On Valentine’s Day, we enjoy expressing our love to others. It’s a wonderful chance to share how we really feel, and bask in the glow that comes from reaffirming the close connections we have with those who are important to us.
In all the celebrations, though, you may be forgetting one very important person: yourself.
Valentine’s Day is a great time to put into practice some of the self-love skills you may have been neglecting for awhile. As you know, the better you feel about yourself, the more beautiful you appear to others. Indeed, loving yourself is one of the best beauty tricks we know!
To help you enjoy that loving glow today, try the following seven tips for boosting your own self-love.
1. Start your day with gratitude.
I’ve talked about the benefits of gratitude before—they are many!—but this is a little different. This time, I want you to start the day by listing the five things you’re grateful for about yourself. They can be really simple or more in-depth. Here are some examples:
- I’m grateful my body is healthy and well.
- I’m grateful for my eyes that show people how much I care.
- I’m grateful for my hands—they help me do so much every day!
- I’m grateful for my ability to do my job and contribute in my own way.
- I’m grateful for my ability to help people feel good about themselves.
Pick five things you’re grateful for each day this week, and see if you don’t feel just a little bit better as you go about your day.
2. Honor your own time.
Take an hour or so to reflect on how you’re spending your time, and make sure it lines up with your priorities. Perhaps others are taking advantage of you, or maybe you’re putting in too many hours at work. Maybe you’ve been neglecting that hobby that you really enjoy, or ignoring the dreams that you have.
Use this time to go over your typical schedule, and see where you may want to change it. How you spend your days can make a big impact on your self-esteem and confidence. Choose to spend more time on those activities that feed your good emotions.
3. Speak only loving words.
Most of us don’t talk to ourselves very nicely. “That was so stupid,” we say, or, “Geesh, you’ve got so many wrinkles showing up!”
Use Valentine’s Day as the one day you will say only nice things to yourself. When you hear yourself launching into one of your typical criticisms, stop and turn it around. Say something like, “Yes, we all make mistakes, and you’re doing a great job recovering from it,” or “You’re looking fantastic and I’m so proud of how active and engaged you are!”
Find ways to compliment yourself today rather than waiting for others to do it. See how good it feels to think positive things about yourself throughout the entire day.
4. Write yourself a card or letter.
We enjoy sending others cards and letters on Valentine’s Day. This year, I challenge you to send one to yourself. Either purchase a card, or simply write yourself a short letter and mail it. Yes, mail it. Old-style, postal mail. That way you’ll experience actually writing it, and then receiving it a few days later.
It’s a double-dose of self-love, all wrapped up in a simple Valentine’s Day message. You may feel silly doing it, but trust me—it will help you tap into that self-love that you need!
5. Examine what you’re feeding your mind.
You probably spend time on social media, peruse the Internet, and watch some programs on television. You may consume information in other ways as well. The problem is that these things can erode your confidence or even your connection to what’s important to you.
It’s easy to compare yourself to others when interacting on social media, which can leave you feeling like you’re coming up short. Information on the Internet can be overwhelmingly negative, leaving you in a negative state of mind that’s not good for you. If you’re watching certain shows on the television, they may only exacerbate your negative body image.
Use Valentine’s Day to take a break from all these influences. For just one day, choose to expose yourself to more positive types of information. Maybe you can read some poetry first thing in the morning, listen to some upbeat music, or enjoy ten minutes of quiet meditation. Take a side trip to the art gallery or flower shop. Surround yourself with beautiful images and things, and see where they take your state of mind.
6. Be kind to your body.
We expect so much from our bodies every day, and rarely give back to them. Instead we usually think negatively of this body part or that, and focus on every flaw.
Use today to be kind. Start with how you care for your body. Take your time showering or bathing and going through your morning routine. Value what your body is as you prepare it for the day.
Next, think about swapping out some of your old products for more nourishing ones. Maybe you have an old moisturizer that’s full of petrolatum and fragrances. Splurge on yourself and try a new on that is filled with natural oils, extracts, and vitamins. (Body Repair Lotion anyone?)
Choose an exercise routine today that you will enjoy. Forego the hard, pounding routine in favor of a gentle tai chi or yoga class. Reconnect with how your body feels when it feels good.
Continue the pattern that night with a nice footbath or massage. Light some candles while you’re in the tub. Enjoy a long moisturizing mask. You can even make one yourself. Sit back, relax, and breathe in the wonder that your body is.
7. Do something special for yourself.
It’s amazing how special just one little indulgence can make you feel. Choose one today. Don’t feel guilty about it. You deserve to be nice to yourself now and then! Figure out what you can do today that would make you happy, and then go do it.
If you’re stuck, here are some ideas for you:
- Take half the day off and go enjoy an afternoon at the park, zoo, library, art gallery, or anywhere else you’d like to go.
- Take a drive somewhere beautiful.
- Call and friend and enjoy dinner out.
- Sign up for that class you’ve been wanting to take.
- Plan your next vacation.
- Reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in a long while.
How do you express self-love?