It’s February again. I know I reflect often about how quickly time is passing and here I am finding myself feeling it even more so. We’re in the last of the winter months (one can hope), pink things are filling the shelves, hearts are everywhere, and yet COVID is still very much upon us. Perhaps you’re still figuring out how to navigate lapses in childcare, work expectations are ever growing with mounting stressors, and you’re not sure what this new normal is in which we’re supposed to be immersed. 

It may be easier said than done, however, implementing some self-love and self-compassion practices can be so helpful in decreasing mounting stress. If you’re still feeling that stress and want some tips to ease it and increase your self-love, check out some thoughts below.  

Take a break

When immersed in all of the things around you (work, school, relationships, responsibilities, and the list goes on and on), the idea of just taking ten minutes to breathe and have a glass of water can be unthinkable. There is always going to be something to do and someone to text back, however taking a pause can be extraordinarily beneficial in loving yourself. 

By putting your phone down and just being, you are telling yourself that you are equally as important as the items on your list. It might be difficult at first, but the more you practice, the easier it can become. You can start gradually by setting the same time once a day, putting a ten-minute timer on, and going for a stroll outside. The more you practice this form of love, the easier it will be to become to be more aware when a break is needed in the moment. Feel free to adjust the time or break activity as needed. 

Find ways to play

Can you remember a moment when you were a child at the local park just playing? Can you remember the games of tag? Running back and forth with your friends, giggling, hanging outside, and eating yummy snacks after was so simple and yet so necessary in feeling good. 

You may not have had the knowledge in the moment as a child, but that play time helped so much in building confidence, compassion, and easing any tensions from the day. 

Finding ways to bring that play back can do just that for you as an adult. You could play tag if you wanted to, and perhaps you could also identify some more modern ways of play that suit you and make you feel that love. Try and join an active meet up, bust out those coloring books, do some at home karaoke, or try whatever it is that resonates with you! Increasing your play also tells yourself that you are worthy of fun and love. 

Thank yourself

This may seem like a simple one, however it is rare that gratitude gets brought back to the self. When thinking of the things for which you’re grateful, it may seem easier to think of things outside of yourself and stop it at that. However, by taking the time to list out and notice the things that you’re already doing, you are increasing opportunities for self-compassion. You can try this practice out by simply adding one thing to thank yourself for when you’re already feeling grateful. 

Perhaps it’s the way you played, how you showed up for a loved one, or even the way you drank enough water that day. Whatever it may be, the more you thank yourself, the more you will become comfortable with it. 

Sending you love, and as always, Jubilance.

About the author

Becca is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Associate who gives us her expert perspective on Emotional Health and Wellness. She holds an M.A in Education with an emphasis in Counseling as well as an M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from San Diego State University.  Each month she writes about mental health and how to feel your best!
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