It’s almost Valentine’s Day. For some people, this holiday is all about that famous (infamous?) four letter word: L-O-V-E. So much focus is put onto our romantic relationships, sometimes we forget about the one person we should constantly be showing affection to.
What are you going to do for yourself this Valentine’s Day? Self-love is one of the most important ways we can take care of ourselves. But so often it happens that we forget to do just that. We put so much energy into taking care of everything and everyone else that sometimes we feel like we’re running on empty. This Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to try out some self-love techniques. Here are some ideas!
Take Care of Yourself Physically
When we think of taking care of ourselves, most often we think about exercising and eating well. But there are many other activities that help our bodies feel good and run at optimum performance. This includes things like getting a good night’s sleep, going for a check-up at the doctor, and practicing good hygiene. These activities are all part of taking care of ourselves and when we do them on a regular basis, we show our bodies the love and support they need.
Meditation has been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety, decrease inflammation, and help our mind’s better focus on the tasks we’re working on. There are different types of meditation. The most popular ones include mindfulness, guided meditation, mantra, and loving kindness. If you’re new to meditating or have tried it but didn’t feel like it worked for you, I’d suggest maybe trying a few different types. It’s a very personal experience and what works for one person may not work for another. Start out with 5 minutes a day, a few days a week and work your way up from there. There are many popular apps that can help you get started, or even online videos too!
Be Kind to Yourself
This is one that I feel every person overlooks. People tend to be very hard on themselves, especially when we’re working on something that means a lot to us. We may fail or make mistakes and we are quick to put ourselves down. We think to ourselves, “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m not pretty enough,” “I’m so stupid.” These thoughts can creep in unintentionally and make us doubt ourselves. But think of it like this… Would you ever say something like this to your parent, your sibling, your best friend, or anyone you care about? Probably not! Then why are we so quick to say it to ourselves? Next time you hear yourself using negative self-talk, try challenging it. When you think to yourself “There’s no way I’m going to pass this exam,” turn it around and say “Why WOULDN’T I pass this exam? I studied hard so I’ll ace it!” When we challenge our negative thoughts this way, it’s easier to see that they aren’t true. Over time, we create a new habit of building ourselves up!
Do What Makes You Happy
It’s time to do a little soul searching. It feels like there has always been a lot of pressure on people to look a certain way, act a certain way, do what others expect us to do. It comes from various sources. Sometimes it’s our parents or family, sometimes it’s our peers, sometimes it’s at school or work. Even though sometimes people tell us what to do because they care about us and don’t want us to make mistakes, it’s important to listen to that little voice inside your head and follow your dreams. This could be professionally in your job, or maybe personally in your relationships. But it’s an important concept and unfortunately some people feel they can’t even do that for themselves. It’s not an easy task, but well worth the effort. When we do what makes us happy, it creates a sense of joy and peace. Just like the other activities in this list, it’s a very personal idea that will look different for everyone. And it doesn’t have to be a huge life-changing idea either. Start with something small like working on a beloved hobby. Taking small steps to work towards making yourself happy makes the bigger steps come easier.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on self-care. This Valentine’s Day, remember to share the love with yourself as well as with those you care about!
Stay safe, stay healthy!