No, self-love is not for the brokenhearted, frustrated, impatiently waiting, and those who didn’t receive any flowers, chocolates, and sweet messages this Valentine’s Day.
While Valentine’s Day may be considered the most romantic day of the year, note that love is not limited to those who are in a relationship. Love takes different forms. In fact, one of the most important relationships that we should have is the one we have with ourselves. Hence, the need to capitalize on self-love as well this season of love.
But How Do We Actually Practice Self-love?
Many personalities and brands have been emphasizing the need for self-care and self-love. But how do we actually practice self-love? What do we mean by it?
Simply put, self-love is about accepting ourselves for who we are. It’s learning to love ourselves through the good and bad times – and deeply caring for ourselves, especially in the most difficult times of our lives. It is a life skill that needs to be cultivated and expressed not only on special days but every day of our lives.
Here are some of the little things that we can do to practice self-love:
1. Start each day with positive thoughts.
Having the right mindset is always a good way to start the day. Begin each day by telling yourself that something good will happen to you today. Think of the wonderful things that you would want to personally achieve. Focus on the things that would make you happy and keep those thoughts with you as you go on with the rest of the day.
2. Avoid comparing yourselves with others.
As social beings, it’s totally understandable to feel competitive and start comparing ourselves with other people – particularly with our friends, batchmates, and those whom we just know on social media. However, know that each of us has our own timeline to follow. This is not a race. Focus your energy on the things that will make you happy and let go of those negative energies that will only antagonize your feelings.
3. Do something sustainable.
Here’s the thing about self-love: it’s an ongoing process. Self-love does not happen overnight. It’s not a one-time thing. To cultivate growth, you have to start something that you can sustainably do. You can try meditation, yoga, journaling, hiking, going outdoors, or any other activities that can provide you with that sense of self, that can help you reconnect with yourself.
4. Learn to say “no.”
Sometimes, in our individual pursuits, we find ourselves overcommitting to things that we can’t actually handle all at once. These days, we find ourselves stressed and feeling anxious because of the many things that we put on our plates. That’s why it’s very important to learn to say “no.” We can only perform to the best of our abilities to a certain level. Anything that goes beyond that will end up with burnout. As they say: anything that costs you your peace is too expensive.
5. Be more forgiving.
As mentioned above, anything that costs you your peace is too expensive. A lot of people could have wronged you in this lifetime but for your sake, learn to forgive them – even when they don’t ask for it, even if you don’t feel that they deserve it. Let go of those grudges and free yourself from the stress and heartaches. You don’t deserve them.
Most importantly, forgive yourself – for the things that you could have done but didn’t, for the things you did that you should haven’t, and for the many things that you have deprived yourself of the opportunity to.
6. Get enough sleep.
Self-love has always been associated with treating ourselves the right way – and so we treat ourselves with things, food, and luxuries that we think we deserve. While these are great expressions of caring for oneself, we also have to check on one of the most overlooked aspects of self-love (and the cheapest one): sleep.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most fundamental when it comes to taking care of oneself. Do not get consumed with the productivity hype of the world. Listen to your body and pay attention to your sleep routine.
Remind yourself this Valentine’s Day (and every day) that you are worthy of love. And that love should foremost begin with yourself and from yourself.