It’s Valentine’s Day today and, ho-hum, I can’t say I’m a fan. I’m deeply sceptical about the slew of cringey, over-priced “romantic” gifts that have been pushed at us over the past few weeks in the name of love. But, since we’re on the subject, I’d like to flip it around to self-love.
These days, we’re hearing more and more talk around self-love. For most women, however, it remains just that: talk. While we’re hardwired to lavish love and care on our family, turning some of that love and care on ourselves can feel impossibly counterintuitive.
To give you a bit of real-life inspiration, here’s how one midlife woman overcame her resistance to prioritising her self-care. That allowed her to kick off 2024 feeling calm, energized and proud of herself.
Simple ways to boost your self-care
In previous years, I’ve always looked for that hardcore plan for January which predictably lasted the month (if I was lucky), and ultimately left me feel deprived and depressed.
The beginning of this year was vastly different. Rather than being overwhelmed again by the usual “New Year, New You” pressure, my goal was to have a comforting, nurturing January that set the foundations for the year to come.
Having joined Freshly Minted in April last year, I now have so many tools and techniques at my fingertips that I never had before. Led by Suzy, and with the support of the women in the group, I’ve completely changed my approach.
Here are the key foundations that I’ve lived by in January (and am continuing to hold close):
Six ways to start the year off well
Here’s what I’ve done that’s been different from previous years.
I’ve built a calming bedtime routine (yes, they aren’t just for the under 10s) to improve my sleep.
I write three to four things that I’m grateful for in my journal every night before bed.
I walk every day – even if it’s for ten minutes – and I notice and appreciate it (the sunshine, the thick mud, the trees, the fresh air, the frost, someone’s cosy house).
I chose a few really comforting dinners to make and I made sure we had a family meal each week.
I cut right down on sugar – and focused on eating lovely, colourful, fresh foods.
I created a plan to build from zero to a proper strength training routine – and gave myself a year to do it (not a month).
If you had told me a year ago that being healthy would include lighting candles in the bathroom, using an aromatherapy diffuser to help me to feel calm, putting on chill music while I clean my teeth, giving myself a mini face massage while I take my make-up off, I would have said…no way! Back then, my concept of being healthy was purely centred on cutting calories, exercising and drinking plenty of water. That was about the sum of it.
Being part of the Freshly Minted community has turned all of that around. I’m continually making progress towards my health goals – but in a kindly, compassionate way. And it’s alongside a group of women who support me, laugh with me and constantly provide me with inspiration. With this approach (which I’m sticking with), I feel like I’ve started the year feeling energised, calm and positive about myself.
It’s been such a revelation to experience the difference from previous years. I feel like I’ve embraced January’s grey clouds, and found their silver lining.
A simple, gentle recipe for nurturing yourself
So there you have Katy’s own personalised self-love recipe for nurturing herself. It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch her create (and stick to) these habits, which she has developed over time, buoyed and encouraged by the support of the Freshly Minted community.
You can listen to me chatting to Katy and sharing more practical inspiration on my Midlife Illuminated podcast. I hope our conversation reassures you that getting yourself healthy shouldn’t be punishing – leading with self-love is a far nicer and far more effective route to get there.
That’s why I created my Freshly Minted membership: to support, guide and champion women to adopt the small lifestyle changes that add up to a huge transformation in their wellbeing. Group coaching is, by far, the most joyful, powerful way to help us to feel vibrantly healthy – and start to thrive.
When we come together with others, we make remarkable progress that we would never have made on our own. That’s the power of community: find your tribe and you’ll find your wellbeing. Have a read of my blog about the remarkable benefits of changing habits as a team.
If you’re ready to finally feel good about yourself, you can find all the details on Freshly Minted here.