actively staying healthy is an act of self care

Staying healthy by doing what you love is practicing good self care. / Image: Matt Madd via Flickr CC.

With the holidays quickly approaching, we are told to profess our love to our partners, children, family, boyfriends and girlfriends. As much as we love doting on others, we need to love treating ourselves too. Feminist writer and activist Audre Lorde once wrote, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Basically, people – women in particular – are conditioned to put others before themselves.

Let’s strike a balance between giving to others and practicing self care this winter. Here are a handful of ways to remind you that you love yourself:

  • Every morning look in the mirror, smile and find one thing to appreciate about your body.
  • Book yourself a massage. It doesn’t have to be the most lavish, but even just getting yourself a 10 minute rubdown will feel like an intentional act of self care.
  • Stay active and healthy this winter by committing one hour each week to doing a fun new work out. Try a free yoga classes, a new cycling class or just go for a jog or long walk with a pal.
  • Similarly, don’t feel like you have to succumb to the pressures of upcoming New Year’s resolutions. When you focus on health versus trying to change your physical appearance, you are practicing being body positive.
  • You know that one thing you’ve been wanting for the last couple of months? Go ahead and buy it for yourself. If you can’t afford it, make a plan to save enough money so you can buy it in the next month or two. Don’t feel guilty about treating yourself!
  • Buy yourself a bouquet of your favorite flowers each week. Trim the stems daily to keep them alive longer. Seeing those pretty flowers will bring a bit of lightness to your day.
  • Try once a week to light your favorite candle and take a hot bubble bath. Put on one of your favorite records, sip a cup of calming tea, and focus on the things that make you beautiful inside and out.
  • Every day before bed, look in the mirror and appreciate one thing you love about your face. It can be simple or anything you notice that day to keep yourself positive.

How do you practice self care?