Whether you are in a relationship or not, you may experience difficult emotions around Valentine’s Day. You could particularly struggle at this time of year with heightened feelings of loneliness and/or low self-esteem. Idealised relationships often presented on social media and TV can trigger or worsen such emotions.

Social media often leads us to making comparisons that we, as individuals, and our relationships, aren’t good enough but, as “Mind” state, “we only see what other people want to share about their lives” How people present themselves on social media and to the outside world isn’t always reality. This underlines the importance of being kind to one another, as often you have no idea how somebody is really feeling.

At Maxwell Hodge, we encourage our people, throughout the year, to focus on self-care. Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team particularly focus on this as an alternative to traditional Valentine’s Day.

Self-care can often be misconstrued but, in its simplest definition, we believe this to mean focusing on the tasks and activities that truly care for your own emotional, physical and social wellbeing. For example this may be:


  • Asking for help when you need it – whether that be from a friend, colleague, family member or professional help, such as your GP or a therapist/counsellor.
  • Being kind to yourself, and those around you – see tips below.


  • Improving your sleep routine to ensure you get sufficient rest – tailoring your sleep habits to have the most positive impact for you.
  • Incorporating more exercise into your daily routine – try going for a walk during your lunch break.
  • Developing healthier food and drink choices – consuming more fruit and limiting caffeine, for example.

(See our previous article here re developing healthier habits)


  • Setting boundaries and saying “no” – you don’t need to attend every social event you are invited to, if you don’t want to.
  • Limiting social media and news reports, if this negatively affects your wellbeing – try setting a daily time limit for both. If watching or listening to the news is particularly upsetting for you, ensure that notifications on your devices (mobile and computer) are disabled.

The above examples are what self-care could be, so they may not relate to you and your needs. It is therefore important for us to reinforce that you need to do what is right for you by putting yourself first, when you can, and understanding your physical, emotional and social needs. You could also show some random acts of kindness to both yourself and those around you by:

  • Buying somebody a coffee – whether that be a stranger or a friend.
  • Taking 10 minutes to chat about somebody else’s day.
  • Smiling and saying hello to people you pass in the street.
  • Leaving a positive comment or review.
  • Thanking a colleague or friend for their help.
  • Giving yourself and others a compliment.
  • Writing down what you like about yourself and what you are grateful for.

If you would like more information on self-care techniques and/or develop your understanding of mental health, then you can check out the following: