I don’t need to remind you that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. The plethora of heart-shaped chocolates and stuffed animals holding punny signs at your local grocery store won’t let you forget. Whether you’re all loved up or celebrating solo, I want to encourage you to look beyond the surface-level conversation hearts to have a real heart-to-heart– with yourself. Forget your Valentine or Galentine, and take some time to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day.
I can hear you now, wondering, “But– isn’t it selfish to focus on self-love?” Let’s banish those negative thoughts, right this second. Self-love is not selfish. Self-love is the focus on your own wellbeing and happiness that supports your physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. Self-love doesn’t take away from your ability to love others– it actually allows you to be your whole, incredible self, so you can love others fully.
So, let’s get to it! We know why self-love is important, but let’s talk about how to change your life with a few easy exercises in self-love.
TURN OFF THE NOISE
When you spend time with friends or your special someone, you actually focus on them. You put down the phone, ask questions, and listen to their answers, right? When’s the last time you spent time with yourself? I’m not talking about time spent alone, I’m asking when you made time (without the TV, podcast, radio, or social media) to check in with yourself.
Run a bubble bath and leave all forms of entertainment in the other room. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend. Here are a few questions to get yourself started:
- What’s the best thing that happened this week?
- What’s the worst thing that happened this week?
- Who brings joy into my life?
- Is there someone in my life who brings me down?
- When was the last time I was proud of myself?
- Does my work make me feel fulfilled?
If your life is stuck on autopilot, these check-ins can help you take control of your circumstances and move toward a life you love.
BE YOUR OWN HYPE PERSON
I sincerely hope you’ve got hype man or woman who make you feel like royalty. And I hope you say a heartfelt “thank you” when you hear compliments. There’s no room for modesty here– you are a gorgeous/handsome, amazing, wonderful human being!
If you didn’t think “hell yeah, I am” after reading that sentence, it’s time for an affirmation intervention. Charles Steele’s self-affirmation theory says “when people’s self-image has been threatened they are motivated to affirm the integrity of the self.” Let’s affirm your integrity with some self-love affirmations:
- I am enough
- I am worthy of love
- I accept myself– exactly as I am
- I love myself
- I can do hard things
- I am always evolving into the best version of myself
- I love my body and all that it allows me to do
- I am unique
These are just a start! Think about the things you love most about yourself and create your own affirmations. Then, repeat them daily.
FLIP THE SCRIPT
We’re often told to play small, that it’s normal to hate things about ourselves. I’m here to tell you, that’s total BS. So let’s flip the script. Is there a part of you that you don’t love? Let’s practice gratitude for our imperfections. Maybe you’re self-conscious about a scar? That scar is a reminder that you’re a survivor, or maybe that you had an adventurous youth. Hate your nose? Be grateful that your sense of smell allows you to fully experience the flavors in your meal and alerts you to food left on the stove a bit too long. When you turn a negative into a positive, you can change your entire mindset.
As you show love to everyone around you this Valentine’s Day, take time to love the most important person in your life– yourself!