Often when thinking of Valentine’s Day we think of ways of expressing our love for others. Or perhaps you are hoping for someone to show an expression of their love for you.
Well, this Valentine’s Day, instead of looking for someone to love you, why not ask what you can do for you. A wise person once said, before you can love another you must first love yourself.
‘Putting you first’ is not just a self-help catch phrase. It essential for longevity in life and especially in teaching.
So, here are 17 things you can do to love on yourself this Valentine’s Day. But don’t limit it to just today, make loving yourself part of EVERY DAY. Every day, make sure there is space for YOU in your daily schedule.
1. Make a good cuppa and drink it before it gets cold.
2. Turn up your favourite music in your car or on your computer or phone and sing out loud at the top of your lungs. Who cares what others think? (I wonder how your students might respond LOL let alone your colleagues!)
3. Do something today that you wouldn’t normally do for yourself because ‘you have work to do/lessons to prepare/ tests to mark’.
4. Get in touch with your creative side. Write a poem, draw a picture, borrow some paint from the art room and let your creative juices flow. Even better, do it during a lunchtime and give yourself a real break!
5. Take your original piece of art (see point 4 above) and frame it/publish it/Facebook it. It is your original piece of work. Who knows, you might just have a masterpiece on your hands.
6. Pick/buy some flowers and put them on your desk. Enjoy the colours and the aroma and remind yourself you are even more beautiful than they are. (This one is for the girls).
7. Tidy your desk. When you have finished, you’ll notice how refreshed and self-loved you will feel.
8. Be true to you. Authenticity is attractive. As Judy Garland said, ‘Be a first rate version of yourself not a second rate version of someone else. (Check out a short video here about how to Be True To You).
9. Love on your body. Have an extra glass of water, go for a walk, take 5 deep breaths in and out – your body will thank you. It’s amazing how a healthy body contributes to a healthy mind.
10. Do something this week that refreshes YOU. Go to the movies, buy a new dress, sit in a park with a good book and a good coffee – anything that puts fuel back into you. We give to our students out of what’s within us. Keep depositing into yourself.
11. Re-decorate your desk/office space. Add a new photo, a bunch of flowers, a new motivational quote.
12. Ask for what you need. Be bold, be honest, be open. State it how you want it.
13. Make a list of 20 of your talents, strengths and abilities. It could be playing an instrument, managing your finances or being an excellent people person. Reminding yourself of your strengths is key to self-love.
14. Send out 5 encouraging emails to colleagues thanking them for helping your year to start so well. Give and you shall receive.
15. Send yourself an email thanking you for being you. Specifically mention your strengths and talents and how these have helped you be an excellent teacher.
16. Enjoy the journey.
17. MOST IMPORTANTLY: As I always say, enjoy the moments. This is crucial not only for a fabulous Valentines Day, but for every day. Teaching days can rush past us. We must discipline ourselves to stop and enjoy the moments.
… Although this Valentine’s Day, I guess you’ll be stopping to smell the roses …