It's February! We have made it successfully one month into 2023. Hopefully your year is starting off fabulous. If it's not, well, it's not too late!
We can start now! When we think about the month of February, I’m sure, most of us think about love with Valentine's Day presiding in the month. We all in some way think about that human we have a crush on, that human we are partnering in life with or even that human we may be married to.
When that day comes we will be most certainly focused on that person or persons we love. While it is amazing to get/receive chocolates, flowers and love those people we often forget one person that we should love first: ourselves.
It's great to love others and show them. We also have to show ourselves that same love. Sadly, we don’t all show that love to ourselves. We don't show it in our athletic endeavors nor do we show it in our personal lives. I feel like we can do this in two steps. So let me help you to love yourself.
One of the first steps I feel we all need to do is accept ourselves. We need to look within ourselves and see who we are as a human beings. We need to accept all of the negative qualities we don’t like about ourselves. Acceptance is acknowledging them. It’s taking them as they are for the moment. It’s recognizing that we aren’t all perfect beings. It’s being okay with not being perfect. Acceptance, like in this picture below, is acknowledging the rain. It is also knowing you can’t change the rain, you can’t stop the rain but you can adapt to the rain.
The second thing that I think we all can do as humans and athletes to show love to ourselves is self care. Self care is loving ourselves, through self care we show compassion for ourselves. As I am told by many spiritual leaders that I often get guidance from, “Self care isn’t selfish, it’s self less.”
In order to love ourselves we need to take care of ourselves. We only have one body. Our body needs to make it all the years we live. If we want to live long we need to care for and take care of our body.
How can we take care of our body through self care? Well before I started working on this post I reached out to friends that I know on social media to ask them what they do for self care. I got many different responses from many people.
I’ll share them with you:
“Take a bubble bath”
“Light candles and other scents”
“Pause what I’m doing taking a break”
“Spend time in nature.”
“Go for a walk in a place I’ve never been before.”
“Treat myself to a great meal.”
“Stretch my body and do yoga.”
“Buy myself a new outfit.”
“Sit down for quiet time and meditation”
“Practice using affirmations”
These were just some of the many responses I got from people. All of these things are, for many, very simple ideas that anyone can do. There are many things that anyone can do that are not listed here.
For me personally, I really like taking social media breaks, being aware of the people I’m surrounding myself with and taking time for self reflection of where I am or where I am going.
Buddhist monk and philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh has this beautiful quote, "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
I love this quote because it speaks volumes to love. While love comes in many shapes and sizes the most important relationship that we as humans here need to focus on, a lot of the time, is us. As the saying goes, "we can't love others if we are not loving ourselves."
So while we may take February and Valentine’s Day to love others I want to encourage each and everyone reading this post to not only show love for others but really take a minute to look at ourselves and to think of what we can do to love ourselves. Let’s take time to reflect on ourselves as we embark on a new year. Let’s love ourselves, love our bodies and chase our goals for the year.
Written by: Amber Morgan - RLAG Street Team Ambassador