Love is in the air as we start this week. Who will you be showing you love them? How will you be demonstrating that love? Will it be flowers or cards, chocolates? Fine dining out or cosy fireside suppers? Will there be fanfare or quiet?
While you are planning or even not planning, for those anti-Valentine’s amongst us, do you ever consider showing the same affection and attention to yourself?
Self-love and Self-care are hot topics right now. As our physical and emotional lives pick up pace and become more demanding in reality, and for some, virtually, these 2 acts are now so important in terms of your self-worth. Even more so for those who have dependents, whether that be parents, children, animals, partners, employees, team-mates and anyone who relies on you or looks to you for support, leadership or inspiration. In an age when so much is ‘expected’ of you and when the expectation of yourself is so high, when time is sometimes warp-speed fast, how do you slow down and put yourself at the heart of your life?
That is all self love and self care is; some hip and trendy buzz words that remind you that it is ok to take time out for you. Perhaps this Valentine’s day (or any day), it is time to put you at the top of your priority list, shopping list and valentine’s list.
The impact of not doing this is now highlighted in the ever-increasing statistics of depression, anxiety, stress, burn-out and collapse. Bring it closer to home, can you afford not to put some time aside for you this week and every week? Consider what would happen to those who depend on you if you suffer at the hands of stress and add further to the statistics? If you can’t take the time to love yourself enough, do you love your family, respect your colleagues enough to do it for them?
My top tips for Valentine’s day for you this year:
- Tune out, switch off. Determine your contactable hour boundaries. If you have to be contactable during your ‘time off’, put your phone / laptop in another room so you aren’t tempted to keep checking. You will hear the phone in an emergency. Life continued pre-technology.
- Reprioritise and delegate if needed. Do only what needs to absolutely get done and that can only be done by you. Anything else, deprioritise or delegate. Don’t be a martyr trying to be Superwoman / Superman.
- Slow down. Take 10. Take 20. Take whatever time you need to get your heart to stop racing and your mind to clear. And then stay there for as long as you need to.
- Eat mindfully and guilt-lessly. Enjoy the chocolates, relish the steak/tofu burger, savour the wine… You deserve it. Your body deserves it. You eat good whole foods, drink lots of water the majority of the time, right?
- Get outside, marvel at nature, architecture, whatever floats your boat but breath in the air and be grateful to be alive and to be you.
- Connect, feel, let go. Spend time alone, doing anything you enjoy doing the most; have a bath, go for a run, write, paint, sing, dance, sit and watch Netflix… Connect with the authentic you and let go of anything else. How wonderful does that feel? Let go of anything that doesn’t make you feel as good as that.
- Buy yourself the flowers, the chocolates, the wine, the takeaway, the gifts. Or if you don’t want to buy them for yourself, give them away as a random act of kindness to someone who would really appreciate them, but not be expecting them. Give yourself the joy of giving.
- Congratulate yourself on your achievements. You are amazing, you have accomplished much. You are loved and admired, above all, by yourself.
- Allow yourself to daydream. Imagine all the wonderful things that are going to happen in your future. Enjoy the vision, feel the excitement.
- Do you love yourself enough yet? Yes? Good! Get out and spread your love and sprinkle it everywhere! If no – go back to the top and repeat until your answer is yes.
Love yourself this Valentine’s Day. You are worth it.