Dear Barrecore fam!
Yep, February 14th is coming up again and yep, that means Valentine’s Day. But what does that really mean? If you’re thinking chocolate, cupids, and cuddles, you’re not wrong. But how about we switch up the focus for Valentine’s Day this year: as well as celebrating love for other people, how about we show ourselves some good ol’ lockdown lovin’?
If you’re thinking self-affirmations in the mirror each morning, that’s one way. But there are also some really meaningful ways to get some more self-love in your life which allow you to rest, reconnect and recharge. At the end of the day, we can love other people more wholly when our own batteries are full!
Here are my favourite mental and physical ways to show a little self-love in the realms of Rest, Reconnecting & Recharging.
Getting enough rest in our lives is one of the most effective ways to ensure we’re operating at our best, but so often it’s low down on the priority list. Who has time for 8 hours sleep or to sit quietly at the end of class to do nothing for 5 minutes? Truth is, we all do.
Truth also is, you’ll perform much better in class if you have had sufficient sleep, and if you can switch your body from performance mode to rest mode effectively. That means holding yourself to high standards when working out but also resting: no skipping the end-of-class Barrecore savasana or rest day!
One more thing: do one thing at a time. Focus your undivided attention to one activity at a time – trust me, you’ll feel generally more rested during your day. Think less Netflix & scrolling, more Netflix and less scrolling. Or even better, less Netflix & scrolling, more BarreBreathe classes!
We’re living through long, cold and snowy lockdowns which means we might be feeling more isolated and disconnected than normal – from our friends, our community and the outside world. Remember almost a year ago when we were using Houseparty to stay connected to friends and lockdown was still a novelty?
Well, if you’re anything like me, I’ve spent most of this winter lockdown like a bear in hibernation. Don’t get me wrong – hibernation is great for the first R; I’m better rested physically in my bear cave, and I’m mentally rested from being on my phone less and having restorative time to focus on myself. That being said, I have felt disconnected.
To change that, I had a 2-hour catch up with an old friend – laughing away reminiscing on old memories, trying (and failing!) to solve each other’s problems, and hearing about each other’s silly lockdown quirks. I felt so energised, lighter and happy after - the smart people would say from a flood of endorphins and oxytocin – that it’s become a weekly self-love (and friend-love!) ritual.
Reconnecting doesn’t always have to be external, though. Reconnecting to your body can be one of the most powerful tools – to be able to listen to its signals means you can understand how to nourish your body more effectively, whether with exercise, nutrition or rest. I do a daily body-scan meditation like this one by Headspace;
Just 10 minutes out of your day can go a long way!
Once we’ve rested and reconnected, we can shift our focus to recharging. I find the best way to recharge physically and mentally is to reconnect to the little child inside. The little child that used to jump in puddles, sing badly in the car, be excited by trains, and who couldn’t wait to brush her teeth with the Punch & Judy Tutti-Frutti toothpaste.
Doing something that is enjoyable and playful brings back that spark and makes you feel a little more alive. This could mean watching a comedy, you know, the tears-down-the-cheeks-cackling-so-much-you-spit-out-your-popcorn kind, or maybe trying out that dance class you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t found time to.
No better place to make a fool of yourself than in the comfort of your own living room. Borrowed from from ‘Sunscreen’ – well worth a listen;
Hey, maybe you’ll even make your housemates spit out their own popcorn. Whatever you choose to do – just make sure you have a ball doing it.
Show a little love to yourself this Valentine’s Day – or at least, have an online boogie and/or cackle with an old friend.
I’m off to buy that toothpaste. Until next time!
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