Learn to love yourself this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s traditionally a time when we celebrate our relationships and express love for each other.

Sign "Love yourself" with heart on the sandy beach by the oceanBut although it’s seen as a romantic occasion, how about taking a different view and using it as a reason to love yourself, too?

After all, in order to be there for the significant others in your life, whether that’s a partner, children or someone else you care for, you need to take care of yourself first.

A great example of this is when travelling on an aeroplane, we’re reminded that in an emergency we must fit our own oxygen mask before helping others. If we’re not taking care of ourselves properly, we are not able to fully support other people.

So here’s your chance to think about how you may have been neglecting yourself – and work out some ways to get some balance back in your life.

Do you need more ‘me’ time to pursue a hobby or interest, spend more quiet time in nature or perhaps to try a new therapy for relaxation or health reasons?

There are a few techniques that can help you along the way:

Remember, you’re worth it. Women in particular, have a tendency to look after everybody else before themselves. While you may think this is an admirable, selfless trait, it can also result in burnout and chronic health problems. Sometimes this behaviour can be as a result of low self worth and feeling that you don’t deserve to have your needs and desires met. If this sounds like you, it’s a good idea to seek help to address this directly.

Winter wellbeing. It’s especially important during the winter months to take extra care to protect yourself and your family. You could try taking additional supplements such as vitamin C and zinc, perhaps along with Echinacea, a herbal remedy to support your immune system. Buy iron-rich seasonal vegetables, such as dark green, leafy kale – they taste delicious in soups and casseroles, plus they boost your energy and help you absorb vitamin C.

Often when the weather is cold it’s less appealing to go out to an exercise class, although you soon warm up once you’re there! But it’s a great time to take up a new hobby such as yoga, Pilates or tai chi to improve joint flexibility, muscle strength and energy flow. After all that hard work, why not indulge in a comforting massage to help you relax? Your body will thank you for taking care of it and you’ll feel more calm and contented as a result.

Develop an attitude of gratitude. Demonstrating compassion for yourself and others not only generates warm feelings, but has actually been proven to be good for your health! Being grateful and counting your blessings helps you feel more positive about the present, and in turn help you achieve more in the future. 

This February, aim to delve deeper into understanding the healing and connecting power of love. Start by letting go of any thoughts of perceived flaws and imperfections and remind yourself that you are beautiful and worthy of love.

Why not try to find ways to express love through random acts of kindness and demonstrating appreciation for the people and things you have in your life now?

After all, when you choose to embrace love, you choose to embrace life… 

Find out more…

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 08.15Learning to Love Yourself: Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse

It’s the Thought that CountsScreen Shot 2015-02-02 at 08.19: Dr David Hamilton

Dawn Mills

About Dawn Mills

I am a Holistic Therapist and for the past 15 years have worked with local clients to improve their health and wellbeing. I specialise in helping people achieve a calmer life using a holistic approach combining complementary therapies and wellbeing coaching. You can find out more about me at My Calmer Life.