Exercising is something we do to feel better about ourselves and stay healthy. It helps us gain a sense of confidence, feel accomplished, increase strength, stamina and performance. Regardless of our own personal reasons for why we exercise, we cannot forget to exercise self-love, too! There are pieces of equipment for your different body parts, but what piece of equipment is for your mind? I am sure you haven’t seen the “mind blaster” or “mind press” lying around your gym, have you!?
If you do not exercise self-love, you could be putting in all the physical work and not getting the results you want. After all, your mind plays a large role in helping you reach your goals. Self-love exercises don’t require a gym or a ton of time, but they do require a little bit of commitment from you! As you continue to embark upon your New Year’s goals, I want you to consider some key exercises that you may be missing from your routine. It is the month dedicated to love, so give yourself the self-love you deserve by incorporating some of my favorite self-love exercises into your daily routine!
It is important to be thankful for your life, health, job, friends, children, the ability to breathe, walk, talk, and just be. We have so many things to be grateful for. Each day is truly a blessing, and if we can recognize these things, they will help us focus our energy on being grateful rather than unappreciative. We all have things going on and some days are harder than others, but if we can focus on all the positive things going on in our world, life just seems to get even better!
Self-Love Exercise: Each morning before you get out of bed and every night before you lie down your head, come up with something you are grateful for. There are so many things, but at least come up with one. This could be something as simple as, “I am grateful for my son sneaking in bed to snuggle with me.” No matter what it is, these few minutes of self-reflection are great ways to remember the small things and exercise that self-love muscle.
Daily or weekly mantras or “themes” are a great way to exercise self-love and can be very useful in your journey. We tend to be too hard on ourselves. Come up with a word or group of words that resonate with you and hold some sort of significant meaning in your life. Whenever you find yourself getting off track, refer hack to this mantra.
Self-Love Exercise: I like to set up weekly mantras for myself. One week it may be Contentment and the next week it may be Acceptance. These words or themes have meaning to me and may be something I am working on. I write these mantras in different places that I see throughout the day to keep them in the forefront of my mind. As I go through my week, they remain the center of my focus and help me stay grounded, positive and keep things in perspective. Coming up with mantras is an excellent way to exercise self-love!
Accepting where you are, how far you have come and where you are going is huge. It is too easy to get caught up in telling yourself you won’t be happy until you reach a certain point, but you really have to exercise self-love and enable yourself to accept yourself and where you are. You can make improvements and constantly strive for better, but acceptance is the first step towards making those changes.
Self-Love Exercise: Come up with a word or phrase you can refer to when you find yourself being hard on yourself. I like to use the phrase Own It. You really have to own who you are, where you are and how far you have come in order to take things to the next level. Acceptance and owning it is the first step in your transformation. Exercise self-love by owning it!
Make Yourself a Priority!
Every day, no matter how little time you have to devote to yourself, do something for yourself. Whether that be taking a bubble bath, sitting in silence sipping coffee, meditating or taking a walk with your dog, do something for you! Allow yourself the self-love you deserve to put yourself first and do something for YOU! It is too easy to put ourselves on the back burner and everyone else’s needs and wants first. Taking a few minutes to do something for YOU can be all you need to keep your sanity.
Self-Love Exercise: Just like you plan out your time to work out, do laundry or go grocery shopping, add your YOU time to your daily list of things to do. See this time as a priority by putting it on your list of things to do, and you won’t miss out on your YOU time.
Exercising self-love will really help you in your fitness journey. These four exercises have really helped and continue to help me in my daily life. As much as we make exercising our bodies a priority, we have to be sure to recognize the need to exercise self-love on a daily basis. I hope these exercises help you as much as they have helped me! It’s the month of love, so use this month to pay extra attention to giving yourself the love you deserve and allow it to carry you through the rest of 2014!