Well, we’re a week into March and I’m still trying to keep up what I started in February with the ‘Love Yourself’ challenge. It’s been harder than you’d think to be consistently kind to myself but I’m getting better at it and just by being more aware of how I think and how I treat myself has led to all sorts of surprises. It’s amazing what you notice about yourself when you take the time to slow down and question your thought patterns. I went through February with an open mind and a new attitude.

Here’s what I learnt (or remembered in some cases):

1. It’s good to treat yourself

It sounds silly but treating myself to a new cookbook did wonders for my motivation and positive mental attitude. I allowed myself time to read through it properly and get some new ideas for meals and it made preparing meals so much more interesting. It just goes to show that treating yourself to a present from time to time is a good thing.

2. Doing what I love gives me energy

Writing is as essential to my mental and physical well-being as exercise. Exercise keeps me sane and gives me a lift, but when I’m writing fiction I get a completely different type of buzz that is just as energising and uplifting. It’s time for me to stop feeling guilty if I miss a workout in favour of doing something creative. I need to find a healthy balance between exercise and writing and remember they are both equally important to my well-being.

3. I need to stop stressing and start doing

Stressing about when I’m going to fit my workout in each day and worrying about my health and about my body shape takes up a LOT of my time; time that would be better spent doing something that would actually benefit me: cooking, writing, going for a walk, sleeping… I’m working on this one!

4. Sleep is the thing

One way or another I need to get more sleep. It doesn’t matter how good my diet is or how much I exercise and take care of myself, if I don’t get enough sleep I feel terrible. There’s no immediate solution to my toddler waking up every night and disturbing my sleep, but I have taken steps towards going to bed in a calmer state of mind. I try to turn off my computer an hour before bed and look at my phone as little as possible, and I’ve been trying this 4,7,8 breathing technique which does seem to help.

5. Drinking a green smoothie every morning ROCKS!

This is something we discovered as a group in my ‘Love Yourself’ Facebook group. You may have read my blog a while back about my first green smoothie. Since then I’ve tried a lot of green smoothies – which have been much more successful – and I have gone through phases of making them regularly and then forgetting about them again. When I started the ‘Love Yourself’ club, I was in a ‘no-smoothie’ place but one of the girls in the group mentioned she was going to have one every day and we all decided to follow suit. I really think it is one of the best ways to start your day. After I’ve had my smoothie for breakfast I feel healthy, driven and (let’s be honest) a little bit smug! You have to try it.

So that’s a little summary of how things went for me in February. I’m definitely going to keep on with my own personal ‘Love Yourself’ challenge. There’s lots for me to work on and I’ll never be perfect but I’m learning to accept that….slowly!

How about you? How did your February pan out and what are your plans for March?