Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m lucky to be celebrating with my fiancé tonight, but before we head out I wanted to take a moment to talk about Self Care Sunday. As much as it’s important to recognize our love for others, it’s possibly even more important to our overall well-being to show ourselves the love as well.
I’ve been meaning to write a post about Self Care Sunday for weeks, but my seemingly never-ending to-do list has made the idea of stopping to take time for myself almost stressful. This is the opposite of what Self Care Sunday is all about! Self Care Sunday is about taking the time to look after yourself mentally, physically and spiritually despite the other things going on in our lives. This may mean different things to different people, but what remains constant is the promise to take a few moments to do something that makes us feel good. Even a few small things can add up and make a big difference in our lives.
Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to show myself some love on Self Care Sundays.
Self Care Sunday Ideas
1. Draw yourself a bath – A nice bath truly is the epitome of relaxation. What could possibly be better than slipping into a hot bath on a cold February day? Add aromatherapy to soothe the senses (I’m all about Gold Apothecary’s Citrus Eucalyptus dead sea salts. They seriously smell incredible!) and light some candles to set the scene.
2. Practice yoga – In my opinion, practicing yoga is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It connects you with your body and breath, calms the mind and grounds you. On Sundays, I like to do restorative or gentle yoga. I’ve recommended this before, but one of my favourite videos to follow for an at-home Sunday practice is Do Yoga With Me‘s nurturing Love Yourself class.
Follow my Self Care Sundays Pinterest board for more ideas on how to #treatyoself on Self Care Sunday, whether you have five minutes or a full day to show yourself some self love.
3. Meditate – Even five minutes of meditation can be powerful. If you’ve never meditated before, the idea of meditating can be a little intimidating, but I promise you that once you see its benefits you will return to this practice time and time again. There are many different styles of meditation, but the most important part is the awareness of breath and being present. Here’s a guide from Fitness Mag to help get you started.
4. Steep a mug of your favourite tea and dive into a book. I’ve been working my way through lots of yoga books, but I’ve also got Drew Barrymore’s Wildflower sitting on my desk waiting to be devoured. My mom gave it for me for Christmas and I am really looking forward to wrapping myself up in it as I admire Drew and her style. In the digital age, it is so refreshing and therapeutic to slow down and turn pages.
5. Colour or get creative. Adult colouring is the hot new thing and the kid inside of me couldn’t be happier. I bought myself a colouring book and some crayons from a nearby art store and have reconnecting with my love of art. I used to paint and draw a lot growing up, so it’s really calming for me to do it now. I love colouring in detailed floral patterns and mandalas especially.
6. Write/Journal. To me there is nothing more cathartic than writing. I think there is something magical that happens when you release your inner most feelings onto the page. It allows you to make sense of all the thoughts that live inside your head, clearing your mental real estate for more positivity and understanding to move in. I’m actually trying to journal a little more now, especially when it comes down to acknowledging and becoming more mindful of the things I’m grateful for. Gratitude journals are believed to increase happiness because they remind us of what matters in our lives.
7. Hang out with animals. I am the mommy of an adorable rescue dog and spending time with him has been wonderful for my mental health. Animals don’t care about what we look like or how we performed in that seemingly life altering meeting. They’re just here to love and be loved. If you don’t have an animal of your own, visit a friend or family member who has one, stop by your nearest cat cafe (unless you’re allergic like I am, in which case stay far, far away!) or volunteer at a shelter or rescue agency if that’s something that interests you. I realize this suggestion isn’t suitable for everyone, but I wanted to include it because many of us have pets and can overlook their positive influence on us.
8. Do some self reflection. I honestly think one of the best things you can do to love yourself is to figure out what it is you love doing and then make it a priority in your life. One exercise we did in the mindful CBT program I participated in was to write down a list of the 10 things we spend most of our time doing (be honest!) and another list of the 10 things we love doing most of all. Compare both lists to see where there is opportunity to make more room for the things you love.
There are so many other things you can do to practice self care and self love not just on Sundays, but everyday. However, it is time for me to start getting ready for my dinner out with my other love, the man I’m going to marry.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you take some time to show yourself some love and self care today. You deserve it! Also, take some time to show gratitude for the love that surrounds you: that of your friends, family members, pets and anyone you teach or mentor. Love is all around us!
Featured image from Free People’s article Natural Cures for Sleeplessness, also pinned to my Self Care Sundays board!