February: the month of love. At this time of year, every supermarket is filled with heart shaped
delights, a flurry of people beginning to soft (and hard) launch their new beaus on social media and
there’s often pressure from all around to ‘couple up’. You probably either love it or hate it. For many
people not in a relationship it can feel like a particularly overwhelming and isolating time. These
feelings are, of course, completely normal, and understandable. But what if, this year, we change the
narrative around Valentine’s Day and we prioritise – and ultimately love – ourselves?
We often think of romantic love when we think of Valentine’s Day, but there are so many types of
love worth celebrating. There’s the love of family and friends, the love of our environments and
surroundings and, most importantly, the love of ourselves. There’s no better time to check in on our
inner selves emotionally.
This blog post is a celebration of the self and a toolkit of things you can do to show yourself kindness
and care at this time.
Acknowledging Our Thoughts, Good and Bad
First, we must start by being mindful of our thoughts. When things get a bit much, spend a few
moments practising box breathing (breathe in for four, hold for four, breathe out for four and
repeat). During this exercise, when or if thoughts come floating into your head – good or bad –
acknowledge them without judgement and let them go. You might notice certain themes occurring.
You may want to consider taking note of them somewhere.
Likewise, you could start writing any negative or lingering thoughts down as and when they come to
you. The physical act of writing these thoughts down is a good way to quantify, process and
understand your feelings. When you’re feeling in a state of anxiety, things can feel out of control. By
writing your thoughts down you can take back control and deal with them. You should feel more
optimistic if you try doing this regularly.
You might also want to try journaling. Some prompts you could explore include: How do I feel right
now? What does love mean to me? What things have I done this week to show myself love?
In a similar vein to writing thoughts down, affirmations are another great way to challenge our
internal thoughts and feelings. A word of caution though: if you’re not used to saying affirmations it
can feel a bit of a strange exercise – but stick with it! You may have seen the ‘lucky girl syndrome’
TikTok videos that have been sweeping the web recently, this is a type of affirmation.
Affirmations work by repeating a chosen positive phrase or phrases to yourself, often out loud. You
may want to try saying some in the mirror as physically confronting your image may have an even
more powerful impact on your self-esteem. Something as simple as saying I am enough can be
beneficial. Affirmations work by forcing your brain to think positively, replacing negative thoughts. It
also forces our brains to consider the possibility that nothing is impossible.
You could try saying: I am enough. I am lucky. I am surrounded by people who love me. I am happy.
Music and Movement
Any physical movement is beneficial for your mental and physical health. All pleasurable activity
releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller and stress reliever, according to Healthline. No,
this doesn’t mean that, to combat the Valentine’s Day blues, you must strap on some trainers and run a marathon (although if you wanted to that would be a good way of releasing endorphins).
Something as simple as throwing on some music and dancing in the kitchen could have a similar
Seek Support from Those Around You
Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious around the thought of love in February
(and beyond), talk to those around you or a medical professional. Having a strong support network
who you can trust and rely on can make you feel better. Try to avoid social media too if that’s
something you find triggering.
If you’re looking for a holistic alternative that you can slip into your day at any point, you could try
The Zensory. Our multi-sensory app is a powerful toolkit of wellbeing techniques designed to make
you feel less anxious and stressed.