Valentine’s Day is a day marked out in the calendar to show the one we love how much they mean to us and how grateful we are to them for everything they do. Whether it be a partner, family member or friend, it is a lovely opportunity to make a statement of love for others and the life you share together. Though I do believe it is more of a commercial ploy to get us to spend (not trying to put a dampener on things!), there is a beautiful meaning the push for profits to be made. This is that love is what unites us. It is what really gives great meaning to life and ourselves in every shape and form.
There are many forms of love and so Valentine’s Day ought not to just be a time for just romantic love, but for all kinds of love. One of the things that I try to remind myself of especially around this occasion is that I don’t need to shower the people around me with love, I also need to do the same for myself too.
According to the Oxford dictionary definition of self-love is:
“regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.”.
It is recognition of the self, in that as an individual one acknowledges and appreciate one’s self for who were are and what we do.
Self-love can still negative connotations to it, as it can be viewed as being self-centered or egotistical. However, I would argue that we all need to be a the centre of our own world, and that requires us to think and care for ourselves first in order to offer others the same. It isn’t an easy thing to do, as human beings, we are often drawn towards the negative aspects of ourselves and therefore we don’t see much good in being kind to ourselves. Though self-love isn’t something we just pick up overnight; it is a process, a journey throughout our entire lives to grow and evolve with.
Although I am in a relationship, it doesn’t take away the fact that I still need to love myself. It is true that if you can’t love yourself first, then you are not truly able to love another with the best intentions at heart. To love yourself means to find your truest form and accept that person for exactly who they are. It is to connect internally and understand what it means to be you, what drives you, what inspires you, and what you desire the most out of life. In learning more about what makes you as an individual, you can start to practice self-love in how you look after yourself and begin to implement kindness and compassion towards yourself in your everyday.
So with this in mind, I wanted to share a few little tokens of self-love that you could give to yourself this Valentines Day, and to hopefully keep practising them throughout the years to come.
Start with Gratitude
How you begin your day sets a tone for how you will approach all that may lie ahead of you. By making a note of what you are grateful for about yourself or your life, you are helping to focus your mind onto what enriches you and reminds you of what all the hard work and effort is for. It can be as many things as you like, but I like to stick between 1-3 things. You can practice this by writing them down on paper, making a mental note, or you could even make a creative gratitude notecard to have to hand whenever you are in need of inspiration.
Invest in Yourself
Create space and time for just you. Find what uplifts your spirit and gives you a feeling of joy, contentment or happiness. It can help you to understand more about yourself and the world. This could mean that you make time to read a good book, step into nature, run a warm bubble bath, or enjoy your favourite meal or drink. Allow yourself to have moments of comfort and enjoy doing what brings you positivity.
Nourish Your Body & Mind
It is super important to give your body the nutrients it needs to function to its full potential, which means that you ought to take care over what you feed it with. You know what is healthy for you, what helps you to feel the most energetic and vibrant. Avoid comparisons to what others are doing or the latest trend and follow what is right for you. When you nourish your body with all that it needs, your mind will be able to thrive and think more clearly and enable you to see things with a more positive perspective.
Forgive & Let Go
When the day doesn’t go as planned or something happens unexpectedly, be kind towards yourself. Have compassion for the way you are feeling and how you responded to the situation. Ask yourself “What would I say to a friend in the same position?” as you would not encourage someone else to put themselves down or beat themselves up. You are entitled to make mistakes, have setbacks and feel the way you feel. Acknowledge, forgive yourself and let go. Though it may not seem it at the time, these are the experiences that we learn the most about ourselves.
Celebrate The Big & Small
You will have big ambitions to aim for, and will have huge achievements throughout your life that you will want to shout from the rooftops about. However, along the journey to those amazing milestones, there are many smaller things that are worth celebrating too. The little steps forward that edge you a little closer to where you ultimate wish to are what make up the end result. So whilst you might be wrapped up in pursuit for that big goal give yourself a pat on the back for the small but still incredible achievements along the way.
Whether you are in a relationship or surrounded by friends and family, make sure that you shower yourself with love this Valentines Day too.