By Helaine Krasner, MS, RDN, CSOWM, CDN
Spring is the season of rebirth and renewal. There are holidays on this theme in every religion as well as holidays to honor our mothers and fathers. Spring is also a great time to celebrate ourselves. We are all unique and possess our own magical mixture of personality traits. Although it’s important to acknowledge the wonderful people in our lives, it’s also important to practice self-love. Self-love simply means having an appreciation of your own happiness and well-being.
Here are 10 ways you can practice self-love:
- Bring mindfulness to everyday tasks – Many times we operate on autopilot without questioning if what we’re doing is meeting our needs or bringing us closer to our goals.
- Engage in positive self-talk – Train the voice in your head to be a cheerleader instead of a critic. Avoid using the phrase “I should” and try out “I can,” “I will” or “I want” instead.
- Practice self-compassion – It can be easy to judge too harshly or put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. View mistakes as learning opportunities and move on with new wisdom.
- Make a list of things you can do when you feel down – Everyone gets in a funk now and then and having tools to rely on increases our resilience and sense of control.
- Have an attitude of gratitude – We all deserve to feel happy, but happiness is a state of mind. Being able to identify something to appreciate helps train our brain to focus on the positive.
- Treat your body with respect – Our body is where we live our whole lives. We need care and maintenance just like our car and home does. Make time to pamper yourself.
- Eat mindfully with awareness that nutrition affects health – As the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” Limit intake of highly processed, calorie-dense foods to feel your best.
- Make joyful movement part of your daily routine – The body was meant to move. Physical activity is known to improve all aspects of health and boosts mood.
- Wear clothes that fit your body right now – The size and shape of your body may go through many transitions in your life. Hanging on to clothes that don’t fit properly can negatively affect your body image.
- Limit your exposure to social media – It can be difficult to practice love of self when we are bombarded with images of everyone else’s imaginary “perfect” life. Make time to tune out the outside world and reconnect with yourself.
Khoshaba, Deborah. A seven-step prescription for self-love. Psychology Today. March 27, 2012. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love
Helaine Krasner, MS, RDN, CSOWM, CDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist who takes great pride in helping our Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients achieve their health and weight loss goals.