When most people think of February, they think of pink hearts, chocolate and Valentine's Day, but February is also American Heart Month. It's sobering to realize that heart disease, also called the "silent killer," since it is generally symptomless, is the #1 killer of American women. I also think about the words used to express some of the lowest moments in life and these come to mind: heartache, heartsick, heartbreak. Of course, these are theoretical descriptors of what happens when you've lost your love, but it feels as though there's a lot of truth and impact in those words.
Now seems like the perfect time to give your heart a little TLC – both literally and figuratively.
- If you're not doing a cardio workout, consider starting one as the perfect Valentine's Day gift to yourself. Have you always wanted to learn how to swing dance? (I have!) Why not treat yourself and your honey to weekly classes? It's a fun way to reconnect with your love and give your heart a healthy night out.
- What about cooking? Can you substitute one heart-healthy ingredient in each meal this week? What about for the entire month? I find that trying to change everything at once can be too daunting. Instead, I try to find small building blocks to make a positive change.
- Here's a tough one. With everyone acting loved-up, maybe it's time to take stock of your own love life. It can be easy to fall into routines and take each other for granted, but if you find that your relationship is causing you too much pain lately, why not have a heart-to-heart with your significant other and try to work though whatever is coming between you?
- Indulge. Go ahead and relish that piece of dark chocolate. You know you want to!