Be Your Own Valentine this February

By : Kristina Maxwell, Doctor of Physiotherapy at Align

 In February, we have a tendency to focus on other people. If you have a Valentine, you may be stressing about what to do for them or what gift to give them. If you don't have a Valentine, you may feel depressed, lonely, or even cynical. Either way, you're letting another person dictate your value and self worth. This year, why not be your own Valentine? Self love is not selfish. On the contrary, it's very necessary for happiness and ultimately, good health.

 Here are a few ways to be good to yourself this Valentine's month:

•                     Get into a hobby that develops you as a person.

◦                     Did you know that playing an instrument increases cognitive development, improves coordination and fine motor skills, and can even raise IQ? Simiarily, dancing has been shown to increase feelings of well being by increasing the levels of serotonin in the body. Even knitting has been show to provide benefits similar to meditation.


•                     Date yourself.

◦                     There are so many activities that we feel we need to be in a pair or a group to do such as going to dinner or catching a movie. This February if you can't find someone to go with you to catch the latest box office hit, go alone! Doing more activities solo increases independence and peace of mind.


•                     Nap!

◦                     The majority of mammalian species (85% to be exact) sleep for short periods of time throughout the day. Yet adult humans, seem to think that we can be different and still achieve optimal health. I'm not advocating sleeping at work or anything but don't be afraid to take that nap on the weekend!


•                     Forgive yourself.

◦                     It is scientifically proven that holding on to painful memories and bitterness can result in long term health problems. Though most people seem to think forgiveness is an external act, people tend to forgive others much quicker than they forgive themselves. Forgiveness can lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, reduce chronic pain, and even decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.


•                     Take care of your body.

◦                     This one is the most obvious and probably the easiest to do, hence I've left it for last. Go get that pedicure, after all, your feet hold you up all day. Go get a massage, work out, or get a facial, the options are endless.


Eamon Wilson