how to treat yourself in a healthy way

The Real Way To 'Treat Yo Self' Is To Nourish Your Body Instead Of Indulging

I believe the real way to "treat yo self" is to ask, "What would make my body happy?"

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I have been interested in health and wellness for several years, but I have always struggled with committing to a 100% healthy lifestyle. There are temptations everywhere, and I'll admit, I have given into unhealthy indulgences or cravings on numerous occasions. Sometimes, I have gone through a stretch of multiple days of physical inactivity, which I justify by how much work I have or how I deserve relaxation time.

Recently, I had a realization that I (and many other people in my generation) have a skewed view of rewarding or treating ourselves. We tend to allow ourselves to satisfy our desires for comfort in every way possible.

We tend to think of a reward as something unnecessary, but we deserve it because we've earned the right to indulge.

Many young adults don't think of their lifestyle choices as having real effects on their bodies, especially long-term. But over time, our actions have consequences.

College students put their bodies (and minds) through enormous amounts of stress. Take midterm week: all-nighters to cram for exams, being sedentary with days of nonstop sitting, fast food and late-night binging to power through. And then comes the reward: a night of nonstop partying and drinking, or staring at Netflix for 12 hours armed with pizza and candy. I know I'm exaggerating, but you get the point: are these really rewards?

It's clear to me that those indulgences of "comfort foods" that I have given into have profound effects on my digestive system, gut microbiome, and much more. Those hours (read: days) of "relaxation time" spent binge-watching Netflix may have been entertaining, but were detrimental to my body's cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.

In other words, it turns out I'm not really "treating myself" if my body ends up paying for it.

I'm not telling you that you can never eat your favorite unhealthy foods or drinks, or spend a day watching TV, or whatever habit it is that's not good for you. It most likely won't affect you all that much if you do these things once in a while.

I simply believe it's time to re-construct our view of treating ourselves. I'm saying that, whatever choices we do make, we should be fully aware of the fact that certain habits are not rewards.

I think it's much better for us in the long term to fundamentally change what "Treat Yo Self" means to us rather than spend our lives trying to fight our desires.

I've finally started to understand that real "treats" are things that nourish my body. They include the small things, like making sure to get enough sleep and water, to more involved things like taking outdoor study breaks, making sure to squeeze a workout into a busy day, or cooking a fresh, clean meal for myself. When you come from a place of self-love, "treating yo self" means helping to give your body what it truly craves, which is to get into a state of optimal health.

Since realizing that our lifestyle choices have a lot to do with self-love, I came across a guided morning meditation that incorporates self-love, and I decided to try it for a few days.

One thing that tends to stay in my mind throughout the day after this meditation is the quote, "Today I'm giving love to my body."

After practicing this guided meditation every morning, I have noticed that my mindset has been shifting. I have newfound respect and gratitude for my body. I am bewildered by the amazing ability our bodies have to heal themselves, from the cellular to the psychological levels, if we simply give them the nourishment they need.

Since practicing self-love meditation, I have found it easier to stick to my goals of eating healthy foods and taking time to exercise every day. It now feels like I am rewarding myself when I choose a green smoothie over a bag of cookies. It feels like a reward, and a privilege, to be able to nourish my body, rather than indulge in something for temporary satisfaction. I only wish to share the truth: we are immensely lucky to have our own brilliant life machine that is our bodies.

It's a miracle to have blood flowing through our veins, and we should strive to treat our bodies with the love and respect they deserve. I believe the real way to "treat yo self" is to ask, "What would make my body happy?"

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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10 Quotes That Will Help You Realize Your Self-Worth

Sometimes you need a little pick me up and that's okay because I'm pretty sure it happens to everyone. When I need a pick me up, I tend to look over quotes that help with either giving me an ego boost or reminding me to keep working.

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These 10 quotes are from a notes page that I keep on my phone with a list of over 100 quotes. I keep quotes on my phone to give me reminders, advice, or even some motivation. I specifically chose these ten quotes to help anyone remind themselves to never give up and to know your self-worth, which is priceless.

1. "Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself."

This quote reminds me to only focus on what I think about myself and to continue bettering myself. The part of the quote that states, "never excuse yourself" really illuminates how there is always room for improvement in every aspect of your life. Never allow yourself to fall behind and to continue growing.

2. "I am left with no choice, but to create an empire from these ruins within me."

Anyone I am depressed (or heartbroken...), this quote reminds me you can only come up from rock bottom.

3. "If you're happy in yourself, you radiate happiness and attract happiness."

Any time I'm feeling down, I like to read this quote because it helps me work to getter better. The quote pushes me to get better because everything is much better and warmer when you're happy. Emotions soak in more, laughs are genuine, and happy tears become a reality.

4. "You don't need to be better than anyone else, you just need to be better than you used to be." -Wayne W. Dyer

Dyer's quote forces me to continue improving myself. I know this is similar to the first quote, but it helps even more because it reminds me to never forget where I came from.

5. "Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." -Louise L. Hay

When I am feeling down about myself, Hay's quote helps me get out of the funk because I will only continue to spiral if I only focus on the negative.

6. "I am the flower and the thorns. I don't need you to touch me in order to blossom." -Haley Hendrick

Hendrick's quote gives me the confidence to be a strong independent young woman. I do not need a pity party to feel better about myself. I can cope and continue growing because rain is the only way flowers bloom.

7. "Be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone is being mean to you all the time."

If you continue to criticize yourself and only focus on your "flaws," you will never be able to be happy. I know it is harsh but if you don't love yourself, you won't be able to ever fully love anyone. Being kind and allowing yourself to grow is the best self-care. Take a break from whatever you're busy with at the time if you need to. Take a breath and focus on the reasons you love yourself and what all you have accomplished.

8. "I wanna make my parents proud, my enemies jealous, and myself satisfies."

This quote points you in the direction of self-growth because it allows you to remember there are never excuses for yourself. Growing up is a part of life, so is adaptation and evolution. You have to go with the flow and keep up with the times.

9. "Your body is not a temple..."

"Your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest, thick canopies of maple trees and sweet wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated."

Do not ever let anything keep your down, break through the ceiling if you have to. Keep pushing and working for whatever dreams you have.

10. "You don't have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life..."

"You don't ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn't matter whether someone is s relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance — you don't have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It's one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignored your boundaries, and "continues" to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go." — Daniell Koepke

Sometimes, you had to leave behind people you thought would be in your life forever because they're holding you back. Sometimes they just always bring negativity and make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes people make cool jokes and don't understand how it isn't funny. These people are toxic and it is okay to remove them from your life. Keep growing but always remember what could have happened if you stayed behind.

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