February the month of love! It’s nice to recognise the one you love on Valentine’s day, and any other day of the year, but how often do you recognise yourself?
What treats do you give yourself on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
Weekly I like to check in to a regular yoga and Pilates class. It feels so good to be part of a class and enjoy someone else’s instruction. I try and tune in to some online classes every now and then too, but it really doesn’t beat being held in a space and getting instant feedback.
Monthly I would love to have a massage. I’ve got one booked in this month, but it might be a while before the next one!
I love the benefits of massage:
It’s relaxing, in the right environment and with the right masseuse.
Relieves mental tension
Aids natural detoxification
Reduces muscle tension and can improve performance
These are just some of the benefits I’ve experienced during a massage. A good yoga session can also feel just as good as a massage, it definitely contains the same benefits. Both also help me to float out of the door at the end of the session and some days I’ll walk out with a spring in my step.
So why treat yourself…why not?
If you look after yourself, then looking after others becomes much easier. Many of us work so hard that if we don’t give a little time to ourselves, we can get lost! Lost in work, lost in day to day monotony.
A treat could even be having the time to sit down and watch your favourite programme for half an hour without any distractions. Treats don’t have to be expensive, as long as it feels like a treat, then you’re treating yourself. I often treat myself to a bit of chocolate! Probably too much, but it is a treat and a delicious one at that!
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
Often loving yourself can also mean taking the time to exercise and eat healthily. It is so important to keep moving and fuel yourself in the right way. What you do exercise wise and in terms of eating will impact how your body is in later life. Perhaps if you were a smoker in your twenties, and have since stopped, you may have improved your lung capacity, whereas if you stop smoking in your forties, your body may not make a full recovery, but your health will dramatically be improved by making the change.
The same goes for exercise you may have been able to take part in lots of high energy activities when you’re younger, but as you get older you may need to be kinder to your joints. Some of us can take up running in our forties and some of us may focus more on Pilates and yoga. I fall into the latter camp. I love high energy activities, but I need to be mindful which ones they are. Running is a big no, no. I tried to get into a couple of times but have been advised to avoid it to lengthen the life of my joints. If you have a very symmetrical body then you’re one of the lucky ones, many people have asymmetrical bone structure. High impact sports will increase wear and tear on one side of the body, and when these imbalances start to increase pressure on one particular side of the body it can impact joints and muscles contributing to an even more unbalanced body.
So be kind to yourself when it comes to exercise. It’s good to build up a sweat and increase heart rate but be kind to your joints too. We need them to last as long as our heart does.
Choose an exercise that is right for your body and make it something you enjoy going too!
*First published February 2019