Self-care can serve as a way to remain positive while out there in the jungle of dating. We all know how it can be. It may seem like the same old thing.

Self-care is taking care of your mind, body and soul.

But, if you hang in there you have a good chance of finding the love of your life. You may also make some good friends along the way. So, enjoy the ride.

Self-care has become the new buzz word over the past decade. But, what exactly does it mean? Does it mean getting a massage, mani/pedi or facial? Those are all great things and I encourage you to do them.

But, self-care is taking care of your mind, body and soul on a daily basis. I know what you are thinking. I don’t have that kind of time. It can start with as little as 10 minutes a day.

You can set you alarm clock 10 minutes early, if you’d like to allow some extra time for yourself. This may be a time that everyone is still asleep. (All the better.) You can practice self-care in peace and quiet.

Here are 7 self-care tips to help you remain positive while dating:

  1. Live your life in balance. It’s true when you are taking better care of yourself, it’s easier to set boundaries. Maybe, a mistake you made in past relationships was saying yes when you meant no. This is much less likely to happen when you feel you have balance in your life. This also means you are feeling more confident about yourself.
  2. Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. This means stay away from processed foods. It’s easy to pick up something on the go, but you aren’t getting the nutrients you need. Make sure you are eating lean protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables and healthy carbohydrates. You also want to make sure you have some healthy fats. This is how you feel full. It will also help reduce cravings for foods high in sugar. Make sure you are hydrated. This is another way to prevent cravings. Carry your water bottle with you, and keep it filled with water. You also need to set aside time for meal prep. This means chopping up fresh vegetables and preparing lean protein early in the week. Then, it is easily available for meals.
  3. Get moving. This means you need to schedule time for exercise. You can go to your favorite cardio class at the gym, go for a swim or simply go for a walk. The more the better. Get your heart rate up. This is good for your physical and mental health. Go to a yoga or pilates class. If you can’t make it to the gym, then watch a video. It doesn’t have to be long. Start with 10 minutes. You will notice a difference almost immediately. You may feel like you don’t have the time, but you do. It will eventually become a habit. Exercising regularly will also help with sleep.
  4. Get adequate sleep and rest. The recommendation is 7 to 9 hours. It’s true you can get too much sleep. Make sure the environment you sleep in is dark and quiet. You don’t want to have electronic devices nearby. They will keep you awake. Make sure they are shut down an hour before bed. I went on a walk with a friend the other day, and she asked me if I got enough sleep. I told her that I did, and she was surprised. She told me that she didn’t and that none of her friends or family did either. I was surprised. Sleep is essential. Our minds and body need it to recharge. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, then you need to start your self-care plan today. Make sleep a priority. Your mind and body will thank you.
  5. Smile and have laughter in your life. Laughing is the best medicine. You can watch a comedy or funny video. Be spontaneous and playful in your life. If you watch children, they are always making time for play. It is a priority in their life, and play should also be a priority in your life. When was the last time you looked at your life through a child’s eyes? It’s easy to predict that something won’t be fun, or that you won’t like someone. This is often based on negative experiences from the past. Studies show when you play more, you will have a more optimistic mindset.
  6. Practice mindfulness. Keep in mind that mindfulness is an art. It something that you practice daily. In the beginning you may feel like you don’t want to. It’s like training for a sport or going to the gym. You may not always like to go, but you are glad that you did. If you are doing strength training. It will take more than one time to get the result that you want. That is how mindfulness works. Start with 10 minutes of deep breathing and work your way up to 30 minutes. If it is difficult on your own try an app. There are many that can help you out. You can also join a class. Mindfulness is about connecting. We are connected and always connecting.
  7. Avoid being self-critical. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to see that there are always choices. This will prevent you from feeling trapped and help you to feel optimistic about the future. Use positive self talk. This will help you feel better about yourself and your choices. This will also start to rewire the brain. This is something you will need to practice daily. Remember, the brain is a muscle and it needs to be conditioned.

Dating can be fun, if you go in with a healthy mindset. You want to find someone that you can have fun with and feel a connection with. It’s important to listen to your inner voice while dating.

When you practice self-care you will feel better about yourself. This will help you trust your gut and make choices that you feel good about. So, get out there and enjoy the process.

If you liked this article, there are more in Dating 101. It is filled with free tips that can help create the intimacy in your life that you want and deserve.

Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping people in San Mateo, CA who are looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.

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