This guest blog post was written by Registered Dietitian, Cory Levin, MS, RDN.
Self-love is a term tossed around like crazy these days– it’s trending harder than the egg on Instagram. I’m here to remind you that self-love doesn’t have to mean getting an activated bee venom massage or a caviar-scented body wrap that costs you an arm and a leg; it can be as simple as putting this idea into practice on a daily basis.
Integrating this notion into your day-to-day routine is much more feasible, sustainable, and gratifying in the long run. Of course, your partner, baby, and Rover deserve love, care, and attention too, but we simply cannot love others if we don’t show ourselves love first. This Valentine’s Day, I want you to remember there is no one in the world more deserving of your love than you are.
Ready to feel love? Here’s how to integrate self-love into your daily grind without breaking the bank:
1. Nourish (Your Hormones):
Think of your meals like practice tests and your period as a monthly report card. How are you scoring? If you’re struggling with major PMS, heavy bleeding, and don’t-wanna-get-outta-bed cramps, I’d wager you could be doing better.
What we choose to put into our bodies has a direct correlation with our hormone levels, such as estrogen and progesterone. Too little or too much of either one can cause your hormone report card to take a plunge and create a whole host of other unwanted symptoms.
Consciously choosing hormone-friendly foods like salmon, avocado, and sweet potato will nourish the delicate parts of your cycle on a biological level more than a Big Mac ever could. If chocolate on Valentine’s Day (or let’s face it, any day that ends in y) is your jam, there are hormone-balancing options out there like Moon Bites that have body-benefitting ingredients, such as real cacao, herbs, and seeds.
2. Cleanse (Your Instagram Feed):
Ever find yourself scrolling through the feeds of randoms on Instagram and suddenly throwing a mental hissy fit because you’re not riding a camel in Morocco while wearing Coco Chanel and sipping a juniper latte? Yeah, I've been there too. It’s time to unfollow the accounts that make you feel less than and start following the accounts that inspire and lift you up.
They’re out there!
This means doing a quick scroll through the accounts you follow and simply unfollowing those that do not serve you. Here’s the litmus test: if you find yourself in a worse mood after looking through their feed, then it may be time to say goodbye to Betty from the beach. Search through some hashtags that include: #bodypositive, #femaleempowerment, #selflovequotes, or #girlpower instead. If you’re like me, you probably scroll through Instagram before your day even begins; start it off on the right, more-empowered foot.
3. Move (Your Limbs):
PSA: The best workout is the one that you’re most likely to stick to. You do not need to go HAM at the gym nine days a week and sweat like a Clydesdale in order to reap the most important benefits that exercise provides. For one, moving our bodies can provide a sense of mental clarity that for many, far exceeding any amount of physical gain. Exercise, no matter what form, is arguably one of the best stress-relievers out there.
Don’t feel like you have the time? Do a quick brainstorm session on how to integrate it into your daily grind, like taking the early bus and walking to the office instead of Uber-ing, strolling around the block on your lunch break, or purchasing a standing desk for your office and simply moving your legs more. Creating an exercise routine, no matter how gentle, is better than none at all. Walking counts. Stretching counts.
These are things we can do without a fancy membership from a gym to show ourselves a little self-love.
We hope that this serves as a reminder that you are worthy of love, especially from yourself. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is the perfect place to start, and one that won't break the bank.
As The Beatles so aptly said: "All You Need Is [Self] Love".
Cory Levin is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and women's health expert. Cory is the founder and principal of the site The Women's Dietitian and Instagram account @thewomensdietitian, a private practice and digital platform for women seeking nutrition support for hormone balance, fertility, weight management, and digestion. She specializes in conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis, and nutrition therapy for infertility and assisted reproductive technology. Cory dedicates her practice to a science-backed eating and lifestyle method she has created called "Cycle Hacking". It is through this design that she customizes nutrition prescriptions for clients phase-by-phase of their cycle to optimize hormone balance and encourage healthy fertility.
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