Take the Time to Love Yourself

Self care is not selfish. It is an essential part of balance and order in our lives. Your weight loss journey must include learning to love yourself right where you are; self care is about more than just your weight, it is about taking care of your whole self: body, mind and spirit.

Whether you have someone special in your life or not, Valentine’s Day can trigger all kinds of feelings. Maybe you set new goals at the beginning of the year and you are afraid all the sweets and celebrations will throw you off track. Maybe this time of year sparks loneliness in you and you know those feelings will tempt you to eat. Whatever reaction you have to all the images of cupid and his arrows it is the perfect time to stop and take care of yourself! Here are some simple ways to make sure you are making self-care a priority:

SPIRIT

  • Find a hobby that you love that is not work related and make time for it. You are more than just your professional life and it is important to feed every part of yourself.

  • Journal your thoughts, your goals, or your prayers. It is extremely helpful to articulate your feelings even if is just jotting dowIt is that time of year again; just as we all get our trees taken down and find our groove in the new year, out comes all the red and pink, the candy, the cards, the flowers: Valentine’s Day.

BODY

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If stairs are too hard on your knees, take a few 5 minute breaks throughout the day and just walk the halls, or better yet go outside and walk around the building.

  • Eat your veggies! The greener the better. They will not only help you on your weight loss journey but they will help your mind work more efficiently too.

  • Establish a healthy sleep routine: turn your cell phone off at night, try to go to bed at the same time every night and try to get at least 7-8 hours a night.

  • Get a workout in at least 3 times a week. It doesn’t have to be high intensity it just needs to be consistent movement. Find a workout buddy, take a class, whatever sounds like the best fit.

MIND

  • Find time to be still and quiet. Whether you pray or meditate or just go for a quiet walk it is essential that you take time to be still. Our world is so fast-paced and noisy. Take 5 minutes, breathe, turn off your phone and just let yourself be grateful to be alive.

  • Read a good book. Find something that interests you and learn more about it; or just find a great novel and let yourself get lost in a story for a little bit.

  • Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. Just 10 minutes can sharpen your mind and relieve stress.

  • Reflect on what was good and bad about your day. Taking time to be reflective can benefit you in many areas of your life.

  • Take time for relationships. Having rewarding relationships in your life is crucial for your sense of well-being and happiness.  Have lunch with a friend, see a movie, join a book club.

  • Use your Paid Time Off. Don’t let vacation days and sick days pile up. Work-life balance is key to your sense of well being. You are worth taking time for. You don’t have to pay for a fancy vacation, you just need to take the time to rest.

Finally, learn to reward yourself for your hard work but not with food. Take a day off for a spa day, or a beautiful outdoor hike and picnic with someone whose company refreshes you. If your clothes are getting loose, buy a new outfit.  The more you make yourself a priority the more you will see the effects of your hard work not just physically but in all areas of your life.

This Valentine’s day, find time to show love to yourself!
— Dr. Valerie Liao
LoriJean ReedComment