Thursday, February 2, 2012

Don't forget to show yourself some love this Valentine's Day.

It’s February, the month that reminds us all about cards, candy, teddy bears, flowers, the colors pink and red, and most of all love. As you prepare for February 14th who are you thinking about? Are you preparing something special for your partner? Maybe preparing a great night with close friends? Are you looking to do something nice for your kids? I suspect that none of you identified thinking about doing something for yourself. Our focus this month is typically on romantic love, but I thought it was important to take a few minutes and shift that focus to self love.

In this world where we tend to be pulled in so many directions we often forget to care for and love ourselves. It isn’t easy to balance romantic relationships, family, friends, children, and the myriad of day to day responsibilities, and still have much time for ourselves at the end of the day. So many of us seem to put ourselves last. When was the last time you spent some quality time with yourself ? What about the last time you did something that was just for you? Do you enjoy your own company when you are alone? Do you love yourself?

I was inspired to write about self love because I think it is so important yet so often overlooked. In my work with parents, couples, and families, I so often see how we put ourselves aside and give to everyone around us leaving ourselves depleted. Many people struggle with focusing on themselves because they feel that they are being selfish. This is not the case.

Think about it. How can we accept that someone else loves us if we don’t love ourselves? How can we take care of those around us if we are feeling so depleted and tired? The truth is that we can’t. We need to take care of ourselves in order for us to be in a place where we can effectively care for others.

So this Valentine’s Day I want you to take a little bit of time to think about yourself as well. Do something that fulfills and rejuvenates you. Put yourself at the top of your list. This may look different for each of you. Maybe it’s treating yourself to a massage, or just 15 minutes of quiet time to yourself. It may even consist of finally making the doctor’s appointment you needed to so you can begin to take care of yourself. Maybe you realize that you struggle a bit with the way you feel about yourself and can start the journey to falling in love with you. Remember that just like it is important to show those around us that we love them all year long (not just on Valentine’s Day) it is important that we take care of and love ourselves all year long too.

So what are you going to do to show yourself some self love?

-Claudia Glassman, MS.Ed,LMFT- Claudia Glassman, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in children, adolescents, and their families.