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5 Self-Love Activities to Nurture Our Minds, Bodies, and Spirits

5 Self-Love Activities to Nurture Our Minds, Bodies, and Spirits


Written by Linda Harvey 

 February is all about celebrating love and showing how much we care about others in our lives. But what if we appreciated ourselves more and remembered that self-care is self-love? This month is the perfect time to incorporate new routines that give YOU more love, which can boost your overall happiness and health. 

Support your mind, body, and spirit with these self-love activities that many Together We Bake Team Members, Alumni, and Staff find helpful during TWB’s program and in their daily lives:


 1. Move Your Body

Moving your body is a great way to release endorphins — or happy hormones. You’ll reduce stress levels, improve your mood, and energize your sense of well-being. Whether it’s morning stretches in your bedroom, a quick walk around the block, dancing to your favorite song in the kitchen, or a cardio-blasting workout at the gym, movement can rejuvenate both your mind and body.

Yoga is a form of movement that truly nurtures self-love since it is based on the principles of self-compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. Volunteer instructors lead TWB Team Members through one or two yoga classes each session, sometimes with a special theme like the Galentine’s Day affirmations class during the Winter 2023 program. Learning yoga poses, along with breathing and mindfulness exercises, helps Team Members feel more grounded and balanced. This time on the mat benefits both body and spirit — to “stay calm in your heart” and hold onto that feeling throughout the day.

  A mindfulness handout used in a TWB yoga class (top right) and TWB's Winter 2023 program's Galentine's Day yoga class. Team Members used the words on the heart cutouts to guide their "I am ___" affirmations throughout the session.


2. Embrace Your Creative Side

Tapping into your creative side is a self-love opportunity to soothe your soul and express yourself. Being creative is boundless and encompasses a wide range of activities, such as crafting, painting, music, cooking, writing, journaling, gardening, knitting, pottery, woodworking, and so much more! Here’s your chance to get into a “state of flow” — where you’re so absorbed with a task or activity that you’re completely unaware of time passing. It can have a calming effect on both the mind and body.

A creative endeavor can be a fun and relaxing way to reduce stress, process your feelings, and bring joy into your day. Here at TWB, we often incorporate art therapy workshops into our programming. During one of our Alumni summer camp sessions, Alumni attended a “paint and pass” workshop where each person started a painting and then passed it onto their neighbor to add their own touch, and so on. Team Members have made vision boards from magazine pictures and have learned jewelry making from a TWB Alumni. These workshops are all filled with smiles, sisterhood, and a heart-healthy dose of creative expression!


3. Take to Heart Affirmations and Inspirational Quotes

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line” is a quote from Lucille Ball, an actress best known for madcap comedy and who also understood the importance of self-love. A simple but impactful way to foster this love is by saying daily affirmations — essentially positive messages to yourself that provide encouragement, motivation, and gratitude. Saying these regularly can help limit negative thoughts and shift your outlook to be more hopeful and optimistic.  

TWB Team Members practice saying affirmations, such as “I am loved, I am resilient, I am worthy of ____,” etc. They also look through a book of inspirational quotes written or selected by Alumni to find ones that resonate with their own journey. These encouraging quotes from Alumni who have faced obstacles themselves truly speak to Team Members as they go through the program and begin to move forward with their own lives. 

“The COURAGE to leave behind what’s not for you anymore is the same COURAGE that will help you find your way to what is!” — Jamie, TWB Alumna 

TWB Alumna Jamie's addition to TWB's book of empowerment quotes, a place where Team Members and Alumni can share their own or others' words of wisdom. 


4. Be Captivated by Nature 

Getting outside in nature can brighten your mood and help you feel restored, especially if you’ve been indoors all day and on the computer. Soaking up some Vitamin D on an easy walk at lunch, sitting on a park bench near the river, or heading off on a hike for the day all have the same benefits — they reduce stress, lower your heart rate, improve sleep, and help you unwind from modern life. Time with Mother Nature is a self-love hug we all need!

Old Town Alexandria, headquarters for TWB, is the perfect community to spend time outside, walking down streets lined with historic houses and cobblestones. Both Staff and Alumni look forward to these outings together, returning refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day. Researcher David Thayer couldn’t agree more; he’s found that going on walks is “when we see bursts in creativity, problem-solving, and feelings of well-being.” 

 TWB's Summer 2023 class enjoying a walk together in Old Town Alexandria.


5. Indulge in a Podcast, Show, or Book  

Sometimes self-love is all about treating yourself. It’s okay to lose yourself to a good story that takes you to another world or opens your eyes (or ears) to new ideas and experiences. Whether you’re reading a book from your favorite author, listening to a podcast on the latest murder whodunit, or watching a feel-good show that makes you laugh, you’re nourishing your inner self. Finding balance, however, is important when you tune out the world and indulge — it’s just like not overdoing chocolate sweets!

If a podcast, show, or book brings you happiness and helps you decompress after a busy day, then enjoy that time. Being swept away by the intricacies of a story also can help with your imagination, encourage empathy for others, and create a deeper understanding of the world. TWB Staff and Alumni are no strangers to indulging in their favorites, which include a love of fantasy books and impromptu discussions by Grace (Development and Communications Associate), Lucy (Director of Development), and Lisbeth (Program Manager). Watching The Walking Dead television series is a retreat from the real world to a zombie post-apocalypse world for Hanna (Alumni Engagement/Workforce Development Specialist). The Twilight movies have captivated Lucy again. Don’t feel guilty rewatching past shows or movies, rereading books, or revisiting old music – it’s comforting and rewarding. That’s what self-love should be all about!
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