Focus on Self-Love this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day can bring up many different emotions for both singles and couples. However, regardless of relationship status, one thing we can all focus on this Valentine’s Day is self-love! Self-love involves showing yourself the same love and kindness that you’d show others and accepting yourself for who you are. It’s about putting some energy and effort into the relationship that you have with yourself. The concept may sound self-indulgent or narcissistic, but it is more about getting in touch with ourselves and our well-being, which can have great benefits for our mental health! So how can you love yourself this Valentine’s Day, no matter how much love you receive from others? Here are 10 tips for practicing self-love:
- Treat yourself like your best friend: This is a great rule of thumb. You deserve the same kindness and care that you’d give to a friend, so give that to yourself! Listen to your needs and desires by taking time to check in on yourself then following that lead on you need more of next.
- Challenge your inner critic: It’s easy to listen to your negative thoughts and become your own worst critic. Be mindful of the way you talk to yourself. When you start to feel self-criticism coming on, press pause, take a step back, ask yourself “Is this true?” and then consider what you’d tell a friend who was thinking that about themselves.
- Engage in positive self-talk: Once you recognize and challenge a negative thought, replace it with something more positive. Take time to consider your positive qualities and the things you love about yourself. Write them down when you think of them to have when you need them most.
- Celebrate your accomplishments: No matter how big or small of a win, celebrate them all! Allow yourself to take time after a victory to be proud of yourself and your accomplishment before moving on to your next goal or challenge. You absolutely have something to celebrate about yourself!
- Practice good self-care: Regular self-care is an act of self-love. Take care of your hygiene to let yourself know that you are worthy. Take care of your physical needs with a nourishing diet, exercise, and proper sleep. Practice self-care not because you have to, but because you care about you.
- Spend time doing things that bring you joy: Make time each day for something that makes you happy or makes you laugh. This will increase your self-esteem, mood, & energy, and give you a sense of purpose. Try not to put pressure on yourself to instantly feel better, but just be fully present in what you’re doing.
- Surround yourself with supportive people: Spend time with those that help you feel safe in being yourself and leave you feeling good. These people will help lift you up when you have self-doubts and encourage you to take chances in order to grow. Identify those in your life who are mostly negative and consider spending less time with them.
- Establish boundaries: Learn to say no. Before committing to anything, pause and check in with yourself. Think about the implications. Taking on something that you can’t follow through on or do to the best of your abilities can lower your self-esteem. Setting personal limits will help to prevent you from overcommitting to people and experiences that are not aligned with your values or interfere with your self-acceptance.
- Do something kind for someone else: Kindness releases serotonin (the “feel good” hormone). Though it might seem contradictory, engaging in acts of kindness or volunteering can actually boost your self-esteem and overall happiness, making it an act of self-love.
- Give yourself compassion & forgiveness: Don’t believe the lie that you must do everything right. Give yourself grace to make mistakes and move on from them. Dwelling on mistakes allows negative thoughts to build up and consume you. Normalizing struggles, missed opportunities as being human and authentic is the most healthy and truthful thing you can say to yourself.
However you might be feeling this Valentine’s Day, all of us at Miracles want you to know that you are special. There is no one else in this world like you. You deserve to be loved, not just by others, but by YOU! If you would like further guidance with self-love or self-acceptance, contact us about scheduling an appointment with one of our therapists.