5 ways you can be kind to yourself this Valentine’s Day

By Rachel Measures, Masters in PR.

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s already that time of the year again, and for some it is really tough. Maybe you’re going through a rough time with your partner, or going through a break up. Maybe you feel a bit left out with all the romance – I know I often do – or maybe Valentines is just another day. Regardless, it’s a really good time to reflect on our personal relationships, but most importantly to remember to be kind to ourselves.

Here are my five top tips for being kind to yourself this Valentine’s Day:

1. Make time for yourself

It can be so easy with university assignments and work commitments to get carried away with doing everything else, but it can make all the difference if you simply take half an hour to do something that brings you joy. This could be anything, from Xbox time to reading, to taking a walk or journaling. This year I really want to give myself more time to go to a coffee shop, treat myself to a drink and read my book away from my house or university.

2. Forgive yourself

Sometimes we mess up or we do something differently than we would have liked. In these moments, it can be so easy to dwell on the ‘what ifs’ or to let ourselves feel down. I waste so much time stressing about things. However, it is important to forgive yourself. Think about whether you would be as harsh if your friend had done the same thing and whether you would react to them more kindly. I personally reflect on the reasons why I hold different standards for myself and it gets me to think more positively about myself.

3. Sleep, eat and move well

Take the time to have an early night, go to the store and grab some fruit and veg, or do an exercise class. I always give myself a study break to have an apple and breathe. Any of these things will help improve your mood and your health, ultimately improving how you feel within yourself.

4. Manage stress

It can be very easy to pile the pressure on when deadlines loom – I do it to myself all the time. But sometimes the kindest thing to do for yourself is to be realistic with your goals. For example, if you don’t finish the project today, but can finish it tomorrow, you must remind yourself that it’s okay. Planning in advance can really help dissipate any feelings of tension.

I also give myself mini deadlines for each part of an assignment to make the whole project more manageable. This week my goal is to grab books from the library and get my research done for my next assignment. The week after my goal will be to start writing my assignment, and the week after I will decide a new goal depending on how far I have gotten knowing that I have time before the real deadline.

5. Believe in yourself

Part of being kind to yourself is to believe in yourself. In order to do anything, you need to believe that you can do it. Sometimes all you need is the faith in yourself and your judgement to overcome whatever challenges you are about to face. Think about your last assignment – it seemed impossible before you started it, but you finished it and more than likely got a decent grade. Thinking this way always gets me through. Everything is possible if you believe.