Just because everyone else is swooning over each other under the moonlit night or cuddling like lovebirds in every movie theater in town doesn’t mean you can neglect the most important person in your life—yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re happily single or blissfully in a relationship—you need to love your own body before anything or anyone else.

Imagine the stress you put your body through every single day. Isn’t it time to give it a well-deserved and pampered break on this very special day?

1.Commit to a proper and regular exercise routine.

Everyone knows that engaging in a regular workout sesh is good for the body. Whatever your chosen physical activity may be—whether it’s smashing your way through the tennis courts or exhaling your stress away with Vinyasa yoga flows—exercise boosts your bodily functions and keeps the good vibes coming. Don’t you want to give off some loving energy as well? Go ahead; give those exercise endorphins a warm welcome this month.

2. Eat healthy food.

It may be tempting to go on a binge-eating spree on heart-shaped chocolates or to stuff yourself with romantically pink cupcakes this season of hearts, but as usual, you are what you eat, and what you need to be is healthy. The best way to ensure your body stays in tip-top shape is to be gentle with what you feed it. Resist the urge to upsize your sodas and fries, and lay off on all the sisig and beer. Say no to junk food and cut back on the dessert buffets. Instead, why not replace too-sweet treats with some healthy fruit slices? And to make everything more festive in keeping up with the theme for this Valentine’s Day, dip those fruit slices in delicious dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is actually good for your heart, so it’s literally taking care of your heart this month of love. Fondues are simply the best, aren’t they?

3. Look at yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning and affirm your beauty.

No, we’re not just talking about your physical appearance. Sure, there’s nothing wrong about celebrating what other people find attractive in you, like perhaps your glorious long hair, your deep and soulful eyes, and your smile that’s as bright as the sun. But when you look at yourself in the mirror, strive to not only compliment your good looks but also your inner beauty. What do your friends say about you? Are you funny, confident, smart, trustworthy, or dependable? Are you always available for a quick rant or a shoulder to cry on? Are you the go-to guy for all things techie? Do you know exactly what to say and exactly what to do when someone needs a good laugh or a comforting hug? Find out why your family, friends, and significant other love you so very much, and use those same reasons to love your own self.

4. Soak in all the nature and head outdoors.

Instead of keeping yourself cooped up in your house in front of the computer or being a couch potato all day, why not go out for a change? And no, going out doesn’t mean lining up for movie tickets or vying for a good table in a fancy restaurant. Going out, really going out, means looking for some nature. Take a walk in your local park, take out your old bike that’s rusting in your garage and go for a spin, or jog around your old campus for some much needed sunlight and fresh air. If running is not your thing, you can settle down on a park bench with your favorite book (and secretly watch cute guys or gals passing by). You can even invite your pals or your nieces and nephews and go on a picnic. Make a day of it—pack some lunches and set up some outdoor activities that the whole family will enjoy. Nothing says “love me” better than some peaceful “me time” with the cool and soft breeze caressing your face.

5.Be charitable and give, give, give.

Here’s a little secret to loving your body and yourself, no matter what time of the year it is—random acts of kindness. Giving to charity feeds the mind and the soul, and if your spirit is at peace, then you can be sure your body is, too. Go ahead and sign up for some charitable events in your area, or donate to a worthy cause. You can go on a mission brigade at your local church, or volunteer to spend some quality time with special children in your alma mater’s organization. Using that money for someone else is better than splurging on a designer bag for yourself or pampering yourself with an overpriced spa massage, isn’t it? Trust us—there’s no greater feeling that will surround your heart and body than serving other people without expecting anything in return.

6.Get some good night’s sleep every night.

With all the scheduled appointments that come with the season (you may be booking dates with your family, friends, and coworkers left and right), it’s a well-known fact that sleep is the last thing on our ever-growing to-do list. Some of us may not even have had the chance to recover from the hectic holidays. Still, make it a point to get six to eight hours of sleep every day. No, you are not a genetically enhanced superhuman. You need all the rest you can get, and sleep is your body’s opportunity to recharge and get you pumped for a brand new day ahead. That’s what nighttime is for, ladies and gentlemen—it is not for stalking your ex on Facebook or chatting with your BFF until the sun goes up. For goodness’ sake, hit the sack. Fluff up those pillows, and if you need more motivation to get some proper shut-eye, invest in a good mattress and some quality sheets. Doing so may make you never want to leave your bed again ever. Dream away!

*Images: Push Ups, Yorkshire, Bed, Mirror from Pixabay.com. Used under Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

Written by Cathy Dellosa-Lo, as originally posted , Ways to Love Yourself and Your Body This Valentine’s , on the Philippines Online Chronicles

About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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