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In the wake of Valentine’s Day, we often focus on all the romance and forget the most important relationship we have—the one with ourselves. How can we honor this relationship? Practice self-love. Some think self-love is selfish, but it’s exactly the opposite. You see, when you love yourself, you begin to love others more deeply. And on top of that, others begin to see and love you more deeply. This romance season, begin your practice of self-love, and see how the world around you changes.
Here are some ways to start:
There’s no need to wait for someone else to write you a beautiful note and tell you how wonderful you are. You are wonderful. You are beautiful. And you are worthy of love. So, begin writing love notes to yourself.
There are different ways to practice this: You can write a letter to yourself as you are today. Or you can write to a younger version of yourself, who was struggling at the time. You can even write a letter to your future self. Sometimes, they’ll write you back—which is pretty cool.
This is a powerful and healing practice if you do it regularly.
This is a specific mediation to nurture positive feelings about yourself. Picture yourself, or a younger version of yourself. You can look at an old picture or even use a mirror! Look yourself in the eyes, and tell yourself: "I love and accept you just the way you are." Repeat this several times, and remember, there’s no one more worthy of your love than you!
I know. Here we are with gratitude again. But this time, it’s a little different. Instead of looking for things around you, begin to practice gratitude for you. Ask yourself, “What about myself am I grateful for?” And, “Why are these things important?” It’s this second question, the “why,” that allows you to feel gratitude. Remember, gratitude is not a thought, it’s a feeling. It’s the magical key to start feeling good about yourself.
There's nothing quite as powerful as forgiving yourself for past mistakes. Yes, you may have screwed up. Yes, you probably could have done things differently. But the reality is, you’re human. And you make mistakes like every other human on the planet.
My favorite definition of forgiveness comes from Dr. Jampolsky. He says that forgiveness is giving up hope that the past can be different. It acknowledges the past and frees us from having to live it over and over again. And while forgiving others is important, self-forgiveness is a missing ingredient. Self-forgiveness unlocks you from the past and allows you to create a new future yourself.
You can say anything, no rules here! Thank your toes for helping you walk. Seriously, when’s the last time you thanked your toes for anything? And think about what life would be like without your toes. Or compliment yourself on your smile, your artistic ability, or how great a cook you are. Anything, just start being kind to yourself.
As I’ve been getting older, I use this regularly when I look in the mirror. Almost every day I see new wrinkles and gray hairs. Of course, my first reaction is still, “What are you doing there?” And then I catch my myself, look endearingly at this changed part of me, and say, “Welcome to family.”
This one practice has completely changed my relationship with myself. And bonus, it’s helped me see others differently as well. We are all growing and changing.
In the end, self-love is about treating yourself as a friend. You accept your friends, you forgive your friends, you say kind things to your friends. Self-love is about becoming your own friend. Treat yourself as you would treat a dear friend. Because no one is more deserving of your friendship than you.
And you can be your own friend every day.
Want to learn more about practicing self-love? Join the Self-Love Revolution!
Ah, 2020—the year that truly put our sanity to the test. On top of that, something that most people use to navigate through a tough time has essentially been stripped away from us—our normal workout routines. I don’t know about you, but even skipping a week at the gym can send me into a tailspin. But several months of sheltering in place and being forced to adapt to this new normal?
That’s a different story.
While I think we can all say we’re grateful that fitness studios were quick to offer virtual classes when COVID-19 hit—there is something about constantly working out by ourselves that may trigger some of us to hit pause on our workout routines and start turning towards less robust habits. *Reluctantly raises hand*
The other day I came across a stat that really set off some alarms. According to a recent study, Americans are spending an additional two hours each day on their couch since March 2020. As of recently, I can say I’m totally guilty of a little too much R&R. While an evening of Netflix and wine once sounded like heaven on earth for most of us, I think it’s safe to say the repetition of this is starting to get kind of old. Also, Schitt’s Creek is over now, so I really don’t have any excuse to not dedicate my free time to jumping back into my at-home workouts.
I started pondering what made dial back my fitness routine in the first place? Was it a lack of motivation? No, not really. Screen fatigue? I think my Netflix history outlined above would tell you that’s a solid ‘no.’ Then it hit me—the thing that motivated me to stay on top of my fitness goals was being around other people with the same goals. Pre-COVID, going to my favorite spin studio and the local yoga hot spot was how I typically spent my social hour during the workweek. I realized the best way to amp up my at-home workout routine was to re-connect with my workout buddies and start doing virtual classes together to create that sense of community I craved.
If you’re also experiencing some form of live stream lull when it comes to your workouts, then getting a virtual workout buddy may be exactly what you need. Here’s why:
Just like in-person workouts, making plans to sweat it out with one of your friends motivates you to show up and be your best self. According to the Mindbody Wellness Index, 25% of the folks we surveyed said they found it difficult to hold themselves accountable to their workout goals on their own—and an additional 20% of people said a lack of support was responsible for missed workouts.
Everybody enjoys a little friendly competition, right? Maybe you have a friend who is a powerhouse at virtual HIIT—try signing up for a class with them to help you take your workout to a whole new level.
Getting a workout sesh in with a friend is the perfect time to try a new exercise such as virtual yoga or virtual barre. Trying something new can be scary—I get it. But by trying a new type of exercise with a friend, you can both give each other a confidence boost by acting as each other’s personal hype man.
Look, we’re all craving human interaction these days—and I know I’m not the only one who is missing weekly happy hours with friends. Luckily, fitness studios are getting creative with their virtual offerings post-workout, too! When we asked members of our MindbodyOne Community how they are keeping things interesting for their students in the virtual space, they said they are hosting monthly virtual wine dates to share fitness stories and personal victories. Not only do you get to drink wine, but you and your buddy get to meet other like-minded people at the same time.
As 2020 winds down (thank goodness), you have a unique opportunity to reconnect with your friends and take your workout sessions to the next level with a virtual workout buddy. So, why not start now? Book a virtual fitness class and encourage your friends to show up for you and themselves today.