February isn't just for couples in love, it's about self love, too!
In this blog we'll share our top tips for self care practices that allow you to have more love for yourself, which can have a dramatic impact on your mental wellness journey.
Self Compassion & Self Talk
Try tuning into the things you tell yourself throughout the day - would you say that to a friend?
Once you recognize some of the negative things you may be telling yourself (self-defeating thoughts), journal or think through what you can replace them with (self-affirming thoughts).
Maybe instead of "I'm so lazy." you can replace it with "When I'm tired or overwhelmed, I deserve to take a break and rest."
Instead of "I'll never be able to do this." replace it with "I believe I can succeed."
Notice how you feel when you replace self-defeating thoughts with self-affirming thoughts. Happier? More calm?
Check out one of our Anchor Bookshelf reads: Self Compassion and her related workbooks.
Journal on what you love about yourself. If it's hard to come up with something, think about things that people have complimented you on. Maybe that you're hard working, or that you have a big heart and you're a good friend. Maybe it's your amazing cooking or baking. Maybe it's that you're a good role model for your kids or nephews and nieces. Celebrate what makes you, you! The more you focus on the things you love about yourself, instead of fixating on the things that you don't like, the more you'll build self love, self esteem and confidence.
First, think about how you want to feel. Then, create 1 to 3 sentences that resonate with you.
This could be something like "I am strong. I am capable. I deserve happiness."
This is an affirmation which can be helpful in reprogramming your inner self talk and beliefs about yourself.
Some people find it helpful to write it down on a sticky note and put it on the bathroom mirror, fridge, set a reminder on your phone, or somewhere you'll see it several times per day.
If you need some ideas to get you started, check out these self love affirmations from Oprah Daily.
Schedule in Time for the Things that Bring You Joy
What makes you feel good? We all know what we like to do, but how often do we make time for it? Making time for the things that bring you joy is telling yourself that your happiness matters, and the more you do it, the more you'll notice your mood improve! So what makes you feel good? A walk on a trail with your dog? Coffee with a friend? Reading a good book? Put it into your calendar for this week and make it a non-negotiable.
Listen To Your Body
Instead of pushing your body to its limits, which can lead to symptoms of burnout including lack of motivation, headaches, fatigue, feeling numb or zoned out, instead try tuning into what your body is telling you and honouring it's needs for rest, nourishment, connection or time alone.
What is your body telling you today? If you have symptoms like a headache or stomach ache it's often trying to communicate with you.
But don't overwhelm yourself with trying to change too many things at once - pick one small change and practice it as often as you can until it becomes a habit, and then try adding something else.
Be sure to celebrate every small win you have along the way!
A big part of self love and self respect is being able to set boundaries. That can include both work and your personal life. Boundaries make it easier for you to reserve your energy and mental resources for the things that matter most to you, instead of feeling drained by the demands of others. It can feel uncomfortable and scary at first if you're not used to it. But once you start doing it you'll notice how much better you feel.
Most importantly, remember that we are here for you when you need support!
Book your free intake appointment today to get matched with a clinician and start your counselling journey.