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Recovery blog

Focus on Yourself this Valentine's Day

By: Kaitlin Burns, Primary Therapist at The Renfrew Center of Bethesda

Posted on February 10, 2020

Valentine's Day is a major commercial holiday in this country that urges us to show our loved ones how much we care about them by buying them a box of chocolates or some nice jewelry. But what if, this Valentine's Day, we focused on loving ourselves?

I frequently hear from patients that the thoughts they have about themselves are far more critical than the appraisals they have about other people. I wonder what it would feel like to turn the compliments and empathy we have toward others inward toward ourselves instead. Maybe this would feel uncomfortable or ingenuine – or, just maybe, it would be a little heartwarming. Allowing ourselves to notice and validate the hardships we have dealt with, the resilience we have shown, and the progress we have made enables us to see our inherent value as human beings. It can help us increase our beliefs that we are worthy of connection, love, and support.

This Valentine's Day, if you catch yourself criticizing yourself or how you look, try to reappraise those thoughts by bringing in some flexibility. Maybe try to think of something more neutral, or even positive. Give yourself credit for the strengths you possess. Validate that mistakes are going to happen and that we can learn from them, even though it doesn't feel comfortable in the moment. This Valentine's Day actively choose to love yourself a little more – because you deserve it.

We're excited to announce another move! The Renfrew Center of Bethesda has officially moved, just less than half a mile away, to a new, bigger and brighter facility that allows us to better accommodate adolescent girls and women suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and related mental health problems. This new location will allow us to continue this high standard of work and serve the greater community for years to come. To tour The Renfrew Center of Bethesda or to schedule an assessment, please call 1-800-RENFREW (736-3739).

Kate Burns has been with The Renfrew Center for over a year, first as an intern during her Master's program and now as a Primary Therapist. She completed her Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in May from George Washington University in DC, and she is originally from Boston. She's an avid Patriots fan and likes to spend her free time enjoying all that the DC Metro Area has to offer!
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