Self Love: What It Is and How to Embrace It This Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day is often seen as a celebration of love between two people. However, it's also a perfect time to acknowledge a different, yet equally important type of love - self-love. Embracing self-love, especially during a weight loss journey, offers tremendous benefits for our mental and physical health.

Understanding Self-Love

Self-love is about appreciating and taking care of yourself. It's about giving yourself the same kindness and compassion you would offer to others. It's a crucial aspect of our well-being, contributing to lower anxiety levels, fostering resilience, and building a strong sense of control over our lives.

The Benefits of Self-Love

When we practise self-love, we're not just improving our emotional state; we're also impacting our physical health. Lowering stress through self-love can decrease the prolonged activation of our stress response, which otherwise can negatively affect our bodies and minds. 

Additionally, self-love is linked to higher levels of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin - the 'happy hormones' - which can lead to better cardiovascular health and a stronger immune system.

Moreover, a strong relationship with oneself can positively influence those around us. Self-love can enhance our emotional intelligence, making us more empathetic and attuned to the needs of others, thereby enriching both our personal and professional relationships.

Practical Ways to Practise Self-Love

    Here are some expert-backed ways to practise self-love, not just on Valentine's Day but throughout the year:
    1. Learn to Say 'No': Setting limits in personal and professional life is crucial. Avoid overcommitting to things that don't align with your values.
    2. Do Something You Love: Engage in activities that elevate your mood, like journaling, meditation, painting, or listening to music.
    3. Take Nature Baths: Spend time in nature to relax and rejuvenate, following the concept of 'forest bathing' or shinrin-yoku.
    4. Just Breathe: Practise deep breathing to reduce stress and regulate your heart rate and blood pressure.
    5. Shift to 'Being Mode': Spend time being present and aware of your experiences, moving away from the constant 'doing mode'.
    6. Pay Attention to Your Thoughts: Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Replace harsh self-criticism with gentler, more rational thoughts.
    7. Be More Forgiving: Let go of grudges and practice forgiveness for both yourself and others.
    8. Laugh More: Engage in activities that make you laugh, like watching comedies or reading funny stories.
    9. Exercise Regularly: Incorporate physical activity into your routine for its stress-relieving and mood-enhancing benefits.
    10. Do Kind Acts for Others: Little acts of kindness can boost your serotonin levels and reduce stress.
    11. Try Aromatherapy: Use essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or lemongrass to help relieve stress and anxiety.

    Embracing self-love isn't just a one-day affair. It's a continuous journey that benefits you and those around you. To help inspire you, we’ve created a 7 day challenge. Play 'Self Love Bingo' with us by checking items off as you go and share them with us on instagram each day! (screenshot the template in our instagram story to play)⁠.

    So, this Valentine’s week, start a new tradition of celebrating yourself and the love you have for who you are.

    Happy V Day!

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