We’ve spent the past four weeks exploring tips and tricks that will help you feel your best over the next twelve months.
As January turns to February, our New Year’s enthusiasm has faded a bit. It can be tempting to fall back into old ways. And while there is nothing wrong with re-evaluating a routine that isn’t working for you, losing steam doesn’t have to mean losing resolve.
How do you keep good habits thriving? By adding an essential practice to your routine: self-love.
More than just a trendy buzzword, self-love is key to ensuring that your mind and body stay healthy and your goals stay on track. Here’s how we recommend practicing self-love to keep good habits thriving.
Practice mindfulness around your routine and goals.
We sometimes have a tendency to throw ourselves full-throttle into change, especially when it comes to wellness. If you find yourself struggling to maintain your new routine, try to take a step back. Think about the way that you feel, how your mental health is progressing. Listen to the messages that your brain is trying to send you. If you are feeling tempted to go back to your less-healthy habits, your body could be telling you that you are doing too much.
Instead of giving up cold turkey, try to change your routine to better fit your intuition. Instead of going full-vegan, try eating plant-based three days a week and vegetarian the others. Instead of taking a daily run, try adding in some more mindful walks.
Listen to your body.
In a similar vein, take time to ask your body how it’s feeling each day. We commonly overlook discomfort in the name of progress and, oftentimes, this leads to even further setbacks down the road.
This doesn’t mean you cannot push yourself. Breaking out of our comfort zone is key to growth. But we do not have to break ourselves in the process. Let yourself take a (guilt-free!) day off from your regular routine so that your body can rest. Keeping a routine because you feel obligated is not worth injuring your body or harming your mental health.
Connect with others.
Even though it’s called “self-love,” an important part of the practice does involve other people. At our core, humans are not solitary creatures. We need other people to help boost our own self-esteem, increase sense of belonging and reduce stress.
Luckily, bringing a buddy into your wellness routine actually increases the likelihood of sticking with it long-term.
In fact, one study found that 95% of people who started a weight loss program with friends completed the program. If you’re feeling like you’re in a routine rut, try inviting someone to participate with you, and be amazed at how much further you go together.
Celebrate (even small!) accomplishments.
You’re amazing! You deserve to revel in all that you’ve done, even if it doesn’t feel like a lot.
Try setting up a system in which certain goals merit certain rewards (kind of like your childhood chore chart!). These can be anything–a new candle, a night reading the bathtub, a massage, a dinner out. Pick your absolute favorite things and make sure you are getting to do them often.
At the end of the day, we are human. We are not perfect, and that’s absolutely fine. It’s OK to have days, weeks, even months where we fall short of our own expectations. What’s not OK is holding onto guilt about it.
If you find yourself slipping in your wellness goals, don’t despair. You are not failing, and you are not a bad person. Instead of wallowing in grief, take a step back and evaluate what your journey is truly about. Value the core of your goals, not the numbers or milestones that define them. If you slip up, tell yourself it’s going to be OK and try to do better the next day. There’s a reason it’s called a wellness journey, not a wellness destination.
How do you practice self-love?