Valentine’s Day 2014: Love Yourself

Love Yourself This Valentine's Day | Frock Files

It was really no surprise that I woke up last weekend with a swollen throat and a runny nose, because since Christmas I’ve been going non-stop. With the new job, preparation and travel for Alt Summit, and several snow storms, it’s been a crazy couple of months and I knew that any moment my body was going to tell me to slow down. Forgetting to take my vitamins several days in a row didn’t help matters at all.

Over the years, James and I have become pretty adept at taking care of each other. We have very different “sick styles,” as I like to call them. He mostly wants to be left alone, while I seem to be in constant need of juice, tissues, and socks. Kona has largely taken over the issue of cold feet, as she seems to have picked up on my sick vibes and has spent most of the past few days on my feet.

But I think that what all of this has come down to is the need to take better care of myself. So while it’s the day before Valentine’s and we do have some special things planned for this weekend, I decided that I’d instead share some unexpected insight I’ve gained recently into staying healthy this year, physically, but also mentally and emotionally — in other words, loving yourself.

Self Love for Health

Turn Off.  Since I work in social media for a university and I also have my own social media for the blog, sometimes it seems like I’m in a constant social media tornado. But I found myself nodding as I read this interview that Gretchen Rubin conducted with Nir Eyal, in which Eyal says, “To me, the constant temptation to succumb to a mindless habit like checking email is a constant threat. I feel consistently happier when I successfully overcome habits I don’t want in my life and maintain focus on the things I want to accomplish.” Rubin also talks about scheduling time to be unscheduled in another post, which I found revolutionary! Taking time to restore your energy not only keeps you healthier, but it also ensures that you’re on top of your game when you do interact with other people.

Detoxify. I don’t really mean going on a cleanse here, though I hear those are helpful too. Rather, I’m thinking of getting out of toxic relationships. In this Psychology Today article called “Getting Unstuck: The Toxic Relationship” Mark Banschick writes about toxic relationships that range from friendships to marriages. The other party may not even know they’re indulging in toxic behavior because they’re so deeply self absorbed, butyou’ll know because it always feels draining to be around that person. According to Sherrie Bourg Carter, these relationships can actually cause heart disease because they involve so much stress. It’s not necessarily your job to point out the behavior to the toxic person — but it is your job to decide to step away for your own health. By getting out of a toxic relationship, you free up time for people you really want to spend time with, which is a gift only you can give yourself.

(A great quote from the Buddha in this article: “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”)

Eat Often. Raise your hands if you get hangry. That’s right hungry + angry. I am quite a monster when I haven’t had enough to eat, so when I spotted this t-shirt on Etsy I knew that I needed one. Like scheduling time for yourself, I’ve also found it really helpful to plan my meals out ahead of time. Not only does it prevent me from getting grouchy; it also allows me to keep better track of my caloric intake and therefore manage my weight. Lately I’ve been bringing edamame, Laughing Cow cheese, and trail mix to work with me. I also discovered that my lunch is much more appealing when I don’t have to go through the extra step of microwaving it at lunchtime, so I bought a thermos, which allows me to dig right in the moment those hunger pangs arrive!

Here’s to loving yourself this Valentine’s Day — and all year long!

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