Whether you’re fresh on the dating scene, happily single, or committedly coupled, Feb. 14 is an occasion to observe love in its many forms — including self love. This Valentine’s Day and every day, invest in yourself and learn to feel the love from within.
1) Write yourself a love note.
How much do you love yourself? Let thee count the ways. It may sound silly, but writing yourself a love note can be a wonderfully self-reflexive, self-esteem boosting exercise. What are some things you love most about yourself? Try to remember some of the best compliments you’ve ever received. Maybe you’ve got a great sense of humor or a killer smile; maybe you’re a great listener. Think about the difficult moments in your life when you were clever or brave. Don’t be shy; write it all down, and be earnest. Read the note back to yourself whenever you’re feeling low or are tempted by negative self-talk.
2) Set a positive intention.
When you open your eyes in the morning, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” Then, set a positive intention to set yourself up for a better day. Make a deliberate, conscious decision about how you will create happiness and fulfillment and before you get out of bed. Setting intentions can help you to get out of your head, focusing on things that will have a positive impact on your life instead of on perceived limitations.
3) Share the love.
Share your love with somebody today and let them know you care. Text a dear friend and tell them how much you appreciate them, or even give a small gift.You’ll be surprised how awesome it makes you feel to make somebody else feel loved.
4) Work it out.
Taking care of your physical self is the first step to practicing self love. Not only does exercise produce endorphins that help you feel better, but you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment (a.k.a “that glow”) after doing something active. Whether it’s yoga, strength training or even just a jog outside, get moving and the self love will follow.
5) Drink a little more water today.
This one goes without saying, and yet it’s the one we tend to ignore the most. When you take care of your body by supplying it with healthy food, good nutrients, and plenty of alkaline spring water, you will naturally feel better and have more energy. Love your body by giving it what it needs, and it will love you back.
6) Create and bask in an uplifting environment.
Wear your favourite outfit that makes you feel good. Open the windows, play uplifting music… whatever it is that gives you an extra spring in your step, do it, and do it often. Remember that it’s the little things that can often bring the most joy and cultivate self love.
Making time in your day to do something special for yourself means not feeling remotely guilty about putting your phone on silent (or gasp — turning it off) and spending some time with yourself. Block out all the noise and don’t scroll through strangers’ Instagram feeds today. You’ll find it easier to be present in the moment and in tune with your surroundings if you commit to a digital detox.
8) Embrace the hygge.
The Danish are onto something. Hygge, the concept of Scandinavian coziness and enjoying life’s little pleasures, has swept North America. If you’ve ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy day in your favorite armchair, you’ve experienced hygge. Throw on your coziest socks, pick your most comfortable chair, brew some hot cocoa and find some time for hygge today.
9) Really spoil yourself.
Today is the day to really treat yourself to something special. Buy yourself flowers or a new candle that will make the house smell amazing. Take yourself out for lunch, or go see that art exhibit you’ve been meaning to check out. Get a massage or enjoy a day at the spa, or simply run yourself a really great bubble bath. The point is, treat yourself, because you deserve it.
10) Celebrate small victories.
Make a list of your victories this month, and keep it updated with achievements — big and small. Finally made it to that A.M. spin class? Got your laundry done for the week? Finished an assignment early? Stop waiting for someone to be your cheerleader and do it for yourself. You’re killin’ it.
11) Give yourself credit.
On that note, when you do find yourself worrying about all the things still left on your to-do list — for the week, for the month, or in life — try to be mindful of all the things you’ve already accomplished and how far you’ve come. We tend to focus on the negative, or get overwhelmed looking at what we’ve yet to achieve, and forget to be recognize all the wonderful things we’ve already done.
12) Cut yourself some slack.
The first step towards self love is being kind to yourself. Don’t ruminate on your past mistakes or on all the disappointments in your life. Instead, think about what you learned, and how that is helping you become the person you were meant to be. Nobody’s perfect. Mistakes are what help us grow.
13) Be unselfish.
It’s time to leave your pity party and turn the love on someone else. Send flowers to a friend who has been going through a hard time. Call your grandmother and ask her how she’s doing (better yet, pay her a visit!). Do you have married friends with kids? Volunteer to babysit so they can have an evening to themselves.
14) Allow yourself to be where you are.
Difficult feelings happen. Instead of fighting them, try to simply feel whatever you are feeling, without judging it or judging yourself for feeling it. Embrace it and explore it. Let go of your resistance, and let go of the judgment around why you are feeling this way. By feeling the feeling fully, you can then allow it to dissolve. Sometimes feeling bad is the key to feeling better, so listen and let go.