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Give Yourself a Valentine

The month of February is most definitely about giving to others. It is about romance and valentine’s. This year let’s take care of ourselves as well as showering our friends and loved ones with gifts and affection.

To begin this month have a foundation of Treating Yourself Kindly. People often feel more comfortable trading themselves in ways they would not consider treating others. Do you criticize yourself with terms like “stupid”, “ugly”, or “loser”? Would you use those terms to describe a friend? Remind yourself you deserve to be treated well as you treat others. Do something nice for yourself sometimes – either in thought (give yourself a compliment) or action (treat yourself to a nice dinner or a book).

Give Yourself a Break. You do not have to be all things to all people or pleas everyone. Give yourself permission to decide you are going the best you can. Remind yourself when you are doing things well – do not wait to hear it from someone else.

Choose the Brighter Side of Things. You can choose how to interpret comments and events, so try for the more positive interpretations. If someone says, “You look good today,” do not ask yourself, “What was wrong with the way I looked yesterday?” Accept compliments graciously. Look at temporary setback as opportunities for growth.

Finally in this month of valentine’s learn once and for all to Forgive and Forget. Try not to hang on to painful memories and bad feelings. This is just a way to encourage negative thoughts and bad moods. Your past can control you if you do not control it. Forgive past wrongs and move on. Do not forget that forgiving yourself is an important part of this process, too. If you have a hard time forgiving or forgetting, consider talking through your emotions with a good friend or counselor, but do not dwell. It is important to work through things, and you can not let the past determine the future.

Avoid “can’t” thinking or other negative language. If you say something often enough, you may start to believe it, so keep your statements positive. Do not be afraid to seek help in accomplishing things, and remind yourself that you do not need approval from others to recognize your accomplishments. Focus on what you are able to do. Remind yourself off all your capabilities and positive qualities.

Using just one of two of these strategies on a regular basis can greatly increase your positive self-image and self-esteem. Making these internal changes will increase our confidence in yourself and your willingness and ability to make external changes and improve your life. Happy Valentine’s Day to ME!'

Dori Locke

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