Thursday, 11 February 2021 15:07
By Meghan Lemery Fritz, LCSW-R | Families Today
Be Yours: How to Celebrate this Valentine’s Day

As we head into celebrating Valentine’s Day this month you may be tempted to shower your loved one with adoration, chocolate hearts and gratitude. 

While this practice is a way to appreciate the one you love romantically, I think we can all agree that after almost a year of living through a pandemic, possibly working remotely, teaching and caring for your children and being isolated from family, friends and the routine of every day normal life, this may not be the year to plan a Valentine’s Day celebration.

When exhaustion and stress are at an all time high for most of us, this is the time to stop and make caring for yourself the top priority.  You may not be able to get away by yourself for some quality sleep and R & R, but you can incorporate small gestures of self-care all day long to keep you sane in what has been a LONG year.

Whenever I ask clients what it is they really need to fill themselves back up to a place of feeling a spark of energy, joy or creativity, they are often at a loss. The question can feel overwhelming and cause more stress.  Sometimes the best way to figure out what we do need is to start saying NO to what we don’t.

I recently learned this the hard way after overcommitting to several projects outside of traditional psychotherapy with clients.  I was saying yes to everyone and seething with resentment when I had to make time and space to honor the commitments I made.  I felt angry, tired and had no passion or energy for the various projects I had committed to.

I hit a wall of exhaustion and realized I had to remove anything that was draining my energy and only say yes to things that felt like something I had the energy to engage in and do well.

I was showing up to Zoom meetings and phone calls grumpy, drained and resentful.  As soon as I was honest that I was unable to follow through in my commitment and no longer felt inspired to do so, I felt some of the heaviness lift.

If self-care feels like something you don’t even know how to figure out, start with identifying commitments that are no longer fun and inspiring.  If you have volunteered for years on a certain committee and you find yourself dreading the monthly meeting, start there and make a change. The best way to start this process is to cross things off that no longer leave you feeling energized.

In order to problem solve well in our every day lives, we have to have space to come up with creative solutions. Pandemic living has stripped us of space, transitions (for example, just the simple commute to the office) and energy. Working to create more space to just think, daydream or zone out is vital to our spirits!  Start self-care by saying NO more and evaluating your commitments.

The first thing a flight attendant tells you in the safety rules is to put your oxygen mask on first.  Perhaps self-care right now is getting in your car, blaring music and taking a drive by yourself.  DO IT.  DO IT NOW.  DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE TIME.

The more time you make for self-care the more efficient you are in every aspect of your life.

SO, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Instead of BE MINE, BE YOURS, be attentive to your needs.  A little goes a long way.

YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist practicing at Fritz, Stanger & Associates. For more information visit www.fritzstanger.com

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