Valentine’s Day conveniently falls between Christmas and March Break. For many people struggling through the cold winter, it’s a day to look forward to. Although the occasion might be a fun mid-season celebration for some, unfortunately, it can evoke feelings of exclusion and unworthiness for others.

Regardless of one’s relationship status, rather than solely focus our attention on others this year, I wanted to discuss the important practice of self-love. Here are a few ways that you can help your employees improve their well-being by focusing on themselves:

Achieving the elusive balance

For many people, throwing themselves into work can be an escape from dissatisfaction (or even trauma) in their personal lives. And while there is nothing wrong with devoting one’s self to a job, particularly if it provides fulfillment, I emphasize the importance of achieving a good balance between work life and personal life.

Individuals certainly don’t need to be in a relationship to find enjoyment outside of work either. For starters, reaching out to family members or friends may be helpful. For another, I like to stress there is nothing wrong with spending time alone—so long as people are in a positive headspace. Consider some solitary activities you can recommend that are genuinely fun and productive, such as exercising, volunteering, adopting an animal, and listening to music.

Avoiding stress and negative thoughts

Decompressing is another truly essential component of self-love. It’s all about encouraging your employees to grant themselves permission to relax, unwind, and tune out the world a little. You might even suggest they turn off their data, social media platforms, and ringers for an hour or so at a time.

I recommend posing some of these other ideas to employees who seem highly stressed: going to see a play, visiting an animal sanctuary, writing, reading, meditating, taking a bath, going for a massage, and so forth. Counselling is another productive path for someone whose self-esteem may be on a downswing. 

Positive mental health and wellness

Combining all, several, or even a few of the above suggestions can make a significant difference for someone who may be struggling this Valentine’s Day season. And although I speak mainly of finding confidence and strength in being alone, solo time is not always necessary when practicing self-love.

Showing family members and friends kindness is another positive way for someone to improve their own thoughts and feelings. As the expression goes, it is better to give than to receive. You may notice, especially as you get older, that this sentiment is highly accurate.

Self-love for self-esteem

In order for your employees to truly achieve self-love this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to be mindful and receptive. Try using some practical methods to spread the love:

  • Post signs in common areas (lunchroom, hallways, etc.) promoting “Self-Love Day”
  • Distribute a spirited e-blast the day before Valentine’s Day to boost everyone’s mood
  • Send out personalized cards or e-cards that highlight each employees’ skills (perhaps with a small personalized gift, if there are not too many employees to buy for)
  • Establish a fun, healthy Valentine’s Day lunch (accompanied by chocolate, fruits or other desserts to encourage indulgence in moderation)

Not everyone who could benefit from some guidance may reach out to you, especially because self-love is a very personal subject. However, communicating the availability of helpful Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services can gently nudge them in the right direction. For more information, I suggest contacting your EAP provider today.