Thursday, February 14, 2013
Posted by: Women's Healthcare Associates Staff
As soon as Christmas décor moved to the clearance aisles, stores everywhere began reminding us that this is the season for love. Cherubs and paper hearts hung from the ceilings, cards for sweethearts dominated the stationary racks, and half the magazines in the checkout line described the perfect date. Valentine’s Day can certainly be a time for romance, but with all the pressure on it, we can easily forget about an important person to love: ourselves.
Women, especially moms, tend to put everyone else first, but this isn’t always healthy. Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance,” and most psychologists agree that self-love is critical to your emotional wellbeing. We at Women’s Healthcare Associates know a healthy life amounts to more than just medical care. Whether or not you have a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, we invite you to follow a few steps to improving your relationship with yourself.
1. Make Some YOU Time
For some people, being alone is scary. As with any healthy relationship, you need quality time to enjoy your own company. Whether it’s an afternoon to see a matinee or 15 minutes added to an errand to stop, sit and enjoy a latte, take some time every week to enjoy your own company. This break from routine can relieve stress, an enormous benefit to your state of mind and your health. You’ll learn to value these personal dates, which leads to more highly valuing yourself.
2. Go Easy on Yourself
Self-improvement is a journey, not a destination. We forgive others’ weaknesses, but often don't give ourselves the same benefit of the doubt. During self-critical moments, stand in front of a mirror and remind yourself of your talents and strengths; if you have a day where you feel like a bad mom, remember how much you love your kids, and that no one is perfect. Life is stressful enough—you don’t need to add any more pressure to yourself. Strike a balance between understanding your need to improve and forgiving moments of failure.
3. Be Healthy, Not Hollywood
Despite being unrealistic--even for most celebrities--holding ourselves to supermodel body ideals can lead to disappointment and self-criticism. Rather than pursue a board-flat stomach and tiny thighs, aim for a healthy body. Adding exercise to your daily routine and eating a well-balanced diet lead to increased energy and a clearer mind—more valuable results than just weight loss. If a healthy body is your primary goal, you’re likelier to feel better, both physically and emotionally.
4. Take Care of Your Physical Self
We take care of the things we love--why should loving ourselves be any different? Seeing your healthcare provider every year isn’t just medically wise, it’s an easy, regular way to demonstrate you're in this relationship for the long haul. Annual preventive exams provide peace of mind and the opportunity to ask your provider any questions or concerns you have. Loving yourself is emotional and physical, and seeking regular medical care is an important part of that. When you are confident in your own health, you’re better able to care for those around you.
At Women’s Healthcare Associates, we want to help our patients live at their healthiest and fullest. Go here to read more about our providers and find one near you.