How to show yourself appreciation this Valentine's Day - 2 Simple Tips

Valentine's Day always feels as if you're waiting for someone else to show you that you are valuable or that you're appreciated. It can be a day that causes frustration and disappointment, and sometimes the sentiments received don't feel totally heartfelt.
 
This year I want to give you 2 simple tips to show yourself appreciation this Valentine's Day. You are going to work on improving your self-belief, understanding your self-worth and celebrating and appreciating the things that you are doing and experiencing on a daily basis.
It is so difficult as a mum to look inwards and to dedicate the time to working on yourself but trust me, it is worth it.
As a busy mum you're constantly caring for everyone's needs first, the emotional drama of the day, and making sure that your children aren't attacking each other, can really shift your focus and make you feel frazzled.
At the end of the day all you want to do is flop onto the sofa and scroll social media. You feel like you've nothing left to give, you have no energy and you're tired all the time. You just feel totally worn down. 
To start with let's recognise that you are not alone and that this is the state of play for most mums. Yet what I see (and this is where our cultural constructs are against us as primary caregivers) is that behind the exhaustion you have so much to give. You have completely unique skills and a mindset that belongs to you only - this is your superpower. So let's crack on with the list of things that can help you tap into your superpower and help you to feel like the wonderful being you are this Valentine's Day.

1. Journal

Start writing a journal,  this is something that I've started to do recently and I’ve found it's an incredible way to alleviate the hamster wheel in my head of things that I need to think about, stuff that I've worried about that day, and stuff that I’ve carried with me from the past. I also include some of the things I'm looking forward to or I'm interested in doing in the future. It is incredibly freeing and feels as if you've just put down the heavy shopping bags that you've been carrying with you every single day for a long time. 
I would recommend a simple lined book that you can keep somewhere safe. Know that the information within it is for your eyes only, that way you feel comfortable to open up and give everything of yourself to the process.  Try for 30-days and let me know how it's going
 

2. Walking

Walking, whether that's with your children and maybe pushing the pram, or if you can carve 5 or 10 minutes into your day when the kids are at school or nursery, take a quick stroll on your own, let some fresh air hit your face and just listen to the sounds around you. It can help you to feel alive and allow you to connect with the feelings that you truly feel, the thoughts that you're having. Your thoughts are often drowned out by the noise of your busy life, so reconnecting can really feel like you’ve created some headspace. Walking also helps your heart beat faster, your lungs expand, making your body feel good and pumping happy chemicals around your body.
Practice gratitude and the reason I say practice is because it takes just that. Start small and look for things that you appreciate in everyday life.  In a world full of constant news and busy noise PLUS a pandemic, it is easy to think that all hope is lost and that we live in a miserable time.  
This morning when I went to wash my hands, I switched on my tap and, expecting the freezing cold water that usually hits my hands, was surprised to find nice cozy warm water running through the tap and onto my skin. I felt so grateful and happy to have experienced that positive moment.
The point - to look for the small things in your day that can help you nurture positive thinking…maybe the shop has the special coffee that you love. maybe your friend calls you up and you haven't spoken for a while, maybe the sun is shining.  Your task is to start being aware of the small things that you experience and say in your head ‘thank you’. Do this everyday for a week and see how it makes you feel.
This Valentine's Day, cards and gifts will be a lovely extra thank you, an extra level of appreciation and gratitude, because you now have the basics covered and you know that your happiness and your self-image and the way you view the world is dictated inside you and you have the power to make yourself feel good whenever you want.
However, in case no one says it to you this Valentine's Day, you are appreciated, you are special,  you are loved.