help with your fitness goals, but it is so much more than that! Taking 10 minutes every single day to get up and get moving—whether it’s a lap around the block or chasing your kiddos at the park—is proven to decrease stress, improve body image, and boost your self-esteem. And exercise releases endorphins, those lovely little things that almost instantly induce feelings of pleasure and euphoria! Wanna’ feel pleased with yourself? Get up and get moving!
Love Tip #2: Drink More Water. If you’re a long time blog follower of mine, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now. I know, I know, I preach this one A LOT, but I wouldn’t shove it down your throats if it wasn’t so extremely important. Besides all of the obvious benefits, drinking more water can have some huge boosts to your confidence! You know those days you wake up bloated and feeling like a blimp in sweatpants? Ya, water will beat that. When you don’t drink enough water, your body goes into survival mode and retains water to prevent dehydration, and that’s where that beautiful little bloat comes from. Drink enough water, and your belly will fight off the bloat to make you feel slimmer and sexier.
Love Tip #3: Talk to Yourself. No, don’t go into crazy-person-constant-mumbling mode. I’m talking daily words of affirmation done first thing in the morning to start your day off right. It’s scientifically proven—the more you say something, the more you believe it. Tell yourself you love your body with all of its bumps, lumps, and imperfections, and guess what? YOU WILL! Try making it a part of your morning routine—maybe sneak it in before or after brushing your teeth. A few lines of love said to yourself in the mirror daily will improve your body image and self-love over time.
Love Tip #4: Treat Yo’ self. Let’s face it—we all need a little treat now and then. Whether it’s a hot bubble bath at the end of the night, an occasional new pair of workout pants, or a solo date to the movies, we need something to unwind, decompress, and just feel human again. The times in my life I found myself hating myself and my body the most were during periods of chaos when I wasn’t meeting my most basic needs, and I surely wasn’t taking time out to reconnect with myself. Treating yourself in some small way, daily or even weekly, will improve your self-confidence and body image. Think of it this way: You have to date yourself to fall in love with yourself!
Love Tip #5: Buy a Skinny Mirror. Okay, this may seem a little silly, but hear me out! Have you ever been to the mall and found yourself in some dimly lit dressing room with an awful mirror that instantly added 20 lbs to your figure? What did that do to your day? Instant mood ruiner! But on the other hand, have you ever caught yourself in the mirror, when the lighting was just right, and it seemed like the mirror took OFF 20 lbs? Instant boost of confidence! It doesn’t matter that you actually aren’t 20 lbs lighter because of looking in this magic mirror, but I can guarantee that once you look in the mirror and feel good, it’ll change your outlook, motivation, and self-confidence for the rest of the day if not the week! Feeling like you look good is half the battle, so go on and buy a skinny mirror, get the lighting just right, and gaze away at your “new” self. Eventually those positive thoughts will breed positive actions, which will eventually lead to good habits, which—you guessed it!—will lead to actually losing those extra 20 lbs!
This Valentine’s Day, take the time to fall in love with your body because, after all, it deserves it. What ways have you found to give yourself an extra boost of confidence? Share your successes below!