There are mince pie crumbs still lingering at the back of the kitchen cupboard, and you feel like it was New Year’s Eve yesterday. Yet here we are, February, the month of love.
I started researching Valentines Day and surprisingly found it’s got quite a gruesome origin, so we won’t focus on that!
Instead let’s think about what we can do to love ourselves a little more this month.
Speak to yourself with love and kindness.
Listen to your inner voice, is it saying words you want to hear, or are you saying things to yourself that you would never say to others? If a friend constantly criticised you, you wouldn’t want to be around them, you’d walk away. You can’t ditch yourself though, so instead it’s time to change that negative self-talk into positive encouragement in the same way that you would encourage someone else. Focus on the aspects of yourself that make you happy.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
When we do this we tend to focus on the most positive aspects of the other person, we don’t see their flaws, their own insecurities and the sacrifices it took for them to achieve what they have. We are all on our own journey with our own strengths and goals, and these are right for us. Think about what you have achieved however small that may be and allow yourself to feel good about it. Remember, somewhere out there is a person who would love to be you.
Let go of the negative, and learn to say no.
Have a social media clear out. Friends or entire groups that add to the slow drip of negativity in your day. People from your school days that you feel obliged to be ‘friends’ with on Facebook, (who still act like they are in the playground)… If in doubt ask yourself, “Is this essential for me?” I recently stopped a subscription to a news feed that was arriving several times a day, the hostility from others commenting on the posts was too much…it’s gone. Surround yourself with the positive, and the hopeful.
Do something you enjoy for the pure enjoyment of it.
Have you ever listened to a child playing the recorder? Maybe you played one yourself when you were at school. Remember how it felt when you realised you could string together the first 8 notes of Frère Jacques….did it matter, that, at that point, you weren’t good enough to play in a symphony orchestra? Nope, you were thrilled with what you could do. Remember it’s about enjoyment, not perfection.
Make time for yourself.
For many of us it hasn’t been easy to get time to ourselves recently. With partners and children working from home and our usual go-to activities like the gym closed it’s been difficult, sometimes overwhelming to have that constant contact with others. Life is about balance, and although we are, by nature, drawn to other people, we also have a need to have time to ourselves, to switch off, recharge the mental batteries and de-stress. Where do you find the time? Well among my clients I have people who are staying up later than everyone else, getting up earlier, spending longer in the bath with a good book (or Bridgerton on Netflix), having a lunchtime walk by themselves, and listening to music via a good set of noise cancelling headphones while they do housework! Think about how much time and attention you give to others and make it a priority to give back to yourself.
Sometimes things go wrong..and that’s ok.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Whatever it was it’s already in the past and the past is only good for one thing, experience, learn and move on, don’t drag it with you!
Positivity, Gratitude, Achievement.
Each evening take a few moments to jot down something about the day that has been positive, something you are grateful for and something you have achieved. By doing so you are creating a feeling of mental wellbeing. Reminding yourself of all that is good about you.