I’ve mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. It is of course lovely to express our love and appreciation with others, and we can probably never do this too often. But it can feel that we’re doing it on Feb 14th just because of the commercial pressure to do so.
I also remember sometimes finding the day rather tricky when I was single, and feeling excluded from all that celebrating those with partners. The day can emphasise people’s feelings of loneliness, disappointment or sense of inadequacy.
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind us of the importance of being kind and compassionate to ourselves – something that we can do regardless of any relationship we might be in and whatever the day. And this year, more than most, with all the challenges of Covid, it’s good if we can be generous and caring to ourselves. If you’d like to do a loving kindness meditation or another one, these can be found in my collection of guided meditations on the website. Sometimes it can be nurturing to simply place a hand on your heart and imagine you are breathing in kindness and compassion - picturing it reaching to your toes, finger tips and the top of your head - and then breathing our kindness and compassion to someone in particular or the rest of the world.
How might you treat yourself?
Things that are a treat for me are:
- bubble baths (with a good book)
- playing the piano
- delicious food on special plates
- not having to get up at 6.30am.
I teach live, online school lessons, (drama and mindfulness), which are great but I'm looking forward to having half term off school teaching!
Maybe considering Valentine's day is just like any other is a good way to start. But maybe also you can do something special for yourself?
Sometimes a poem can bring us to a place of stillness and reflection, so I’ll end by mentioning one of my favourite poems, ‘Love after Love’ by Derek Walcott. If you like poetry, take a look at some of our other favourites in the wellbeing poetry section of the website.
May we all sit and feast on our lives, and perhaps find something to appreciate even if our lives are not turning out how we’d most like.