Valentine’s Day is a designated time to show feelings of love and friendship. We’re surrounded by countless opportunities and pressures to buy things, splurge, and indulge those we care about.
But the real opportunity of Valentine’s Day is to show affection to the one who deserves it most: yourself. Instead of following what’s expected, use the day as an opportunity to give yourself what you need. Take all the talk of love and images of indulgence and direct them at making a commitment to being your own Valentine.
Here’s a few ways to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day:
In this outcome-driven culture, we’re used to pushing ourselves and continually striving for more. In the midst, we can lose sight of everything we have accomplished and all we have become. It’s a gift to yourself to pause and reflect on what you do and what you have done. Take a few moments to reflect and appreciate everything you are. You can still have ambition and motivation while also appreciating what you have already accomplished. By expanding your appreciation of what is, you’re free from the negative pressures of the outside world, and protected from the toxic effects of judging yourself based on what you aren’t.
Take Care of Yourself.
All too often, we put ourselves last. We push ourselves, sacrifice ourselves, and ignore our needs. This Valentine’s Day, spend a few minutes focused on simply taking care of yourself by replenishing an area that has gotten low or has been depleted. Start by taking a few moments to sit and feel what within you needs to be nurtured. Ask yourself: How do I feel in my body? How do I feel in my heart? How do I feel in my mind? Be open to the responses you might receive, and try to focus on the area that feels the lowest, the most in need of attention. Then, based on how you feel, pick at least one area to address and replenish: rest, nutrition, humor, exercise. Make a commitment to slow down, nurture yourself, and lighten up, and you’ll be amazed by what a difference it can make to your overall well-being.
When you have taken care of what you need to — to feel balanced, healthy, and happy, then take it a step further and pamper yourself. After all, it’s a day to indulge right? Go for it. Take a bubble bath, get a massage, or have a candle-lit picnic with gourmet food (outside or inside). Do the ordinary in a not-so-ordinary way and make it special for yourself.
We get so used to routine that it’s easy to forget that life is filled with opportunities to be inspired. Do yourself a favor and commit to doing something inspiring. Start by thinking about something easy and fun that you could do in a few minutes. Then, let your mind wander to ways you could make it exciting and interesting. What could you do to charge yourself up, really immerse yourself? Choose something that feels exciting to you, that sparks your interest. The sky’s the limit.
Most of us find it easier to say, “I love you” than “I love me.” It’s time to make a commitment to change that. Take a few minutes and reflect on the amazing person you are, the positive things you have accomplished, and the light you bring into the world. Realize that you are unique, beautiful, and wonderful. Focus on all you are (push away any thoughts of what you aren’t) and be open to the idea that you are worthy of your own attention, respect, and love. Believe in yourself, take care of yourself, and nurture yourself. You’re worth it!