This Sunday is Valentine’s Day and this can stir up a lot of different emotions. Whether you are single, in a relationship, just out of a relationship or are struggling with the situation you are currently in, the pressure and the expectation always seems to build when Valentine’s Day approaches.
Expectations of displays of affection, expectations that you are in a positive and strong relationship or expectations that you will go that extra mile for that certain someone. Valentine’s Day can present its own challenges for us all but this year, with the absence of being around others and some struggling with loneliness, it might feel like the last thing we all need. How about this Valentine’s Day, we celebrate ourselves?
We all have that certain someone we would do anything for, we will pick them up when they are feeling down, encourage and empower them to take on new challenges and we are there cheering them all the way. These positive and affirming behaviours come as second nature to us for our friends or our special someone so why is it so hard for us to do this for ourselves?! Practising self-love and showing yourself compassion can be a great way to boost your mental health and well-being but let’s be honest, how often do we actually do this and do we know where to start?
Why does self-love and compassion matter?
Research has shown that being kind ourselves can boost our own confidence and self-esteem, it can also help us to develop our resilience and improve our sense of optimism. These all help us to face adversity and recover from setbacks and stress.
Top 5 tips for showing yourself some love and compassion:
1. Give yourself a gentle pep-talk
It is so easy to big others up and give them that boost of confidence, we need to try to give ourselves the same pep-talk. Reassure yourself that you can do something, remind yourself to take that breath if you are finding something challenging. Giving yourself praise for when you have achieved a goal or encountered a hurdle.
2. Reasons to be thankful
What do you have in your life or around you that you are grateful for? At the moment, it might be a little harder to find things to be grateful for but a walk in the sun or remaining healthy. Think of the positives you have encountered during your day, no matter how small. Reminding yourself of these achievements in the morning and before you go to bed can help to reframe your thinking and boost your mood.
Showing yourself some love and compassion starts with caring for yourself. Make sure you eat well, allowing those treats, get plenty of fresh air and take time for you doing something you enjoy. Fight the instincts that this is selfish, caring and taking time for you will enable you to have a clear mind and build on your resilience.
4. Reflect and reset
The current restrictions are wreaking havoc on all that we have taken for granted from being able to pop to the shops or bumping in a to friend and having coffee. Take this time to reflect on your experiences and think to the future when the world opens up a little more and opportunities to be out and with others present themselves. Reflecting on what you have achieved and how you have go through this pandemic will allow you to identify your new strengths and reset the way you look at your future.
Find those moments in your day to take time to breathe and be in that moment. From being outside and taking in deep breaths of fresh air and exhaling slowly to colouring, taking this time will help you maintain focus and equip you with the skills to work through those challenging times when we forget to breathe out. Practising your breathing twice a day, can help imbed this skill when you are calm so that you can access this when you feel you are struggling.
Join the self-love club this Valentine’s Day!