How did you celebrate Valentines Day? Going out with the special person in your life? Or devouring a tub of ice cream in front of Bridget Jones (we’ve all been there!). When I say the word ‘Valentines’ I immediately think about how I might treat another person and celebrate the love I have for them. Be that with a gift, a night out or just telling them how loved they are.
What about you? What do you do to make your partner feel special? Feel relaxed? Feel loved?
Now I want you to ask yourself this; ‘do I ever give myself permission to make myself feel special, relaxed and loved?’
Most of us, by virtue of the world we live in, lead hectic, busy lives. They’re filled with ‘stuff’ to get done and endless to-do lists to check off. There’s always something new to buy or more work to do. The time, energy and commitment we need in order to satisfy our children, bosses and spouses or maintain our cars and homes is, for most people, in eternally short supply.
Yes, our families need feeding and caring for and our homes need tidying and cleaning to be healthful, happy spaces. But the crisis of busy-ness often seems endless and what happens to our bodies when our thoughts are elsewhere? What happens to our physical and emotional wellbeing? Often, it falls to the bottom of the pile of priorities. It gets pushed harder and rewarded less and trust me, in this state, it’s a ticking time bomb.
It’s critical that we begin the process of thinking about our bodies and keeping them healthy before it’s too late. Before something bad happens, which forces you to prioritise the physical and emotional care of your body and mind.
Loving yourself is sanity not vanity
We have a responsibility to care for ourselves. This isn’t just a responsibility to ourselves but to the people we love. These are normally the same people we push ourselves too hard for and the same people we want to be surrounded by in our later years, in good enough health to continue to enjoy their company. We also have a responsibility to the NHS and the health services which are so close to breaking point trying to cope with a population of people at crisis point with their health.
The time is now!
So, again, I declare permission to love.
You don’t need to wait for someone else to love you before you love yourself. You don’t need to devour that tub of ice cream because you are alone on Valentines Day. You don’t even have to go out for a meal or to see a movie if you are exhausted and overwhelmed just because you think it’ll please another person.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to take a break, rest up, have a long bath and cook beautiful food for your own body. Neither is permission required to get out in the open, go hiking or dance until 3am.
For it’s these small acts of self-care – of defiance against the crisis of busy-ness which most of us are party to – which will be rewarded with a body that will carry you to a happy, healthy and mobile old age.
Look after yourself.