Take the 3-week Beautify.com VALENTINE’S DAY Self-Love Challenge
WEEK 1 – DIGITAL DETOX TURN devices OFF!
As we approach Valentine Day let’s make this the time we focus on “Self- Love”! Why? Due to the added stressors of the pandemic many individuals are suffering with depression and or anxiety. With two years of worry about the virus, illness and deaths, limited social interactions with family and friends, financial fears and a host of other concerns, it’s time to take care of ourselves.
This Valentine Day’s let’s celebrate and start our journey of “Self -Love” with Beautify.com’s 3-week challenge. Week one of the 3-week challenge is Digital Detox. Let’s look at what self-love means.
WHAT DOES SELF-LOVE MEAN?
The definition of self-love may be evident by its name but what exactly does it encompass? Self-love means something different for each person because we all are distinct and have different ways and views of taking care of ourselves. Figuring out what self-love looks like for you as an individual is an important part of your overall health and well-begin.
Overall in psychological terms self-love is defined by four aspects, “self-awareness, self-worth, self-esteem and self-care.” Furthermore, self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.i
WEEK 1: DIGITAL DETOX
For this Valentine’s Day challenge, we will focus the self-care aspect of self-love. We have all hear the statement that you have to care for yourself before you can care for others. Being plugged in is a normal way of life, via smart phones, social media, streaming services, and a variety of digital devices and services.
It is estimated that Americans spend an average of seven-and-a-half hours a day on digital devices! Researchers have found that being “plugged” in 24 hours a day is a significant contributing factor to stressors in our life.
If you answered, yes it is probably time for a digital detox. Clinical research has proven that a digital detox results in many benefits, including improvement in sleep and your mood. It also helps your personal relationship with your spouse, children and friends. Most importantly it gives you time to spend with yourself in quite reflection and self-care activities.
Self-love begins with investing time and care in yourself. Take the Week 1: Digital Detox challenge and let us know how are you doing and feeling.
Beautify.com’s 3-Week Self-Love Challenge includes the following:
- Digital Detox: Turn it off
- Focus on sleep: sleep in and relax
- Practice meditation
WEEK 2 – The Importance Of Sleep
Does your self-love routine include sleep? Most of you probably answered, NO. Most of us wish we were able to get more sleep or better-quality sleep. Yet, it remains elusive. According to a 2020 sleep survey of adults, “Almost half of all Americans say they feel sleepy during the day between three and seven days per week. Further study shows that ethnicity is a factor as, when compared to whites, black adults are almost Sleep and its Relationship to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease” twice as likely to describe sleeping too little.
As the graph below illustrates, after adjusting for age, insufficient sleep by race and ethnicity shows clear differences with 46.3% of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, 45.8% of Black people, 40.4% of American Indians/Alaska Natives, 37.5% of Asians, 34.5% of Hispanics, and 33.4% of Whites reporting getting less than seven hours of sleep.
The reasons are varied for the lack of sleep but some of the major reasons include work schedules, working multiple jobs, being a single parent, juggling work with school, or care taking of someone. Whatever, the reasons it is time to change your habit and get your much needed ZZZZZ’s.
How Much Sleep Is Needed & Why?
The next question many individuals ask is how much sleep is needed? You often hear people bragging about how they can “get by on 4 hours of sleep or less.” They maintain that they are alert, mentally sound, and aren’t tired during the middle of the day. They are wrong!
As a rule, it is recommended that most adults need 7 or more hours of good-quality sleep on a regular schedule each nightii.
You can’t and shouldn’t minimize the important of sleep for a healthy body and mind. Research has proven that adults who practice good sleep hygiene:
- Reduce their risk for serious health conditions, such as, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, and premature death
- Reduce their frequency of getting sick by boosting your immune system
- Reduce their stress
- Improve their mood
- Improve their ability to think and their mental function
- Improve their memory
- Improve their ability to stay at a healthy weight
Do The 2nd Week “Self-Love Sleep Challenge!”
To get sleep and reap the benefits, a sleep routine must be adhered to. Some good sleep hygiene practices include:
- Setting a realistic time to go to bed and stick to it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can catch up on your sleep on the weekends!
- Maintain a comfortable room temperature.
- Turn off the lights. Light disrupts sleep. If you must have lights on, set them to the lowest light levels in your bedroom. If you have issues with streetlights or other outdoor lighting, consider investing in blackout curtains.
- Have a comfortable sleep environment with excellent quality mattress, sheets, and pillows.
- Stop coffee, alcohol, and heavy meals in the hours leading to your bedtime.
- Exercising during the day is preferred.
- The last and one of the most difficult habits to establish is banning “screens” in the bedroom. Yes, this means cell phones, computers and even television. Sleep is essential and is vitally important to our health as eating, drinking, and breathing.
If you want to see the results of your behavior changes, consider purchasing a sleep tracker. Impressive sleep results posted by Kim Kardashian to her Instagram Stories made big news back in August 2021. Kim K. uses the Oura Ring, and she posted some impressive sleep results to her Instagram Stories. Gwyneth Paltrow took that as a challenge to best her at her sleep game. Both ladies were getting over 7 hours of sleep. This #ouraring challenge brought the importance of sleep health back into focus. Begin the Self-Love Sleep Challenge today…take care of yourself and get a good night sleep!
WEEK 3 – Is Meditation Right For You?
What You Need to Know to Incorporate Meditation into Your Life
Everyone has heard about the benefits of meditation. There are many forms of meditation that range from a couple of minutes of breathing and reciting positive affirmations to longer meditation sessions that involve years of practice. In Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2010 blockbuster book and movie “Eat, Pray, Love”, Actress Julia Roberts, portraying Elizabeth Gilbert’s personal journey, captivated audiences with embracing Hindu meditation (Dhyāna) as a form of praying for calm and inner peace.
But can you really achieve better emotional and physical health with meditation? This is such a sincere concern for scientists, physicians, and the public that the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) formed a branch of medicine called, The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). This Center’s goal is to provide peer reviewed research and findings on complementary health approaches, including, meditation, acupuncture, supplements, herbs, relaxation, and a variety of other complementary practices.
Based on numerous clinical studies, the NCCIH conclusion is summarized as follows, “some research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia. Evidence about its effectiveness for pain and as a smoking-cessation treatment is uncertain.”iii
What Are The Four Elements Needed For Meditation?
Aside from the clinical findings, there are millions of people that practice meditation and attest to its life-affirming qualities. There are many types and ways to practice meditation, but most have the following four critical elements:
- A quiet location that has minimal distractions.
- Comfortable position or posture.
- Focusing your attention on breathing or an object.
- An open mind that freely lets thoughts (negative and positive) flow.
With the practice of meditation, individuals are present and “in the moment” and they report calm, peace, and relaxation. The benefits of reducing stress with mindful mediation can help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, depression and other illnesses that may be exacerbated by stress.
Take the Week 3 Self Love Challenge: Reduce the stress and distractions in your life by taking a few minutes each day to slow down to breathe and meditate. What do you have to lose?
ii Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep 2015;38(6):843–844.