Whether you grew up in a dysfunctional family or specific culture that taught you to put your needs and feelings to the side, or you’ve been caught up in complicated relationships or a toxic workplace that demands a lot of your attention, you’ve probably neglected yourself either physically or emotionally. Even though we give to others on Valentine’s Day, make this the year that you become your own best valentine, shift the focus off a complex relationship or crazy job and put the energy back onto you.
Here’s a list of six things you can begin to let go of as you re-claim a more loving sense of self.
- Let go of the responsibility to take care of, enable, or cover up for a partner or colleague who doesn’t meet their responsibilities, and tries to either blame you for their issues or expects you to clean up their messes.
- Let go of the energy you expend to obsess and worry about other people and their behavior, or situations that are truly out of your control. Worrying doesn’t actually change anything other than depleting you emotionally, physically, and mentally.
- Let go of the need to motivate a partner, child, or colleague through guilt by saying things like, “If you loved me or cared enough you’d cooperate or change.” No one is motivated by guilt or shame and you will inadvertently create more resentment or passive-aggressive responses.
- Let go of taking other people’s moods, behaviors, or choices personally. Most of the time it’s not about you at all!
- Let go of putting your needs, feelings, and desires on the back burner in order to put someone else’s needs first. Allow your priorities to shift so you can begin to meet your needs.
- Let go of being a loved one’s therapist. You couldn’t possibly have the objectivity to be effective, and it’s not your job!
As you let go of the emotional and psychological stuff that holds you back, you will discover a newfound supply of energy that will enable you to embrace the things that will enhance your wellbeing. Focus on your physical and mental health, reconnect with gratitude, take the first step with that hobby you have put off, learn something new, refocus on your bucket list and start to make it happen. This Valentine’s Day go beyond the box of chocolates and give yourself the gift to release whatever holds you back and embrace what can move you ahead.
What other things can you “let go of” to help you move forward in your life?