Valentine’s Day is about celebrating and showing love. How about showing some love to yourself? I am reminded of the quote by Veronica Shoffstall, “Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.” Perhaps you are not in a relationship right now, or the partner you are with is not celebrating Valentine’s Day, it is still nice to celebrate the most important relationship in your life….your relationship with yourself.
We are all familiar with the concept of sometimes being our own worst enemy. This sentiment reflects all the negative things we say to ourselves, beating ourselves up for making mistakes, not being good enough, and basically, for not being perfect. I had a client last week that proudly told me she was a ‘perfectionist’ and it was causing her a lot of stress. As a result of this stress she could not sleep, was over-eating and was abusing alcohol. I told her she could replace the word perfectionist with the word failure and see how that felt. Since perfection is impossible, by definition, being a perfectionist means you can only fail. Albert Ellis, a wonderful author and psychologist said that we make rules for ourselves and we become slaves to them. We make the rules, so we can just change them!
Last week I had a client that told me she was a ‘worrier’. She was worried about her husband’s health and worried about her children and her eating was out of control. Worrying is tormenting our self over those things that are out of our control. I was able to help her eliminate the worry and begin enjoying her family and feeling comforted in the knowledge that she was smart, resourceful and could handle anything that came up. Worrying became unnecessary, as did her over-eating.
There are several ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day by yourself and here are a few I recommend that you can begin preparing now:
- Make a list of all your best qualities and the things you have done in the past that you are proud of. Acknowledge your accomplishments and feel the proud feelings you deserve.
- Change your self-talk. Imagine what your best friend would say about you and adopt those ideas and words. Eliminate all words that resemble, “I can’t, I should or shouldn’t, I’ll try or I would”. Focus only on your positive traits.
- Look in the mirror and say “I love you!” Use the above list for reminders of why you are deserving of that love.
- While looking in the mirror, say, “I forgive you for….” And list those things you think you need to forgive.
- Surround yourself with your favorite music, and special beverage, whether herbal tea, wine or something that feels special
- Make your favorite meal, use candles, flowers and serve it in a special place in your home. (Or order in!)
Valentine’s Day is only one day, but the above recommendations are helpful every day. Valentine’s Day is just a good time to start! When you love and accept yourself, the world looks better and feels better. You have a choice of what to do on Valentine’s Day. What will you choose?