In today’s ever changing world, the stress of daily obligations can feel debilitating. The future is filled with uncertainty, and in the midst of this chaotic life we often find ourselves forgotten.
People around the world are grappling with an extremely difficult year to put behind them. But the loss of nearly two million people is not something easily recovered from. The pandemic claimed families, livelihoods, and the world as we knew it before 2020. There seemed to be no end in sight, and suddenly a glimmer of hope appeared with the COVID-19 vaccine.
2020 has been a record breaking year for drug overdose deaths. Depression strikes 264 million people globally, and does not discriminate against age. And yet women are more often affected by depression, and it’s not hard to see why. In a culture where women’s value lies in their youth and beauty, women who don’t fall into the “beauty standards” of today are often left feeling less than.
Busy moms are portrayed as frazzled, fed up, unhappy, and demanding on television and in movies. The stereotype is demeaning and takes away from the true beauty of motherhood, while hiding the physical and mental hurdles that moms overcome each day.
We’ve all heard about practicing self love. Self love sounds expensive, right? Like something only wealthy women can afford. Weekly manicures, monthly botox, and designer brand splurges. But really self love has so much more to do with your inner self, loving yourself from the inside out, and taking care of her. So what are some important ways to practice self love that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Let’s take a look!
1. The foods you put in your body matter.
Eating healthy is fundamental to our well being. Our body cannot function properly without having the right fuel. When we eat a rainbow: a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats, we’re giving our bodies the best tools to be our best selves.
Eating healthy prevents excessive weight gain, and keeps our bodies looking and feeling good. A healthy weight means you love who you see in the mirror, and you have the strength and energy to do the things you love, like playing with your kids or grandkids, hiking in the outdoors, or swimming to name a few examples.
2. We all need to rest.
An essential component to being healthy, which often gets overlooked, is getting enough sleep and letting your body rest. In comparison, getting enough sleep is just as important for maintaining good health, as exercise and a healthy diet. Why do we treat rest as an after thought?
We’ve somehow reached a point, as a population, where we decided we need to work until we’re burned out. And we’ve put it in our heads that resting is lazy. But God did not design us to work until we can barely stand.
Studies show that there’s a direct relationship between children’s sleep patterns and their behavior and academic success. And for us adults, studies prove that getting enough sleep helps prevent heart disease, depression, and inflammation in the body! A lack of sleep also triggers increased levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, attributing to unhealthy weight gain.
3. Personal hygiene is necessary to feel good about yourself.
Have you ever been sick and sweaty, and finally took a shower to discover you feel like a whole new person? Maintaining good personal hygiene is necessary to living well. This includes keeping your body clean: washing yourself, brushing your teeth, shampooing your hair, and keeping your nails clean.
Personal hygiene helps prevent illness, spreading germs, and helps you love the person you see in the mirror. Apply your favorite face mask, use good skincare products, spray on a sexy perfume, and feel good!
4. Get moving!
Oh, the benefits of exercise are countless! Regular exercise improves your health by helping prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, exercise reduces these feelings. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are chemicals that trigger a happy feeling in the body.
Physical activity helps with weight loss, lowers blood pressure, helps ease joint pain, and improves sleep quality. Ready to get moving now? Self love means giving your body the best care you can, and exercising daily will boost your health and your confidence as an added bonus.
5. Finally: What makes your soul happy?
You can practice all these healthy habits, but if you don’t make time for the things your soul loves, you’ll be depriving yourself of critical self love. Seemingly small things can make your soul smile, and work as a sort of therapy.
Hearing children’s laughter, worship at your church, painting outside in nature, or dancing to your favorite song. These small things are actually a huge part of everyday happiness.
Music, for example, is a happy place for many people. Recent studies show that listening to music, even sad music, can boost your mood! And other studies suggest that music can even ward off depression and anxiety.
Take the time to love yourself in this hectic life. We have one body, one mind, and one soul. Don’t let it go to waste.