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Aussies encouraged to ‘self-love’ this Valentine’s Day

Animation of Smiling Mind app interaction
Animation of Smiling Mind app interaction

Australians spend millions of dollars on Valentine’s Day presents each year, but our partner Smiling Mind want you to ditch the flowers and spend time on your own wellbeing instead.

This Valentine’s Day, Smiling Mind are encouraging Australians to spend more time on practicing self-love following the launch of their free relationships app-based program supported by nib foundation.

The program provides a series of mindfulness mediations and activities that will help Australians build positive relationships at work, home, with friends, and most importantly, with oneself.

Despite popular opinion that self-love is selfish, Smiling Mind’s CEO Addie Wootten said that self-love is in fact very different to being selfish and having a good relationship with oneself provides a healthy foundation for positive relationships with others.

“For many Australians, it’s often far easier to feel compassion for someone we are close to than for ourselves. We are very good at being judgmental of ourselves and our imperfections and Valentine’s Day can really highlight this for many of us,” Dr Wootten said.

“Our new mediations will help us be mindful of this, so we can begin to better accept what we might consider weaknesses as well as our strengths and grow this appreciation through cultivating self-compassion and self-acceptance. The benefits are many including increased self-esteem and mood, as well as better relationships with others - including improving your sex life!” she added.

To get you started, Smiling Mind have put together the following tips on ‘How to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day’.

Cultivate mindfulness:
a big part of self-love is having an awareness of our thoughts and emotions which will allow us to act in ways that support our wellbeing rather than always meeting the needs of others.

Realistic self-talk:
our brain is wired to focus on the negative and many of us fall into the trap of focusing on the things that didn’t go right. We’re often our own worst critic. Training our brain to focus on a balance of what we did well as well as the things that didn’t go so well is really important in fostering self-love and self-compassion.

Listen to your needs not just your wants:
self-love involves the occasional trade-off between wants and needs. There may be things you want, but self-love helps us tune into what we really need e.g. things that are exciting and feel good, but what you might actually need is to do something that helps you to feel centred and focused.

nourish yourself through healthy activities, such as, a healthy diet, exercise, a good night’s sleep, and quality time spent with friends.

Set healthy boundaries:
learn how say no to work or other activities that deplete you physically or emotionally and aren’t aligned with the person you want to be.

You can find the relationships mindfulness program under ‘Adult Programs’ on the Smiling Mind app. Take ten minutes to try it out today!