It’s so easy to get sidetracked when stress becomes too overwhelming. We focus on so many external factors like job performance, appearance, and meeting societal expectations that we forget what makes us happy and fulfilled. So much so that many people abandon their health goals or even kick-start new ones, but for the wrong reasons, which only means they won’t last that long. The only way to lead a truly healthy life is to love and respect yourself through every decision that you make.
Sure, we can all slip up, enjoy the occasional sweet treat, feel down or overwhelmed, we’re only human. It’s up to us to recognize and ultimately change the patterns that push us into that lack of self-love and self-care. The bottom line is, people who love and cherish themselves will love and cherish their bodies with good, nutritious food, water, sleep, and activity. Such people will respect their own boundaries, and not push themselves for the sake of meeting arbitrary societal criteria of perfection.
In this noble pursuit of self-love and self-respect, healthy habits can come to life and become a way of life, not just a temporary refuge. Here’s how you can start evoking that feeling of self-love and self- respect through healthy choices every day.
Give yourself a break
Dedication is a wonderful trait, but if you over-give, you end up feeling fatigued, both mentally and physically. Be it in your work, relationships, or any other aspect of your life, too much of a good thing can indeed be bad for you. That’s why getting enough rest is vital for your wellbeing.
Start by setting a sleeping schedule that will give you enough restorative shuteye to feel energized for your daily workload and responsibilities. That, however, isn’t the only way to rest. Think back to the last time you had a vacation. Maybe it’s time to book one today and give yourself a few days off.
Respect your body’s nutritional needs
It takes discipline to consistently eat healthy and reap the rewards in the form of higher energy levels, stronger immunity, and better mood, not to mention a better physique and more self-confidence. If you focus on your diet from meal to meal, and you constantly lack the structure to follow through on your nutrition, you should buy in bulk and have enough healthy foods at your disposal to make nutrient- dense meals every day.
Start with getting organic bulk whole foods that can become the basis for your everyday nutrition. Enough of healthy, lean protein sources, healthy, whole grain flour, and snacks like dry fruit and nut mixes can make your nutrition much easier for your budget and your everyday routine. Feed your body and mind right, and you’ll have the basis for self-love and self-respect.
Step out of your comfort zone
Practicing self-love through exercise might seem like a leap to so many people who don’t have a set workout routine at their disposal. Yet, it’s a vital step in building more self-love in your life and resetting your mindset to appreciate what your body is capable of, and what it can become capable of in time.
Perhaps you’ve settled on a good yoga routine to begin with, but you can sometimes give yourself a challenge – not just so that you can build more muscle or lose more weight, but to experience the excitement and self gratitude for doing new and challenging things in life.
Set boundaries – and honor them
Oftentimes people know what their bodies love and what they can do to feel better in their own skin, and then they do something entirely else because someone else “nudged” them. Peer pressure, societal pressure, and that general sense of “wanting to be liked” is a common problem, so people don’t learn how to say no.
This is perhaps one of the healthiest skills you can learn to preserve and enhance your mental fortitude and wellbeing. It’s good for you to set boundaries toward people as well as yourself. Just like you’ve learned how to nourish your body with food by not succumbing to unreasonable cravings, you can say no to external influences that don’t bode well for you. Practice with a close friend of yours who knows what you’re trying to achieve, and then expand to others in your life, too.
Think about what you want and need
You’ve managed to say no to an overly sugary piece of cake at a birthday party? Or you’ve successfully managed to say no to the party you never felt like going to, anyway? Now’s the time to think about what you actually want to do to nourish your soul.
Do you want to enjoy a cup of tea by yourself, read a good book, or take a bubble bath? Maybe you’d like to see a friend, even if it’s just for a video call. Start practicing introspection, give yourself the time and space to consider your needs, and then be kind to yourself. Make yourself happy.
Life can get messy, complicated, stressful, dull. It’s what you do with it that will define your mindset and your behavior towards yourself. You can take the time to be kind to yourself when you fail and learn from those wonderful mistakes, or you can continue following the negative patterns. Practicing self-love and self-respect takes time to become a routine and a norm for many of us – now you have the tools to get started.