Valentine’s Day is a day I’ve grown to love. And, while I work hard to give and show love throughout the year, this one day remains a pivotal occasion to fully express what is in my heart.
This year, I’ll break with tradition by focusing on me.
I’m sure I speak for many of you when I say that I do scant little in celebrating myself or even giving myself any time-off, especially when I’m always busy “being” a wife, mother and professional. But, this has been a year of introspection and personal growth.
I hope to use this Valentine’s Day to refill and remind myself of what’s really important.
I hope I can be as kind, thoughtful and compassionate to myself as I aspire to be, to others. And, if only for one day (to start), perhaps I can make my tiny baby steps toward self-love into another longer-standing tradition.
So, what better time than now to honor myself—and for you to honor you?
What if you were to give yourself a Valentine’s Day card? What would it say? What if you spent as much time on yourself as you do for others? What if you bought yourself a Valentine’s Day gift, wrapped it up and opened it with surprise, gratitude, and wonder?
We need all the help we can get, so I compiled my top 20 ways to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day:
20 Ways to Practice Self-Love This Valentine’s Day
1. Spend some time with yourself doing something you love.
Reflect on what it is you love to do. Perhaps you go for a hike. Maybe you spend some time on your yoga mat. You could also work on a craft, or curl up with a really great book. Whatever it is, make that time for yourself.
Not sure what you like to do? Check out #8.
2. Give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift. What would that be?
This doesn’t have to be a designer handbag—but if it is, good for you! Think outside the box with something you’ve been wanting for a while.
3. Turn the TV, radio, cell phone and/or computer off.
A digital detox every now and then is crucial for maintaining a state of wellness, so unplugging from technology is one of the best ways to practice self-love.
4. Take a long, hot bath. Get a massage. Get a haircut, manicure or whatever will make you feel good.
Lean into the stereotypical forms of ‘self-love’ and treat *clap* yo *clap* self.
5. For every negative word, you say to yourself, follow up with three positives.
Don’t skip this one. This has been long-researched. Positive affirmations can change lives.
6. Breathe deeply and often.
If this sounds intimidating, check out a guided meditation or look into meditation apps.
7. Thank the world that you are alive with practicing gratitude.
Practicing gratitude does wonders for our mental health. Spotlight that gratitude towards the simple notion that you are alive, breathing, and reading this article.
8. Find time away from your regular routine to do something new and/or different.
Since energy needs to be moved, changing up the energy makes (easy) sense! Trying something different will give you another perspective and point of view.
9. Smile at yourself and others.
Studies show that the mere act of smiling can change brain waves and provides other ancillary benefits. Consider the action of a mother smiling to a baby (vs another negative look). Consider when you smile at someone in kindness and they immediately smile back. In a 1997 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers identified that those who smiled more reported lower levels of distress.
10. Tell others how much you love and are grateful for them.
Acknowledge those individuals (family, friends, or service providers) who have lifted your life during the past year and may not even know it.
11. Practice polite phrases to yourself and to others.
Thank you. Please. You are welcome. May I? There is much benefit to acknowledging and respecting others; giving kindness and courtesies. You will reap the benefits.
12. (In whatever way you may read this) Just give yourself a break.
13. Create love coupons for yourself.
What would you want someone else to do for you?
14. Set aside long-standing grudges, animosities, and jealousies—if just for one day.
Make this an experiment. Search for alternatives and try out this alternate sense of your reality.
15. Make this a day of fun!
Treat yourself the way you would treat your children, husband/partner, family or friends — sleep in an extra 10 minutes and not feel guilty. Eat a good-for-you breakfast….so you can treat yourself to a not-so-good-for-you lunch! Put a love note in your lunch box.
Buy an expensive heart chocolate or a box of chocolates. Bring roses home – better yet, have them delivered! Buy clothes, socks, etc. with heart patterns to celebrate the day! Purchase, wear or make jewelry which has sentimental value. Bake heart-shaped cookies or cake.
16. Journal or write gratitude notes to yourself.
Consider that you are writing your own story.
17. Read love stories, love poems, and love quotes.
“How Do I Love Thee?” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, was written for her lover. What if you read some love poems… for you?
18. Do absolutely nothing…
..and try to do it well!
19. Try heart meditations…
…like metta, simple heart, heart circle, heart center. Close your eyes and breathe into these exercises. Let your heart talk with and to you.
20. Follow your heart.
How will you be practicing self-love this Valentine’s Day?