The holiday of hearts and flowers is all about giving to friends and family; but maybe it’s a time for a little giving to yourself, too.
As February 14 has arrived, so does the long list of expectations that comes along with it. If you are one half of a couple, perhaps you’ve ordered flower orders and made dinner reservations. And if you aren’t, then you may be dreading the upcoming holiday and looking forward to February 15 instead. But what if this year you choose to do things a little differently? What if, when you make your list of valentines, you include yourself this time? Showing yourself some love this Valentine’s Day could be your sweetest decision yet.
I’m not saying to throw away the heartfelt cards and candies, or to cancel your date with your spouse. In fact, I think those things are important. What I don’t want us to continue to do is to let ourselves get lost in the shuffle. If we don’t take the time to honor and appreciate ourselves, how can we expect that others will?
In fact, the more we neglect ourselves, the more our other relationships suffer. If you are constantly doing for others, and leaving yourself on the backburner, you become susceptible to feelings of bitterness and resentment, and your outside relationships will suffer as a consequence. There is nothing selfish about taking care of yourself. I truly believe that taking care of you is one of the most important things that you can do for the ones you love.
As Valentine’s Day rolls around, showing yourself some love doesn’t necessarily mean sending yourself a box of chocolates or a dozen roses. It’s more about taking the time to think about the things you really want and what makes you feel good … and ridding your life of the people and commitments that don’t fit into that category. If you’re ready to add yourself to your love-list this year, I have some great suggestions for how you can get started.
Read on for nine ways to think outside the chocolate box and show yourself a little love this Valentine’s Day:
Sit down and really think about your daily life. Evaluate what really makes you feel good and what makes you feel bad. Instead of forcing yourself into the things you don’t really enjoy, I suggest doing more of the things that make you feel good.
Ask yourself: Do I actually enjoy going to the gym or do I hate it? If the answer is that you hate it, then perhaps it’s time to try out running or a yoga or meditation class instead. If you don’t enjoy going to your monthly book club meeting, then quit. There is no reason why you should continue to force yourself into the things that don’t make you happy.
Do A Relationship Detox
As you start to weed out the activities in your life that don’t make you feel good, start to do the same exercise with the people in your life as well. Distance those who make you feel bad, even if its family.
Toxic relationships can be a huge barrier to your happiness, and constantly forcing yourself to be disingenuous around people you don’t really like or get along with is literally bad for your own well-being. Do yourself a favor and start investing your time with the people who make you feel good and make your life better.
Cancel Your Plans
It’s happened to everyone at some point or another: You commit to a dinner out, a party, or an event that you really don’t want to go to and as the date and time of the engagement draws nearer, your dread grows. As long as it is not an important milestone event for a close friend or family member, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to cancel your plans.
Forcing yourself to be somewhere or with someone when you really don’t want to be will only leave you feeling frustrated and empty. Instead, choose to spend your time on things you actually want to do. And no need in coming up with a long, complicated story for why you can’t attend. A heartfelt apology explaining that you can’t make the party is enough.
Be Okay With Your Opinions
You have opinions, and it’s likely that they don’t line up with the opinions of everyone you know. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is when you try to hide or cover up your opinions in the company of others in order to keep the peace or be “PC.”
When you aren’t true to yourself and your opinions, it feels bad. You feel disingenuous and dishonest. It is perfectly okay to have your own opinions — in fact, that’s what makes each of us so great! The best thing you can do for yourself is to own those opinions proudly. They may not always be popular but they are a part of who you are — and those in your life who love and respect you will be okay with that.