February 14th aka Valentine’s day aka The day of love.
What ever you call it, upon its approach it can bring out a range of different emotions from person to person.
There are the hopeless romantics and those that see the day as an opportunity to go above and beyond. These are the people that can be found showering their significant others with pricey gifts, giant teddy bears, boxes of chocolates and fancy balloons filled with roses.
Then there are the ‘Anti-Valentiners’. Many believe that Valentines Day is toxic and that the whole thing is just a money making scam. These are the ones that see it all as a corporate scheme and a day created to drain our pockets and set unrealistic expectations around what it means to be loved.
And then that brings us to the last group. Hands up if you have ever felt huge societal pressure to conform to these Valentines traditions! People very often end up feeling unloved, unworthy or left out if they find themselves single and without a significant other to ‘#CoupleGoals’ with on the Gram.
Now, sceptical of Valentines Day or not… there is always one person in your life that deserves to be shown an abundance of love and that is YOURSELF! After all, how can we even be expected to love others if you can’t love ourselves first?
There are several reasons why I believe Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to practise Self-Love. Here are a few of them:
1) Self-love can help you to develop healthier habits
It has been said that by truly loving ourselves we are more likely to make better health decisions. This is not only in regards to the food we eat and the amount of exercise we get in. It can also be about the people that we surround ourselves with and the boundaries we set ourselves or lack thereof. We are still firmly in the beginning portion of the new year once Valentines Day creeps up. This makes it the perfect time to reset intentions for yourself if the ones set on January 1st have already began to dwindle.
Why not use the day to set some new intentions that focus solely on loving yourself! You could also try to work out a few different self-love practises that resonate with what you need in order to keep that cup full. Really take some time out to listen to your mind and body to truly understand what it is that YOU need from YOU!
2) Self-love can increase your happiness
And who doesn’t want to feel more happy, right?! Let’s not get caught up in downbeat feelings of loneliness this Valentines Day. Instead make a pact with yourself to do whatever makes YOU happy! Our happiness is dependent on how we take care of ourselves and self-love has been linked to increased resilience and capacity to see things from a new perspective. Accepting and loving ourselves is linked to higher satisfaction with life, and therefore… more happiness!
If you see a massive box of ‘I Love You’ Valentines chocolates in the shop and think to yourself…’must be nice’… BUY THEM! Treat yourself, love yourself, spoil yourself. Do whatever makes you feel happy and feel absolutely no way about it!
3) Self-love helps reduce stress
Like a romantic partnership, self-care and self-love tend to come hand in hand. When we learn to truly embrace and love ourselves, we are able to recognise our own signs of burnout. Without self-love, often people might not believe that they deserve a break even when reaching this point. Adopting healthy self-love practices can encourage us to take time to care for ourselves when stressed.
So if you find yourself feeling raised levels of stress or anxiety as Valentine’s Day approaches, why not make time or even book the day off of work to pamper and show love to yourself! Celebrate getting through the first month of the new year and give yourself a self-love filled day that will have you feeling recharged!
4) Self-love inspires others
Many have been conditioned to believe that in order to be loveable or worthy of love, we must first be loved by another. Well, gone are the days in which we place our worth and value in the hands of others! We are all loveable and worthy of love in abundance.
The concept of self-love can be very challenging. For some it means breaking down the idea that self-love equals selfishness. In fact, it is actually quite the opposite. Loving ourselves actually helps other people. This is because self-love can be contagious. If we model what a healthy relationship with self-love looks like, it helps others see why that’s important. This may then lead to them also beginning to practice more self-care and self-compassion for themselves.
5) Self-love is the gift that keeps on giving
Self-love could even be the best Valentine’s gift anyone can give to their loved ones. This is because self-love also helps other relationships flourish as well. Take note of how flight attendants say that everyone needs to put their own oxygen mask on before helping others! Self-love allows us to be our best selves, and as a result we then tend to perform in our jobs, relationships, and families at our fullest potential.
Self-Love also is not reserved just for the singletons out there! It is still important to fill your own cup even if you are in a happy relationship with a significant other. Our longest relationships will always be with ourselves. We need to remind ourselves often how much we love and appreciate ourselves. How proud we are of ourselves. If we plant the seed of love within, be sure to sit back and watch yourself flourish just like a well kept plant! Truly loving yourself is the direct path to a happier life.
That is why I believe self-love is the best love this Valentines Day! So this year choose yourself. Love yourself, invest in yourself, make time for yourself and have a wonderful day full of self-love in abundance!