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Remember to LOVE yourself

By: Erin Birely, LCPC, Team Leader The Renfrew Center of Baltimore

Posted on February 11, 2019

We have officially entered the onslaught of Valentine's themed everything! From candy to cards and every decoration you can think of in between, we all begin to focus on expressing our love for everyone around us, but what about ourselves? In the recent years we've gone from having just Valentine's Day for couples to including a Galentine's Day for our best girlfriends, but we still manage to somehow forget ourselves on this holiday focused on love and appreciation.

I challenge us all this year to not just show our love and appreciation for those around us, but to really focus on showing it to ourselves. This can be done in big or small ways and doesn't have to be just on Valentine's Day. Perhaps try something different each week to continue that expression of love and acceptance all month, or year round. We know how good others feel when we express love and appreciation for them, so just think of how we could feel if we started expressing it to ourselves!

• Send yourself flowers or simply pick up fresh flowers for yourself on the way home.
• Create a gratitude or accomplishment list of things you've accomplished or are grateful for at this point in your life.
• Hire a cleaner for your house or apartment to give yourself a break from chores.
• Write a love or like letter and mail it to yourself to read later.
• Take yourself out on a date, go to a movie, get coffee in a café you've wanted to try, take a dance lesson, go to a museum.
• Forgive yourself, let go and forgive yourself for that mistake or choice you haven't been letting go.
• Remove yourself from social media and technology for a few hours or days and give yourself a chance to reacquaint yourself with you.
• Take the time to figure out what you need to thrive.

Self-love and acceptance is not an easy thing for all of us, so if you feel like you need more support to get there take a step to find that support as part of your self-acceptance this month. It takes time, effort, and feels uncomfortable to start, but if we keep at it the changes we can see are astonishing!

Erin Birely, LCPC started working as the Team Leader of the Renfrew Center of Baltimore in September 2016. Prior to joining Renfrew Erin had worked in private practice as well as inpatient, partial, and intensive outpatient levels of care. Erin has worked in the field of eating disorder treatment since receiving her Master's degree in 2012. She enjoys working with people to make positive and long lasting changes in life through therapy and building their emotional tolerance. When not working Erin enjoys spending times with friends and family, as well as working on home improvement projects.

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