Are you waiting for the courier van to deliver the massive bunch of roses? I think that last happened to me in 1996, long before I met my husband (he has other qualities 😍). Whether or not we care about flowers, Valentine’s Day can be both daunting and disappointing for many of us. Advertising and social media can have us believing that we are somehow ‘less than’ when we just don’t feel it. Even if we still want to feel sexy and alluring in our 40s it can certainly feel more difficult to have the oomph and Valentine's Day can leave us questioning why we don't.
Looking and feeling our best - confident, positive, alluring, easily able to move our bodies and feel comfortable with our reflection - doesn’t happen in an instant. And while it might be a lovely surprise to receive a dozen roses, that isn’t likely to create a lasting transformation in our mojo. How we look and feel about ourselves is dramatically influenced by what, how and when we eat, how well we sleep, how much we let stress rule our lives and what we have to look forward to. In our 40s the days when we can claim that we can survive without paying attention to any of this are waning and it’s also the decade that we are often the most squeezed by other demands, distracting us from our own needs and creating a self-care black hole where we are left feeling sucked dry and 'blah'.
For me this has culminated in a new perspective on Valentine’s Day, where I am less focussed on the actions of others and instead drill into my own actions to put my well-being front and centre. I do this in order to then have the energy, positivity, space and self-worth to offer my love to those I care about. Mid-February is my annual point to reflect on how I feel: in my mind, my body, my ambitions. I consider what steps I’m taking to continue to grow and develop, to plan for the future and to ensure that I have the body and mind to be able to achieve it. This is a whole-person approach to wellness. This is not selfish or egotistical, it’s the ultimate expression of love - love with a ripple effect, you could say.
When we consistently send ourselves the metaphorical bunch of roses - respecting our bodies by providing appropriate nourishment and creating space in our minds for peace and joy - we create the environment in which we naturally thrive, effortlessly radiate love and care to those around us and graciously receive it back because we know that we are worth it.
At the nitty gritty level I consider my common, every day scenarios: do I have periods of the day when I’m hangry, exhausted, short-tempered or bored? How often do I desperately want the afternoon pick-me-up biscuit, and how often am I in conflict with myself white-knuckling it to say no to the temptation? Are there circumstances and/or people who provide me with inspiration and joy? Are there any that I would rather avoid? Am I soldiering on with physical pain or discomfort instead of taking action to resolve it?
I also allow myself to take a bird’s eye view: where is my time and energy most focussed? What external influences are helpful or hindering? What goals am I striving for and why are they important to me?
Taking this time to reflect on the present state of the interconnected facets of our health and well-being, and envision the future allows us to easily see where things need adjusting and to map out the plan to do it.
This Valentine’s Day I invite you create some space to take stock and consider your whole-person wellness and how your future will be shaped. To get help turning that into an action plan, book a free ‘first steps’ coaching session with me where we can work through your priorities together and get you on the way to making it happen. Choose a time that best suits you by clicking here.