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Valentines Day....

"Love" it or hate it commercially its everywhere. Its that time of year where new relationships thrive, old relationships sustain and break ups become emphasised.

The original origin of valentines day come from the Romans. Feb 13th - 15th was the feast of Lupercalia. Men sacrificed a goat or dog then whipped women with the hides of the animal they slayed. Roman romantics were drunk and naked. Young women lined up for men to hit them, they believed this would make them fertile. The brutal fete also including matchmaking lottery of women names in a jar. Couples would then be together for the festival or longer if the match was right. The ancient Romans are also responsible for name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius executed two men both named Valentine on February 14th of different years in 3rd century. The catholic church honoured them with a celebration of St Valentines Day. Has that changed your view on the day of love?

I have participated of course who hasn't, cards, gifts, dinners, but it was all just an excuse. I wasn't into the meaning of it as who needs a day to show someone you love them?

If you love someone you show it in every action you take. The old saying actions speak louder then words is top of the rule book when love is concerned. You should know when someone loves you with out the three letter words being uttered at every given moment.

"I Love you" is used like Hello and Goodbye the meaning of it has been lost. Even as I typed the words out and now staring at the screen at them they have no different meaning from the rest.

Modern day love could have its own huge blog lets face it what a complicated thing it becomes.......or is it? We cause our own complication in love as we all have our own expectations of what it should be like. And my oh my those expectations can be high.

I am a hopeless romantic. This most likely comes from songs and films that make us believe in true love and true romance. And alas I have had my fair share of what I may call a fairy tale. But life's struggles diminish that fairy tale in an instant. My expectations were great and when not met I became disheartened. I've now come to realise that this was a roller coaster I had been on since I was in my teens. Searching for Love thinking I had found it, got disappointed, hurt or just bored and then ended up back on the roller coaster again. The number one expectation I think I had was that the other person would make me feel complete? I roll my eyes as I write this...

After my most recent relationship breakdown I decided its time to step back and really evaluate this whole "Love" thing.

This Evaluation of course started where it should....with myself.

Realisation kicked in....I didn't love myself. I gave out my love so easily, Id care for others, tend to there every need never considering myself as I ran around doing everything I could for them. I've done this in each relationship I have ever had, not just partners but friendships included. Id always put myself last in my ranking of importance?

Time for some self care......

I promised myself that 2019 would be the year of Kate. Start putting my needs first. To stop being so concerned about other people all the time. So selfish....

But that is where the word Selfish is misunderstood in the terms of self love.

Taking care of your own happiness and well being first means you free your emotional time and energy to love and focus on others. If you love what you do, what you have around you and how you live your life you will be able to let that love pour over your self love cup and you can start dishing it out to those around you. Otherwise you are just trying to fill your own half empty cup up with as much love as you can for yourself constantly, then you become selfish.

So its ok to put yourself first to ensure you are the best version of yourself all of the time, for you and for your loved ones.

Here ive listed 5 great self love tips:

1. Careful how you talk to yourself - you are listening.

Your inner critique is in there, ensure you find something positive out of each day about yourself and what you are doing.

2. Invest in yourself.

10-15 mins of reading a book, listening to some music. Go see a film alone, take yourself our for dinner. Anything that lifts your mood and takes you away for a short while.

3. Learn to say NO

You can say no to people. We can stretch ourselves so thinly and commit to to much. Saying no is part of your self care plan.

4. Stop comparing to others.

We can all see what everyone else is up to with social media these days. Being in a pattern of compare and despair can make you focus on the negatives about you. There is so much more to be grateful for in your own life and we only see what people want us to, so those comparisons are not realistic.

5. Do something you love and that your good at.

Self esteem and self love go hand in hand, especially in something you are good at. So find it and do it, boost your endorphins and bring out the best in yourself.

The list of self love tips could go on forever. But just make sure this Valentines day you have some self love on the wish list.

For what its worth to all Happy Valentines.

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