I had been wondering whether the pandemic turned this raging extrovert into an introvert.

Although I’ve been comfortable being alone for some time, I feel even more at ease now. I even want to stay home by myself sometimes! Also a consummate traveler before the pandemic, I am now far more eager to just stay at home. That’s a gift that keeps on giving!

On Valentine’s Day, something interesting happened. I had a third in-person meeting in less than a week. That’s a pandemic record for sure. I can report that I AM, in fact, still an extrovert. I was bouncing around that night like a toddler after eating a bag of Halloween candy. (Hours after the meeting, btw.)

That circumstance of calendaring helped me realize something about myself: Being with other people is a way to care for myself. That’s something I just did intuitively before the pandemic. I realized that I need to reintegrate time with friends and colleagues into my routine in spaces and with people I feel safe around. (I no longer feel safe in crowds of random strangers, but that’s a blog for another day.)

As part of my February self-love practices, I’ve encouraged you on social media to become aware of when you have been “powering through” to get one more thing done. I suggest instead to pause, breathe and decide if you really need to do that thing right now. I took this advice to heart and started practicing it more myself. I’ve managed to leave dirty dishes in the sink a couple of times. I’ve set aside work to just sit and watch a television show. I’ve taken some work off my list entirely.

Lessening my workload is a way to show myself some love.

Often, all we need to do to make some changes is draw our attention to the effects our habits are having on us and make different choices. We do have free will, after all. One of the most powerful learnings from my years of practicing yoga and meditation is to be present with myself. I used to power through all the time, and then I would hit a wall of exhaustion and crabbiness. Now, I stop myself and rest before getting to that point. I used to self-isolate when I was in an emotionally tough place. Now, I know to reach out and talk to friends.

What you need is likely different from what I do, but you can use this awareness tool to find your own answers.

How are you showing yourself some love this month? Let me know by posting on this blog, or on social media, or by emailing me!

Enjoy the love in community, too:

Feb. 18, 8 p.m. EST, Movie Night: I’m celebrating self-love with a viewing of Real Women Have Curves through the Mindful Leaders Lounge Facebook group! Just join the group and you’ll hear more about how the online gathering works there, or sign up for instructions and reminders.

Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. EST, Community Care Group Coaching: I make space for you and others to set goals for your self-care practices and leadership development while having a community that supports and challenges you to do it. Begin a new cycle of coaching sessions with us Feb. 20. Tiered pricing ranges from $10-$25 per month for these sessions.

Wednesdays each week, 8:30 a.m. EST, Restorative Yoga Class: Each week, we gather for reflection, gentle movement, restorative poses (the laying around kind) and guided meditation. A great way to love yourself through the week! Sign up for your first class free.