Survived Valentine’s Day? Maybe even enjoyed it? Now it’s time to get serious about love.  Valentine’s Day always seems to celebrate romantic love of another. And for many of us, it seems easier to love another than to love ourselves.

But real, sustainable love is different. It requires us to know that we matter, regardless of whether or not we have a great romantic relationship in our lives.

On my last retreat, I asked the participants to write down what they had learnt during their time away. One participant’s beautiful, simple response: “I matter.”

Sometimes, however good our lives are, we forget that our primary job is to take care of ourselves. The idea that we should put on our own oxygen mask first feels trite. We become drained, our immune systems weaken and we’re less able to be there for others. That’s why I’m here to remind you.

When you think about it, putting in place the building blocks that support and protect our energy is actually one of the most selfless acts we can do. It’s only when we really show up for ourselves and know that we matter that we can show up fully for others in both our work and our personal lives.

When we realise we matter and take care of our needs, everything changes. That means being aware of our own limitations. It means being willing to prioritise ourselves by honouring what we need to keep us emotionally and physically healthy.

Last week I shared my tips to keep you warm and healthy at this time of year, you can read them again here. There may be an idea there that’s missing. Ask yourself, what do you personally need TODAY to feel really good about yourself.

What would it be like to really put yourself first? Does that feel selfish? Who is more responsible for you than you?

What can you do today to signal to yourself (and others!) that you matter?