There’s a saying that goes “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Was it RuPaul that said that? Anyhoo, he was right. As someone who has had some issues in the ‘loving somebody else department,” I can now admit that many of those issues stemmed from my own lack of self-love and self-care. Listen, yes…I know we should all be loving on ourselves everyday, but do we though? Think about the last time you did something really fantastic for yourself? Uh huh, that’s what I thought. All I’m saying is love on “Bae” as much as you want, but maybe love on yourself a little bit too this Valentine’s Day.
Nope, self-love and self-care are not the same. Self-love is a whole other emotional level that we will discuss another day (and I have lots to say on that topic believe me). But they kinda go hand-in-hand. You can’t really have one without the other. Self-love begins with self-care, and even though we should be practicing it every day, we don’t. Many of us, especially us women, spend so much time taking care of everyone else around us that we too often neglect ourselves in the process. We have this wonderful nurturing trait that comes naturally to us and makes us amazing caregivers. But when it comes to caring for ourselves, many of us feel like we’re not worth the effort. Why is that? Why do we depend on other people in our relationships to validate us? We deserve to love on ourselves all day everyday. NO APPROVAL NEEDED.
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” ~Deborah Day
So since you don’t practice self-care every day like you should, how about doing something just for you on the day that celebrates LOVE. I’m not just talking doing something with your significant other either. I’m talking about YOU doing something for YOU in addition to that. Over this past year, I have been trying really hard to love on myself more, and I can tell you, it does wonders for me mentally. Not only does it give me a greater appreciation for myself, but for everyone and everything else around me. It doesn’t have to be something grandiose, in fact the simpler the better. I find that it’s the little things I do for myself that make the biggest difference.
LOVE ON YOURSELF FIRST
Write a Love Letter to You
Take out a pen and some paper and write a good ole love letter to yourself. You are BEAUTIFUL, STRONG, and MAGNIFICENT, and you need to hear it. Don’t wait for somebody else to tell you what you already know. Write down all the wonderful qualities that make you who you are. Don’t be shy either. Lay it all out on paper. Now read it out loud and really pay attention. There is an inner voice (your critical voice) that often tries to keep you from shining. Don’t let it win this Valentine’s Day. Remind yourself that you are AH-MAZING. It’s one of the most loving things you can do for yourself.
Go get your nails done; get a facial; get a massage. LOVE ON YOURSELF. You don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to (you might want to leave the massage to a professional though…or BAE). Do something that makes you feel more beautiful or that leaves you feeling relaxed. BEST FEELING EVER. Have a glass of wine while you’re at it, go all in. Sometimes you just need to pamper yourself. The funny thing is, you never realize how much you need to spoil yourself until you’ve spoiled yourself. Your mind and your body will thank you for it later, trust me.
Watch your Favorite Movie
My favorite movie is Boomerang. Don’t judge me. I love Eddie Murphy and I loves me some Halle Berry. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it, but it’s like I’m seeing it with new eyes every time. Most importantly, it makes me feel good, I love this movie. It doesn’t have to be a movie, it can be a marathon of your favorite show or a playlist of your favorite songs. The important thing is to take time out to just enjoy it. Laugh during your favorite parts, sing loudly when your favorite verse comes on. Just enjoy those feel-good moments.
Buy yourself Something Nice
You have been busy buying gifts for everybody else, now get yourself something. And don’t you dare feel guilty about it. You deserve a Valentine’s Day gift….from yourself. That pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for months, or that book you’ve been meaning to read forever. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you really want, that means something to you. There is nothing wrong with splurging on yourself now and then for something that makes you happy. LOVE ON YOURSELF.
Take a Yoga Class
When your body feels amazing, you feel amazing. I have a soft spot for yoga because it got me started on my self-love journey. I appreciated the peace of mind it brought me for the 45 minutes it lasted every class. It allowed me to reconnect with my mind and body at a time when I was neglecting both, and it taught me self acceptance. Your body is your temple, and you should treat it as such. When you don’t take care of the skin you’re in, it can wreak havoc emotionally. Mind, body and spirit are all intertwined, so we must make an effort to care for all three. Yoga is a great way to do that.
Take a Break from Social Media
I know it’s hard, but you can do it. Just one day, that’s it. Declutter your mental space. Listen, I love social media as much as the next person, but sometimes I need to unplug. There are days when my brain is on overdrive from all the information it’s taking in. There are also days where I get so sucked in to other people’s issues online that I lose touch with reality. It’s not always good for the mental. Use this day of love to get back to real life and to live in the moment.
“Take time to smell the roses, take time to enjoy the view, As you stop to enjoy the beauty, take time to reflect on love.” ~ Laura D. Field
The common thread here is to take time for yourself. It’s so important.
Love on yourself this Valentine’s Day!