This Valentine’s Day: Fall in Love With the Journey
I’ve never been a big fan of Valentines Day. Granted, since I started dating my husband, I’ve enjoyed the intentionality of showing our appreciation for each other on this day, although I believe you should do this for each other every day. So this year, I decided to use “Valentines Day season” to get intentional about focusing on things I love about my life.
February has always been a hard month for me. Winter starts to wear on me and I’m always reminded of a sad time in my life back in high school when my good friends mom, whom I loved dearly, passed away on Valentines Day.
Thus, sure enough this year, like clockwork, I started to feel a little down a few weeks ago. I’ve relocated to Baltimore, Maryland for my husband’s career, and there are times I really miss my family, my friends and my old routine from my hometown of Pittsburgh. But I also know that my circumstances only dictate how I’m experiencing my life if I let them. I always have choices, especially about what I focus on and my attitude.
One thing I talk about in my coaching sessions is focusing on falling in love with the journey. If we’re always focused on the destination, we can wind up missing the joys of the ride. And it occurred to me several weeks ago that I was not practicing what I preach. I was letting my focus on getting back to Pittsburgh one day and all of my goals for my business weigh me down and consume me. It was time to get back to the basics.
So how do you focus on enjoying the journey when you’re not experiencing your perfect set of circumstances?
I can tell you what works for me. First, I made a list of the blessings I have in my current situation:
- I’m living with my husband who is supportive as he can be of me working from home – I love the good meals and lattes he makes me while I’m working in our home office. I also love the amount of time we get to spend together in our first year of marriage.
- We also have a sweet puppy that gives us unconditional love, even when we get mad at him.
- There is flexibility in working from home and I love taking breaks throughout the day to get outside more and enjoy the peaceful quiet.
- I’m closer to several friends and family that live in DC and Philly whom I didn’t get to see all that often before I moved.
- I can wear yoga pants every day. If I have video calls, all I need is a nice top but the yoga pants can stay on!
- With a less busy social schedule, I’ve decided to prioritize time for getting healthier, which has been on my “to do list” for 3 years. I joined a gym and am really enjoying the cycle, yoga and bodyjam classes.
I wrote out this list in my journal and committed to reading it every morning before starting my day, along with keeping a daily gratitude journal. I want to keep my mind focused on the blessings I already have.
I then made a list of the things that I like to do for me, my “independent self-care” list:
- I love reading and learning more about personal growth.
- I love going deeper in my spiritual life and taking more time to slow down in the mornings for devotions and prayer.
- I love taking bubble baths after the gym and “pampering my skin” with my Arbonne products.
- At 31 years old, I decided to move past my limiting belief that I don’t know how to curl my hair. I got a friend to help me once, learned how to do it right, and now I love curling my hair for date nights.
- I love mani-pedis and deep tissue massages. It may sound silly but they make me feel good.
- After a long day of work, I love tuning out and watching ridiculous, guilty-pleasure TV shows like The Bachelor and Married at First Sight. I can’t explain this, because personally I think the shows are shallow and ridiculous. But they turn my brain off and make me laugh.
I then looked at where I can intentionally add more of these things that I love to do for me into my schedule. I got proactive about scheduling time to see my friends that are nearby (to get my girl time in!) and to take better care of myself mentally and emotionally.
When my brain starts reeling about when I’ll move back to Pittsburgh or all the work I want to do, I hop in a bubble bath and read, I get up and go to the gym, or I curl up on the couch with my husband and focus on enjoying that moment with him.
I think sometimes we can view self-care as being selfish because it’s all about focusing on ourselves. But if I am not in a good spiritual, mental and emotional state, I’m no good to anybody. I haven’t gotten it perfect yet by any means. I still have days where I feel down, and that’s okay. I let myself feel it for the night, I embrace it, and then I get back to focusing on what I love about my life the next day. It’s a process.
My wish for all of you this February, with the heavy focuses on Valentines Day and love all around us, is that you remember to love yourself and to find ways to intentionally fall in love with your journey!
What do you love about your journey? Share with us in the comments!