By Rebecca Kerzner
How nice is it to start fresh with a new semester?😄
We made it through half the year and should all be very proud of ourselves for making it through! The beginning of the spring semester is one of my favorite times of year because we get a brand new chance to start making goals for our school work, social life, and futures. We get to clear our minds and bring some of those idealistic goals we put away over break to fruition.🍓🍐🍋 (get it?😉) Also, summer is on the horizon, so we get to get pumped (or freaked) for what lies ahead. Alllll the feels, alllll the time. 🙃😵
Today’s launch falls out on Valentine’s Day and I wanted to borrow its message of love for the purpose of Perspective’s February Launch.💕 Traditionally, we associate Valentine’s Day as a celebration for happy couples to give gifts to one another. But it is also a holiday that garners loneliness for those who haven’t yet found that love. Even though it’s not a Jewish holiday, these are still feelings that Valentine’s Day can bring about that are difficult to face. 😞💔
But this year, I’m treating Valentine’s Day as a day for self-love and I invite you all to do the same with me.🤗 This is a positive opportunity to consider how much love we’ve truly given to ourselves in the past couple of weeks. Self-love is an act characterized by healthy well-being and happiness. It’s not something anyone of us can say we have mastered either, because it is something to cultivate daily. There will always be good days and bad days. On those bad days, when we can’t be there for ourselves, we look to friends to cheer us up and offer up some ideas. Today, I’d like to be that friend for you, share some insights I’ve been thinking about and maybe slip in a pep talk or two. 😉+🤔=🎇
We are our own biggest critics.
When our friends have an accomplishment, we cheer them on, support them, and are proud. But when we reach a goal, we are only happy for a single moment and then we move on. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things we do accomplish and we tend to focus on the things we still have yet to achieve. I often wonder why it is that we offer so much support to our friends that we can’t reciprocate for ourselves? I think it’s because celebrating ourselves comes with a feeling of sheepishness that we aren’t always comfortable accepting. Buying ourselves a box of chocolates or a plant because we “deserve” it seems odd and theatrical, so we pass on the idea and just continue to raise the bar higher and higher for ourselves. I’m bringing this point to emphasize that it may take a lot of effort to take these moments to appreciate ourselves but that we should try and rise to the challenge.
Little changes in our routines can have a tremendous effect on our well-being.
I’m a huge proponent of the treat-yo-self day Tom Haverford coined in Parks and Recreation. Obviously, there isn’t time to do something extravagant for ourselves every day, but there are some little changes we can add to the routine. You can always find ten minutes to stop in the Duane Reade near us and pick up your favorite drink, or go to Trader Joe’s and buy a succulent (biased opinion here #succulentsarebae) But in all seriousness, I’d argue that even taking a little detour to walk home to Brookdale on 35th street instead of 34th could make a big difference because we all know those brownstones (35th between Madison and Park) are beaaaaaa-utiful. This week, I scribbled and hung up on a post it “Keep growing internally” and even though I felt a little embarrassed doing it, I see it every day, nod and think, “Yeah, I’m only moving forward from here.” Engaging in these physical things helps put the negative emotions to bed because it feels like we figuratively tucked them in, and paid attention to ourselves by doing something about it. 🛏️😴😇
Authenticity is productivity. 👍👍👍
The more we pay attention to the feelings we feel and the faster we accept those feelings, especially the bad ones, the sooner we can cope with them. This one is super hard because nobody likes to sit in negativity, but thankfully, it can actually be very therapeutic to allow those feelings to bubble up to the surface and process them for a while. Avoiding keeps us in a rut, and the rut turns into a hole that lasts as as long as we resist, but once we allow ourselves to fall in it and sit for a bit, we can climb out when we are ready. Once we admit the truth and acknowledge how we deeply, truly feel, the weight lifts off our chest and we can move on with the next thing. Most of us have probably experienced crying either in the school halls, library cubicles, between the shelves, or empty classrooms. But that’s okay. Because they are your feelings and they are all part of the human experience.
So this is my pep talk for you. You are awesome. 🤗You are special. 🤗You are accomplishing things. 🤗There is so much in store for you.🤗 Everything will be okay. 👌Even though the struggle may feel like it will last forever, remember that all feelings are temporary. Hug a friend. Buy yourself a chocolate. Just remind yourself that the human experience is one that experiences ALL emotions and that all of them are completely valid and beautiful in their own way.🥀
I hope you enjoy the articles in February, and I hope you all take a moment this month to truly appreciate yourself for who you are and not for what anybody else says. Be happy for you because you are unique and special in your own way and nobody can take that away from you. 💪🙋
PS. Here is my list of happy songs that are sure-fire pick-me-ups. In case you need an extra push, I’m your girl. 😘
Sometimes Alle Farben
I Love It Icona Pop
Me Too Meghan Trainor
Lose Yourself to Dance Daft Punk
True Feeling Galantis