Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show our loved ones affection, appreciation and just how much they mean to us, but all too often we tend to forget to show ourselves the same love and appreciation that we deserve.
We live in a competitive society and with endless ‘to-do’ lists and targets to reach, it’s only when we have achieved the goals we’ve set for ourselves that we feel worthy of our own care and attention. Here are a few self-care tips that can help to switch your mindset so that you can mentally applaud yourself for what you’ve achieved, rather than punish yourself for what you haven’t.
Unleash your inner creative side
Being creative and learning new skills has endless mental health benefits. It increases positive emotions, lessens unhappiness, reduces stress, decreases anxiety and improves your overall wellbeing.
Try an adult colouring book to help you unwind, make new discoveries by learning a language or broaden your general knowledge with subjects you’ve always been interested in but just never had the time. It’s never been easier to learn with so many online tutorials, classes and group networks. It might take time and effort, but the personal sense of achievement you will feel is worth it. Just make sure to reward yourself with a long, scented bath, an indulgent treat or a glass of wine.
Invest in some well-deserved ‘you-time’
Spending more time in our homes means that we are bombarded with noise; listening to podcasts, scrolling through social media, binge-watching Netflix and endless zoom calls, so it’s vital to put in place a self-care routine that is all about you.
Regular exercise is a great way to start the day on a positive note. Fresh air is invigorating so a walk or a run is ideal, but if your time is limited you can find short workouts online that fit easily into your morning routine. It’s so tempting to work from our bedrooms, but getting up, getting dressed and applying a little makeup will make you feel refreshed and positive. Throughout the day, take regular breaks – go for a walk, read a book or simply take 15 minutes to meditate quietly and unwind.
Give the gift of kindness
Helping others makes such a difference to their lives, as much as it gives us a great sense of satisfaction to know that we can help. A weekly shop for an elderly neighbour, help in the local community or checking in with someone who might feel lonely are small acts of kindness can make a huge difference. They release a hormone called oxytocin that contributes to our mood and overall wellbeing. Practising random acts of kindness creates a sense of positivity and enriches our physical and mental health, lifting us spiritually.