Are you among the 38% who made New Year's Resolutions to take better care of their bodies? If so, you're not alone. But while almost 50% of us make resolutions in January, 25% of all Resolvers don't make it past Week One (per Betterment.com).
Why is it so easy to take care of our boyfriends, galpals and loved ones but so hard to take care of ourselves? Perhaps because few of us actually treat ourselves like our own best friends -- which we are!
Think about it: No one else in the whole world is with you 24/7... no one else has been with you constantly since the day you were born (not even your mom)... and no one else knows exactly what you like or don't like the way you do.
So why not make your Self -- that unique blend of body, mind, emotions and spirit -- your BFF (best friend forever)? This doesn't need to take a lot of time, effort or money. You might wind up looking and feeling better -- and also having fun! And when you're feeling good, you also appreciate your relationships with everyone else.
As a Life Balance Coach, I've learned to treat my Self like a VIP in my own life. Being my own BFF gives me more energy, patience and freedom. It helps me say "yes" to opportunities and people that are good for me and "no" to energy-drains.
Make time for your Self at least once a week. As with other long-term relationships, the more hours you spend with your loved one (in this case, your Self), the better you'll get to know him/her and the more s/he will enjoy hanging out with you.
Let's start with your Body. As motivational speaker/author Jim Rohn advises: "Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." (In future articles I'll cover ways to befriend your Mind, Emotions and Spirit.)
Here's six sure-fire ways to befriend your Body. Experiment to see works best for both of you. Then do those things until they become habits you can't live without:
1) Move It: Our bodies are designed for movement but we spend more hours glued to electronic screens than we do walking, running, exercising or dancing. It's a medical fact that if we don't "use it" we'll "lose it." So get physical: take a walk, stretch or do yoga, dance, climb or swim. Then reap the benefits of increased energy and health.
2) Feed It: We need fuel to live our lives and move our bodies.nFoods that taste good also fuel your soul. Some that do both include dark chocolate, frozen banana "pudding" (my new favorite), homemade veggie or chicken soups. Experiment to find the balance between the nutrition you need and the tastes you crave.
3) Recharge It: Rest and relaxation recharge our bodies but many people are sleep-deprived. To sleep more soundly, turn off your "screens" an hour before bed and make your bedroom a sanctuary. If ambient light keeps you awake, get a cute sleep mask.
4) Make It Look Good: It's amazing what a great hair cut, mani-pedi, new bag or jeans can do for morale. Whiten your teeth or soften your skin with aromatic lotions, then notice how good you look (and ignore "flaws" you can't fix that are seen only by your eyes).
5) Make It Feel Good on the Outside: Don't you feel terrific when you get a massage or wear cashmere? Silky sheets can also make you feel special all night long. And of course there's always S.E.X. to get your skin tingling -- an embrace, a kiss, or an all-night marathon.
6) Make It Feel Good on the Inside: Whatever feels good inside your Body -- deep breathing, feeling your life force flow while exercising or meditating, and of course intimacy (S.E.X. again) -- also makes you feel more alive. And whenever something good occurs in your life, let your Body feel it down into your bones.
If you try these suggestions, your Body can't help but become your Best Friend Forever.
As naturalist John Muir said, "The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.” Let your Body sing a happy duet with You!