Life is stressful. There's no doubt about that. From birth we are practically taught that in order to be successful in life we must please others. Work long hours to please your boss, keep high marks in school in order to please future colleges and employers, exceed at extracurriculars for the betterment of the team and coaches, the list goes on and on. Sure, it is great to help others and be successful along the way; however, we must remember to take care of ourselves from time to time. Take a few minutes out of your day to focus on nobody but yourself. Here are just a few ways that you can practice self-love in order to benefit your mental and physical health.
1. Deep breathing
There are many ways one can practice deep breathing. One of my favorites is to begin breathing in through my nose to my stomach, then my ribs, and finally my heart. Hold this breath for one to two seconds, and then let out a deep exhale through the mouth. This allows me to focus on filling my entire core with clean, positive energy. You can find all sorts of different techniques simply by the click of a button on the internet. Find a way that works best for you.
2. Do something you love
I absolutely love listening to classical music. When I am feeling overwhelmed and need to take a few minutes to myself, I simply throw some headphones on and blast some Mozart. You may think you don't have time to take out of your day for something you enjoy, but I promise you do. Take a 10 minute walk around the office or block, play a sport you enjoy, or watch a favorite movie. You can take two minutes or two hours to engage in a little self love.
3. Talk to yourself
This may seem cheesy, but it really works. When stress is too much to bear, or you simply need to sort through the thoughts jumbling around in your head, seek help from the person who knows you best: you. I have found that talking myself through things, or even simply checking in with how I am feeling has been very beneficial in reducing stress and handling situations on my own.
Meditation, I have found, is a remarkable way to really get in touch with yourself. It has many health benefits such as reducing stress, increasing happiness, improving self-acceptance, increasing self-awareness and concentration, and it can even slow aging. Give your mind and soul a little gift and give meditation a try.
5. Grab a healthy snack or drink
Fruits and vegetables are definitely not everyone's cup of tea. However, in order to be our best selves we need to fuel our bodies properly. Give yourself and your body a boost by choosing at least one healthy fruit or beverage a day. I do so by drinking one or two cups of green tea per day. Green tea has many benefits such as cancer prevention, relaxation, and it has many antioxidants in it which improve overall health. Try eating a favorite fruit, such as ripe juicy strawberries, or grabbing a glass of milk instead of a can of soda from the fridge. Your body will thank you and love you for making healthy choices in your daily energy intake.