Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples or romance. It’s a day to celebrate love and show love to the people in your life, including yourself. If you’re searching for a job—especially if you’ve been at it for a while—some self-love may be just what you need.
After all, job searching is hard, and can often be emotional: there’s the excitement of finding a job opportunity that speaks to you; the thrill of feeling like you rocked an interview; the anxiety of waiting to hear back from an employer; and the disappointment or frustration of not getting a job you want.
Who wouldn’t need some extra care to get through all that? This Valentine’s Day, try out a few of our self-love tips.
Write yourself a love letter
One of the five “love languages,” or ways to give or feel love, is through words of affirmation. For some of us, hearing someone say “I love you” and why, can put us over the moon.
You can give yourself words of affirmation too, by writing yourself a love letter, or smaller notes of love. You don’t have to gush—it could be as simple as leaving yourself a sticky note on your computer that says, “You are a rockstar!” or “You are smart, qualified, and confident.” Seeing those words written down and reading them to yourself (in your head or aloud) can help you believe them.
For a more 21st-century option, write yourself a loving email and send it using delayed delivery so it can surprise you later in the day or week. Microsoft Outlook has a delayed delivery setting (under the “Options” tab), or you can use a third-party app like Boomerang to schedule delayed delivery in Gmail.
Do something nice for yourself
For the times when actions speak louder than words, practice self-love by doing something nice for yourself. You can go with the classic Valentine’s Day move of sending yourself flowers or chocolate, or try another gesture—take a relaxing bath, go to bed early, or treat yourself to a new recipe or restaurant you’ve been wanting to try.
To make whatever you do a true gesture of love, don’t attach any strings to it. This is not the time to tell yourself, “If I apply to two jobs today, then I can do X,” or “After I do Y for an hour, then I have to go back to editing my resume.” Simply allow yourself to enjoy the gift or activity.
Take the night off
Just like a couple may celebrate Valentine’s Day with “date night”—a night away from work, the kids, or other obligations—give yourself the night off from job hunting.
Taking time away from your job search can help you cope with job seeker burnout in the short term and make the entire experience less stressful. It can also make you better at applying to jobs by giving you space to recharge, reconnect with yourself, and boost your creativity.
To make the most of your night off, cleanse the night of anything and everything related to your job search. For example, if you’re staying in to watch a movie, make sure to clear the space of any business cards or printouts of job postings. If you’re spending time with a friend, let them know ahead of time that your job search is off limits as a topic of conversation.
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As a nonprofit advocacy professional living in Washington, D.C., Deborah works with groups across the country to educate their communities and lawmakers about public policies that can help low-income residents make ends meet. She is passionate about helping people connect their interests to a cause they believe in and empowering them to take action.