Ah Valentines Day! Whether you love it or loathe it, February the 14th is coming and whatever your relationship status – you’re going to know about it! In this weeks post, I’m not going to be focusing on whichever camp you fall into and celebrating (or not celebrating) the occasion but rather why we could instead all use the day as a reminder to spend some time on self-love. Yep, you read that correctly. Instead of spreading the love on others, why not spend the time and energy all on yourself? To clarify, self-love is “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth” (Psychology, 2012).
Treat yo’ self
You might already be pretty good at this one (and it may be pretty obvious) but allowing yourself the pleasure of treating yourself every now and again, to something you really want, can feel pretty damn good. It might just be eating a big old bar of your favourite chocolate in the bath or perhaps splurging on something seriously luxurious like this gorgeous Gift Set For Her, but whatever it is, however small or large, soak up the entire act of it. If it’s food, savour each mouthful, if it’s a gift to yourself, embrace it, if it’s a sensation, squeeze out every drop you can.
Do something you’re good at
Boosting your self-esteem by participating in a hobby you enjoy and can do well is brilliant for increasing your endorphins and leaving you in a good mood. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling smug for winning a tennis match or baking some bloody good cookies. It’s time well spent on yourself to be left with that positive, exuberant feeling. And don’t even think of saying you aren’t good at something – there’s always something.
Without even realising, it can be far too easy to take part in or agree to things that are actually harming you, whether that is physically or emotionally. Take the time to sit down and set limits for yourself. You might be taking on too much work or trying to resuscitate a toxic friendship but don’t be afraid to say no or to make changes to anything that is negatively impacting you. Sometimes we can get so caught up in life and the fast-paced nature of it, but by just pausing to evaluate and work out where and what is causing you unhappiness can make the world of difference.
Plan in some time
Look at your calendar or diary and schedule in some time (you can do this multiple times and as far ahead as you’d like) to do something for you and only you. Yes, you’re basically making an appointment with yourself and it might feel a bit silly but deliberately choosing to have a window of time where you do something for yourself – that you might not actually ever do normally – will allow you the chance to pay some attention to yourself and ultimately, give yourself a break. It’s completely up to you what you do with the time, just use it.
Quite frankly, we could all do with giving ourselves a break from time to time. I’m sure I’m not alone when I berate myself for eating a whole bag of Cadbury Twirl Bites when I’m supposed to be watching my weight or for not ticking off every task on my to-do list that day. We’ve all been doing this for so long that it can be hard to change the way we speak to ourselves and adjust this to a nicer tone. One thing to try is to imagine you are instead talking to the child version of yourself. You would never talk so negatively to a child (at least I hope not!) so try and focus on that. Be reassuring, encouraging and gentle with yourself.
If you liked this post, why not read 5 ways to make 2018 even better.