Vitamin Expert
Woman holding a red heart

Prioritise self-love this Valentine’s month

It’s Valentine’s Day this month. And whilst it’s generally focused on couples, self-care and self-love is as important if not more so.  We all need to look after ourselves, especially during the winter months when nasty bugs and infections are rampant.  Moreover, our mental wellbeing is paramount.  So why not make this Valentine’s Day all about you, whatever your relationship situation?

Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares her top five self-care tips this Valentine’s month.

There is a phrase which says ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup’. In essence, taking care of yourself means you will be in the best position to give your time and energy to others. Here are five easy ways in which you can support your self-care.

Step out in nature

Since humans evolved to be out in nature, it makes sense that the human psyche loves being in nature too. With more and more people struggling with their mental wellbeing, why not keep it simple and step outside into nature?  Research tells us that’s where we’re happiest.

Woman walking in a forest

For those living in tightly packed cities, this isn’t always easy.  However, even larger towns and cities generally have some open, green spaces.  And that’s all it needs.  Obviously, if you can get a little further afield or are lucky enough to live nearer the countryside, that’s even better.  You’ll be amazed just how much difference spending 30 minutes daily in the open air can make to how positive you feel.

Be mindful or present

Being mindful is actually about being in the moment, in essence being present.  Our minds are constantly so busy and challenged that we never seem to have the time or space in our heads to ‘just be’.

Middle aged woman enjoying the outdoors sitting in a park


Take 10 minutes each day to try and clear your mind of everything apart from what’s around.  For example, even if you’re in a queue waiting for something, driving the car, sitting on a train, most of us are looking at our phone or planning the next part of our day.  Try to clear those thoughts and just be ultra-aware of what’s around you.  Take notice of the trees, the houses, the people nearby, in much more detail than you would normally do. This has the effect of helping to clear your mind of busy thoughts.  Give your mind a little break every day of the week.

Feed the mind

It goes without saying that the brain needs fuel.  However, the brain is quite specific about the fuel it needs in order to work at its best.  And when the brain is working well, it means you will be feeling relaxed and have a balanced mood. Just like a car, the type of fuel the brain is given, is super-important.

A selection of foods containing Omega-3 fats

The brain is loaded with fat, much of which are the essential omega-3 fatty acids.  These fats play many key roles in the body but are of major importance in the brain.  Oily fish including salmon, mackerel and sardines are the main providers of these fats, with flaxseeds and chia seeds offering vegan sources.  Try to eat omega-3s in some form every day or be sure to take a supplement.  When thinking about self-care, you need to love and cherish your brain – one of your most important body organs.

Strengthen your body

Just as your mind needs love, your skeletal frame needs to be protected too. It supports you for thousands of miles every year, so it certainly responds to good care.  Your whole body needs to be fed with sufficient protein.  Your muscles, bones and entire skeleton are built from protein.

A range of protein sources

Therefore, do make sure your diet contains protein-rich foods such as beans, fish, meat, poultry, soy produce, nuts, eggs and dairy foods. Try to include some at every meal.

Keep moving

Taking exercise is really important too.  The heart needs cardiovascular exercise, but the skeletal frame needs strength work to stay strong: lifting some weights, doing body weight exercises, or using resistance bands are all good options.

Close up of woman using hand weights

Do what works for you but try to include some in your exercise routine twice a week. If you don’t currently exercise,  find a way of being active a few times each week.  It’s one of the most important aspects of looking after yourself and protecting your health, both now and for the future too.

Take some steps towards even better self-care this February which will hopefully improve your quality and enjoyment of life in the longterm.





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