Valentine’s Day. A day that celebrates “romantic love”. A day that often puts pressure on many and can cause stress, anxiety, and even depression. Here’s the catch, we can not truly love another person or accept love if we don’t love ourselves first. Whether partnered or single, try out some of these self-care tips and ideas to show YOU love and appreciation on the week of this “hallmark holiday”.
Create a Compliment Journal
While other people’s opinions shouldn’t guide your life, really taking in the kind words of others is good for building a better mental health. It can become routine to let a compliment go in one ear and out the other. When we dismiss or don’t believe the praise, it’s easy to not really process it or store it in our brains. Maybe we were taught to not be self-centered, but since when is feeling good about yourself bad? Instead we could let the positive experience really feel good! This week, write down any compliment you receive in a journal or in your phone. Then reflect on these positive words on at the end of the week or on Valentine’s Day to build more confidence and create healthy self- reflection.
Our brains have a “negativity bias” that often makes it hard to see the glass half full. You have the power to change your inner dialogue by finding the things you are grateful for. There are impressive benefits to the simple act of writing down the things you are grateful for, whether they are big or small in your life. Each morning this week, jot down a few things you are thankful for in your life.
Taking a day, an hour, or even a few moments to pamper yourself can reduce stress and promote the production of your body’s “feel good” hormones. This week, take a relaxing bath, get a massage, play some soothing music, get your nails done, or catch up on some much needed sleep.
Here’s a bath recipe to reduce stress:
1 cup epsom Salt
1 cup baking soda or 4 tsp coconut oil 4 drops of lavender
4 drops of Ylang Ylang or Rose
Declutter Your Space
Our homes are where we meet most of our needs. If we need a safe, calm space then our environment must match that. It is amazing how de-cluttering our homes can de- stress our minds. A clean, open space can be freeing and put us at peace. Go get rid of that pile of clothes that has been monopolizing your room, re-organize that messy corner that has been bugging you, or decide what objects serve a purpose in your life and toss those that don’t.
Mindfulness is a powerful practice that lets us be fully present in a moment, fully noticing our thoughts and emotions, feeling them without judgement, and letting them go. It is an empowering, yet calming experience. This week, incorporate mindful mediation into your daily routine. Here’s a great link if you need help on how to get started.
Keep Good Company
We come into this world needing others. We are wired to connect. The nature of our relationships shapes who we are and how we got to be this way. While negativity is a natural human emotion, we need positive social interactions for long-term happiness. Therefore, choosing who we're around is one of the most important decisions we make in this life. This week, strive to keep good company. This means learning when to say "no" and surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, inspire you to be a better person, and have a mutual respect for your relationship.
Take A Break from Technology
Through our phones, computers, tablets, and televisions, our minds are constantly overstimulated. On top of all that, continuously checking social media can cause us to compare ourselves to others and develop a distorted view of reality, especially on a day like Valentine’s Day. This week, take time to unplug. It can help with removing unhealthy feelings of jealousy and loneliness, gives space for solitude, and helps you remain in the present.
Photo via @eslee