Certified Macrobiotic Counsellor and Life & Health Coach, Nicky Clinch explains the importance of letting go of Valentines Day traditions in favour of taking YOURSELF out on a date!
Valentines Day. A day marked out in the calendar all about LOVE. Everywhere we look there are hearts and roses and balloons and cards enticing us to buy them for someone we love or creating some kind of hope and expectation that we may receive some of them from someone else this year. And yet, all this causes such enormous pressure and often leads to so many negative feelings of disappointed expectations.
But we could use this day differently. We could use it as a great reminder to do something really special for ourselves this year. Maybe we could shower ourselves with love. We could be the ones to make ourselves feel like the most important person in our world. And so I wanted to share one of my absolutely favourite (and most healing) exercises with you. It’s so simple and yet can be so hard for many to do.
Most of us spend so much time giving to others, taking care of our partners, husbands, children, mothers, fathers and friends. But do we spend enough time taking care of ourselves? We can easily spend days, months, years longing for someone else to wine and dine us and treat us like we are the most important person around but we have to do it for ourselves too.
So this Valentines Day, take yourself out on a date! Yup! I’m not crazy. Just you, no one else, doing something special that leaves you feeling like a million dollars. Going on a date is often related to a romantic evening spent with someone else. But what about dating ourselves? Because you know what….. we are important too you know!
This is an exercise I give to all my students on my 6-week course “Transform Your Diet, Transform Your Life” during our Desserts & Self-Love week and one I want to share with you!
And here’s how it goes:
You have to take yourself out on a date. A proper date.
Doing something you really love and don’t normally do.
And it has to last at least 3 hours! Because hey, how would you feel if someone else took you out and dropped you off at home after 40min?
And here’s the most important part… no one else is allowed to come!
During this date, treat yourself like you are the love of your life. Behave as if this is a special treat you are giving to yourself…. Because it is and because you deserve it.
Notice how much you may resist it, especially the hours leading up to it. And notice how others may show up in your life asking to come along and how tempted you are to say yes.
Whatever happens, DO NOT BAIL on yourself.
You wouldn’t like it if you were going to meet some guy/girl and they brought a friend along! No way! So say no thank you…. You are going on a date with you and no one else can come.
Then go have a ball and enjoy yourself.
Learning how to be with ourselves and love ourselves is one of the most important things we’ll ever need to learn. Because we will be in a relationship with ourselves throughout our whole life. And if we can really value ourselves and we feel of value in our lives, this can create the most enormous amounts of positive energy throughout every other area of our life.
So start by taking yourself out on a date. Most relationships do start with dating anyway, don’t they?
This has become one of the most important and valuable tools I use to reconnect with myself and to feel really nourished and pampered in my life.
Especially since becoming a mother, a wife, a teacher and a counsellor.
And so I really hope you enjoy it too. And who knows… you may just LOVE IT!
Here is a lovely piece from one of my recent students I thought you might find useful. It is of her experience of this wonderful exercise. I hope you enjoy it! And I hope you enjoy your date night.
“It was week 5 of our Transform Your Diet, Transform Your Life course – all about sweetness.
One of the aspects around this week that we gave particular attention to, was ‘receiving nourishment’ and as part of this, Nicky gave us our homework – to go on a date with ourselves…self-love, self-nourishment, self-care. No one else was allowed to join. We weren’t allowed to stand ourselves up or cancel. And it had to be at least 3 hours long.
I froze. I think a few of us did.
The idea to spend all that time with just me, and my thoughts, was daunting. I was never good at being on my own. When I was younger, I used to panic at the thought of being in my own company for more than an hour. I would either make plans or start calling friends. Anything so as not to have to sit with just me. Over the years it has got better. My yoga practice helped this hugely.
Yet that old fear was still there… I took a breath and leapt in any way.
For my ‘me date’, I decided to do two things I don’t normally get the time to do or allow myself time to do: Just sit with a coffee and visit an exhibition.
That Sunday, the weather was so lovely, I grabbed my book, headed to my favourite coffee shop in Clapham and sat for 3 hours on the Common, reading in the sunshine. I followed it with a visit to the V&A museum to see the Botticelli Reimagined exhibition. I dawdled to my heart’s content, not worrying if the person I would normally be visiting with had moved on to another room or was getting agitated to leave. I stood and sat in front of different paintings, long enough to feel and respond to it. It was such a luxury to do this, being there just for me. From being worried about 3 hours with me, here I was 6-7 hours later…I was having too much fun with myself. It was bliss.
I didn’t realise how much I needed time to myself, not just being alone but to give myself time and play. I now incorporate it into my life weekly. Not 6 hours at a time, maybe it is only an hour, but always something.
Thank you, Nicky, for reminding me that I deserve to receive love and nourishment as well as just giving out care and love to others. For reminding me of the importance of taking time for me as well. We need more sweetness and self-care. Whatever form that comes in… I know that more now.”
For anyone interested in signing up for Nicky’s 6 week course the next one begins on 23rd March. You can find out more by clicking the link here.