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Stop – in the naaaame of loooooove! Valentine’s Day has come and gone. This Hallmark holiday tends to be about making those you love feel special, when in reality, they should feel special and important all the time. You know who else deserves some love though? You do. I said it. You deserve some self-love!
Winter Vacation to Breckenridge
A couple of weeks ago, the hubby and I were away on our very first winter wonderland vacation, with two of our favorite couples. Typically, we go to warm places, aka… the beach! This time though, we stayed in a gorgeous condo in the town of Breckenridge, Colorado for our first visit to the Rockies. Get this: my forever Valentine that I absolutely love and adore had never been skiing before. Never, as in he hasn’t even been skiing at the semi-wussy ski resorts here in Ohio. You know what they say, go big, or go home! Right?! Naturally, us crazies thought, “Why not learn how to ski in the mountains, where it’s the most challenging?!”
First things first, let me tell you a little bit about Breck, short for Breckenridge. If you are thinking about vacationing in a Colorado ski resort town, I highly, HIGHLY recommend Breck. Breckenridge is the cutest little town I’ve ever seen, not even kidding. We are talking Stars Hollow kind of cute. Where are all of my Gilmore Girls fans at?
What is there to do in Breckenridge?
Breckenridge is a ski town that’s about an hour and a half southwest of Denver. Oh, you don’t like to ski? Breckenridge has plenty more to offer than just skiing. You can go snowshoeing, dog sledding, or snowmobiling to the continental divide. You’d rather stay out of the cold? That’s easy! There are a gazillion cute little cafes around town, including a cheese and chocolate tasting shop. Do you love trying new things? There is an absinthe bar in town, featuring the largest selection of absinthe in the United States. Are you crafty? There are plenty of painting and pottery classes. Are you a yogi? You’ll fit in here. Oh, I know… you love to shop! There is plenty of shopping around town. A couple of our favorite spots were the Beef Jerky Outlet, The Christmas Store, and a unique science and nature store called Nature’s Own.
Enough about Breckenridge
What does vacation have to do with self-love, you ask? Funny you should ask! Let me make the connection for you. On the first day of vacation, my friend Laura mentioned that she was going to yoga class later in the evening. She asked if any of us wanted to join her, and I took her up on the offer. Do you know what happened next? I became an entirely new woman during the course of that hour! Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize how relaxing yoga could be. I was more refreshed, relaxed, and stress free after our Apres Ski yoga class than I had been in a loonnnng time.
Fast forward a week. While sitting in the Denver airport, awaiting our plane back to Cleveland, I started researching yoga classes in Cleveland. To make a long story short, let’s just say Mondays are now one of my favorite days of the week. This is largely due to Studio Fit’s Vinyasa Flow class that I look forward to all day while I’m at work. In less than a month, I’m already feeling like a true yogi – I love yoga that much!
The Light Bulb Went On
Alright, alright – enough about vacay and enough about yoga. I’m here to tell you that I went on vacation, and discovered something about myself while I was there. I discovered that I don’t set aside enough me time – time to unwind, relax, and let go of stress. Naturally, once that light bulb went on for me, I immediately set out to do something about it. Not only am I now a yogi, but I am now more conscious of my stress level in general. Ever since getting back from vacation, I have been attempting to squeeze more self-love into my life.
Are You Getting Enough Self-Love?
Can you relate? Upon reading this post, are you realizing you are always on the go, constantly stressed, and rarely have time to relax? I know, I know – you are just too busy and don’t have the time for me-time. Do you know what though? If you don’t invest time into taking care of yourself, you are eventually going to crack. I’m here to keep that from happening! Waiting for life to settle down is not an option, because you guessed it, life will never slow down. Friends, TODAY is the day to start taking care of yourself.
Here We Go!
With that being said, let’s move onto the hot topic of self-love, the whole reason you are here! Below you will find 25 fantastic ideas for squeezing a little more me-time into your life.
When you set your alarm to wake up early:
- Drink hot tea or coffee out of your very favorite mug, in peace and quiet. Do absolutely nothing else until it is gone. No reheating allowed.
- Get a workout in, girlfriend. Find something that you enjoy doing, so that it doesn’t feel like a chore. I have found that I really enjoy dance fitness. At home, I pull up the Dance Fitness by Jessica YouTube channel and complete 6 or 7 songs for a full cardio workout.
- Wake up early enough to see the sunrise. Find somewhere close to home that has an amazing view! My favorite viewpoint is just 5 minutes down the road from our house – a “beach” right on Lake Erie!
- Grab your favorite blanket, and a great book, and find someplace quiet to curl up and read. When is the last time that you actually read for fun? It’s one of my favorite things in the whole world. However, I don’t normally make time for fun reading unless I’m on vacation. I’m definitely going to focus in on this one.
- Put in some time working on your passion. Your passion is the one thing that you would love to do but haven’t done, because you’re convinced it won’t work. It is what gets you so excited, that chasing after it scares you. There’s no better time than now. Work at it while your mind is fresh each morning.
When you have just a few extra minutes:
- Go for a stroll around the neighborhood. While you’re at it, take it all in. Focus on the little things along the way – flowers, scenery, animals, whatever makes you smile!
- Start a gratitude journal. Once a day, write down something you are thankful and grateful for. On an off day, you can read through your journal for a nice pick me up.
- Take a soak in the tub. Even if you only have 10 minutes, that’s 10 minutes that you can escape reality and relax inside the comfort of your own home. Take advantage of those spare minutes.
- Plan for your next vacation. One thing that the hubby and I don’t skimp on is vacations. We always have our next destination figured out before we get back from vacation. That way, we always have a vacation to look forward to. I spend little chunks of time here and there researching, reading reviews, and planning. It’s something that truly brings joy and excitement to my life.
- Take a stretch break. In the middle of the day, when you’ve been going nonstop at work or home, take a couple of minutes to get up and stretch your legs. Stretch your arms high above your head. Stretch your back and neck. Take a breather. I promise you will feel refreshed.
When you’re crunched for time and want to multitask:
- Listen to an audio book. This is a great way to make cleaning the house or your commute more enjoyable.
- Shop for fun. I always, always stop by the fun aisles in Costco, just to browse around. Who said grocery shopping can’t also be fun? P.S. You don’t even have to buy anything besides what you went to the store for in the first place. A lot of the time, I just like seeing the latest technology and getting new ideas for gift giving.
- Watch your favorite television show. I promise you’ll start looking forward to laundry more if you make a rule that you have to watch your favorite show while you’re folding. Who knows, you might just be able to stretch folding a load of laundry out to the length of your favorite show.
- Drink more water. Staying hydrated is vital to your health and energy. If plain water isn’t your thing, how about some delicious fruit infused water? If you have never tried it before, this is my go to fruit infuser. This isn’t something you have to set time aside for, so just go for it!
- Call your loved ones. Do you know how much I love talking to my mom? So often, I find myself calling mom, grandma, my sister, or my besties on the drive home from work. It’s such a great feeling to keep up with everyone and stay in touch from hours away.
When you’re done playing mom/wife/employee for the day:
- Open the doors and windows, and play some good beats. Simply sit there, listen to the music, and relax for a nice change of pace.
- Go outside and star-gaze. Post up in your favorite spot in the backyard and take in the gorgeous night sky.
- Unwind with a glass of red wine. Red wine is actually considered heart healthy because of the antioxidants it contains.
- Get your cooking on. I love cooking, and truly look forward to spending a half hour each night whipping up something delicious . Not to mention, thanks to Alexa, it’s like I have my own private dance party every time I cook dinner. Our Amazon Echo permanently has a place on the kitchen counter.
- Scoop yourself up a dish of gelato or ice cream. A little ice cream never hurt anyone. We all need a sweet fix every now and then.
Add the following activities to your calendar:
- Attend a girls’ night out. Sometimes all we need is a little pampering and girl time. Set a date and plan your own girls’ night out with your girlfriends. Or, find a girls’ night out event at a local salon or restaurant to add to your calendar.
- Go out on date night with your love. Sean and I have at least one date night per week. We normally go out, but even if our schedules don’t allow for a whole evening out, we bring home take out and spend time together at home.
- Spend time with your bestie. Kids are not an excuse to not see each other. Play dates can still give you quality time with your friends – be sure to choose an activity that will allow you two to chat and catch up. A trip to the zoo, the park, or the mall are all great options.
- Find and join a book club. Most decent sized metros have local book clubs. There are also plenty of book clubs you can join online! Book clubs are a way for you to find out about some great, fun reads. They also can help you find your tribe of like-minded girlfriends!
- Find something fun and local to get into. Is your employer currently offering discounted tickets to a local sporting event? Maybe you should take advantage of it for a fun night out. Or maybe, your favorite band is coming to town soon. The hubby and I really enjoy going to “hoppy hour” at the Cleveland Botanical Garden with friends during the fall. Local farmers markets, concerts, museums, and special dining events make for fun nights out too. I’m sure there are plenty of exciting things to see and do around your hometown. Have fun exploring!
That’s a Wrap
Alright friends, there you have it: 25 self-love ideas to help you get started on your way toward a less stressful lifestyle. I know this is only a starter list. Therefore, I would love to hear some of your awesome ideas! What are some things that you do to live a healthier, happier, less stressful life? I look forward to seeing your comments below!