Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! Perhaps you’ve boycotted the “Hallmark ” holiday, or you embrace it with fun for yourself, your partner, and galantines. Whether you are in a partnership or flying solo, there is no better time than this month to turn inwards and spend some time acknowledging how amazing you are. Here are five ideas that will help you celebrate YOU- no overpriced flowers or waxy chocolates needed.
Why is it so important to pause and take a moment to do this? Reflecting on everything you’re grateful for, how far you’ve come, and what you’ve accomplished is a step to reaching new goals, which keeps us young and mentally tough. Dr. David DeSteno, author of the book Emotional Success: The Power of Gratitude, Compassion, and Pride, shares that positive emotions lead to greater achievement in life. Self-doubt, anxiety, and fear deplete our willpower to achieve goals, but feelings like pride, gratitude, and compassion lead to success because we crave these positive emotions.
Women who take the time to celebrate themselves have better mental health and resiliency. Studies show these women also have stronger social connections, greater creativity, physical health, and overall satisfaction with life.
Now that you know some of the benefits that come with honoring your accomplishments, don’t forget to share this list with a friend or two and celebrate together!
Here are Five Tips for you to consider during the month of February.
Celebrate knowledge– Sign up for a continuing education class.
A great way to celebrate yourself is to reflect on and pursue an interest that you didn’t have time for in the past. Have you always wanted to learn French before traveling to Paris? Take some advanced math classes because you love puzzles? Learn to draw like Picasso? Study Italian and Greek architecture? Try Scuba Diving? Yoga? Now is your chance. Not only do community colleges and universities offer continuing education, but some classes can also be taken online from the comfort of your living room!
Taking a class (or two!) keeps you active, your brain young and agile, as well as provides the opportunity to meet new people. What better way to celebrate yourself during the month of February than to invest in your mental and emotional health while pursuing a topic that has always interested you?
Give yourself the gift of peace– Sign off of social media.
Many of us have a love/hate relationship with social media. I enjoy seeing friends’ recent pictures, hearing about silly escapades and getting caught up in cute animal reels on Instagram. However, the downside of social media is that it can fuel comparison, anxiety, and depression. Study after study has come out regarding screen time and its links to increased mental health struggles. One of the challenges I hear from clients is feeling like they are ‘behind’ their friends regarding their careers and goals.
Cut yourself some slack and take a break from social media. You are enough; you are doing enough; you are where you need to be right now. Here’s a challenge- turn off the alerts for your social media apps, or, if you’re brave, turn off your phone altogether. Take the day to focus on things that add positivity and healing to your mental health, like meditation, repeating healing mantras, nature, face-to-face connection with friends, decluttering, or music.
Celebrate Community– Volunteer for a cause close to your heart.
What better way to connect with your community than with a cause you feel passionate about? Shawnah, a client, recently organized a fundraiser for a local non-profit that helps women and children rescued from sex trafficking. Shawnah organized the event, worked on the marketing, scheduled the speaker, and collaborated with friends. She shined in her managerial role, which highlighted her collaborative gifts, and even discovered a new career path in the process.
Another client, Rebekah, loves to hike. She spends a Saturday every month volunteering to maintain local hiking trails around her. She loves getting outside with like-minded people and has made new friends and hiking buddies! What are you passionate about? Animal Rescue? The Environment? Children? Disaster Relief? Get on Google and find a hundred opportunities to spread love to your community.
Celebrate connection– Write a note or two to friends.
There is power in a handwritten note. A fantastic Valentine’s tradition started by a friend of mine was to write a handwritten note to each of her friends for Valentine’s Day. Gina would buy cute cards and stickers and fill each card with sweet or funny memories from the past year. Then she would list five things she loved, admired, or treasured about each of us. Of course, this caught on in my friend group, and now we all send Valentine’s cards! Not only have I kept all the cards from my friends over the years, but I also take them out and read the sweet messages when I’m feeling blue.
How amazing would it be to open your mailbox on Valentine’s Day and find a few letters from friends waiting for you? Be the one to start the tradition of sharing what you appreciate about your friends while celebrating connection.
Celebrate the future– Envision your future.
Create a new Valentine’s Day tradition by spending part of the day writing down all the experiences you’ve had and the goals you’ve achieved in the past year. My friends and I came up with a great list that included the following: taking a business course, traveling to Italy, starting a business, outlining and writing a book, starting a podcast, losing weight, buying a house, starting a yoga practice, running a half-marathon, changing careers, getting married, getting divorced, volunteering, taking care of aging parents, saving for retirement, learning to surf, learning to salsa dance and this was just the start!
After considering everything you’ve accomplished, make some SMART goals for the upcoming year. Where would you like to be in your career, relationships, and personal life six months from now? A year from now? What do you want to accomplish? Where would you like to travel? Write down your goals in your journal or on a vision board, and take the first small step toward them. For example, if you want to begin a new health practice, you may find a video you can follow on YouTube or make an appointment to sign up for a Yoga class.
Don’t forget to make a goal that you won’t only celebrate and love yourself on Valentine’s Day but every day this year.
Now is the time
As you celebrate yourself this February, you may realize that you’re ready to pursue a promotion, step into retirement, a new career, or even start a business. Would you like help getting clarity around your goals? I would love to connect! I coach women like you to find their passion, update their resumes, and focus on work that matters to them. I would love to set up a free call and hear about how you celebrated yourself this Valentine’s Day!
Let’s start the conversation: How are you celebrating Valentine’s? What ideas to celebrate yourself could you share with others?
If you feel you are ready to explore your new career but don’t know where to start, please reach out to me via my website www.deborahvoll.com and book a free exploratory call here. Together we will discuss your situation and if life coaching is the best option for you right now!