Whether February 14th is “Singles Awareness Day” for you or the more popular Valentine’s Day, the concept of love is hard to avoid during the month of February. That’s why we’re taking this opportunity to remind you about the most important person you should always be loving - yourself!

In a busy work day, we often neglect to take time for ourselves, failing to acknowledge the progress or accomplishments we may have made throughout the day. In a hectic environment it can be much easier to focus on the work we didn’t get done as opposed to the work we did. This kind of self-deprecating attitude is not only unproductive, but it can be harmful to our physical and psychological well-being, as low self-esteem is associated with negative effects on health.

Think About It

So how can we make sure we’re giving ourselves enough love? The first step is being mindful and self-aware. Throughout the day, take note of any negative self talk that comes to mind. You might not be able get rid of it entirely, but becoming aware of just how frequent it is could be enough for you to make an effort to shut it down - or at least modify it. Replace these thoughts with positive or more balanced thoughts of just how amazing you are by reciting things you genuinely do love about yourself. If you find you’re particularly hard on yourself at work, try jotting down your efforts in a diary or post-it note at the end of each day. Not only is this an easy way to keep track of your accomplishments, but it will help you appreciate your talents.

Work It Out

Obviously taking care of your body is one of the easiest ways to feel good naturally. You’ve heard it all before, but we’ll say it again; nourish yourself with healthy foods, drink plenty of water and exercise often. Sitting at a desk all day can leave our bodies feeling tight, putting us into a physical as well as mental “slump”. Get up and move around as much as possible. There’s nothing not to love about a body that feels good!

Visualize It

Finally acknowledge what you have and what you’re grateful for. Putting emphasis on the things that already exist in your life will help you recognize that there probably isn’t a lot missing. If your office space allows for it, hang a bulletin board with pictures that bring good memories, or keep small tokens on your desk that make you happy. Having small visual cues of all that brings you joy and meaning will serve as a reminder not to let your work life consume you, and perhaps inspire you to treat yourself every once in awhile to an activity you love.

Corny as this may sound, whatever you get up to this Valentine’s Day, take a moment to say “I love you” to yourself. Repeat these words as often as you can and soon enough you might find a renewed sense of confidence and self-esteem resulting in a more positive sense of self.