It’s definitely not uncommon to feel a little antsy when the big and bold Valentine’s Day rolls around each year. Whether you’re in a long term relationship, a new one, or you’re flat out single (cue “all the single ladies”) – they each come with different expectations… and navigating them isn’t always easy!
To make this day feel a little more sustainable now and each coming year – regardless of your status – it begins with self-love!
Of course we’ve all heard the phrase , “you have to love yourself before all others” or something of similar notion. Over the years, these wise words have been rephrased more times than one can count, but that’s because there’s SO much truth to it! In order to be your most compassionate and understanding self, whether that be with loved ones or strangers, you can only truly be as kind as you are to yourself.
So here are some tips to get you back in touch with your heart and become your own valentine this year!
Above all, you deserve to be nourished! Taking time out of your day to uplift yourself can have some insanely positive, long-lasting and impactful results on your overall well-being.
Practicing self-care looks and feels different for everybody, as we’re all as unique as our own needs! Though, it doesn’t have to be something that takes a great deal of effort – start small. Implementing small daily rituals and practices throughout your day (or honestly, even just once a day), can lead to new and larger positive habits once you find what suits you.
Whether this means watching the sunset, dancing around your kitchen like nobody’s watching, sleeping in and snuggling up to your partner or furry friend, or watching that favourite movie of yours you’ve seen 100 times – there are SO many ways to practice self care!
As well, did you know that the food you eat has a direct impact on your mood? As it turns out, the old saying “you are what you eat” is true. So keep in mind that a well-rounded and well-balanced diet can be one of the simplest self-care practices there is. A quick trick – eat the rainbow! This ensures you’re nourishing with a variety of phytonutrients without having to think too hard about it.
Check in with your self-talk.
Oftentimes we don’t realize the harshness of our inner voice until we air it out. When it comes down to our self talk, there are things you might say to yourself that’d you’d never say to anyone else – nevermind to someone you love. Next time you hear your inner critic cry out, try saying whatever comes to mind aloud – or just tell that voice to take a hike!
It may surprise you how often you say negative things to yourself, or how much of what you say affects the way you carry yourself in this world. By becoming more mindful and recognizing when the pessimist in you arises, you can make a conscious effort to change your inner dialogue to reflect things more optimistically. The practice of reframing with a positive outlook directly affects the way you express yourself and interact with others. In short, when you’re kinder to yourself, you’re kinder to the world, and the world is kind again right back at you!
See yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you.
This may not be the easiest thing to do, but if we can begin to recognize all the traits within ourselves that people love, they can be positive reminders for us to return to in moments of despair.
This can also mean surrounding yourself by people who uplift you. If envisioning yourself through the eyes of a loved one isn’t an easy task, then this may mean you need to connect with your peeps! Whether you pick up the phone and give them a call, virtually gather over Zoom, or spend some intimate time together – human connection heals, and if you head in with your heart open, you’re sure to feel the love.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
In this crazy digital age we live in, it can be damn hard not to compare ourselves to the people we see on the screens all around us. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the lives of others, but it’s important to keep in mind that most of what people choose to share are the highlights of their lives, not their struggles. And even the struggles may be censored. This of course comes with some exceptions! But generally speaking, it’s the lives of those who seem to have idyllic dreamy and put together lives that cause us to rethink our own.
Instead, try to focus on being more present in your own life. An incredible (and proven!) way to start doing this, is by keeping track of things you are grateful for. By taking the time to notice all the wonderful things around you, it can help to hush the voice inside you that is always looking at life as if it is greener on the other side.
Another major tip -unfollow ALL social media accounts that you find yourself constantly comparing yourself too, or that make you feel negatively about yourself or your life. Make an effort to only follow accounts that add value, positivity, or inspiration to your life!
Your life is your story to write.
Most of our negative feelings are a result from pushing back against our reality. But remember, you are the author of your life story! Honouring your deepest desires can have profound impacts on your life, and give you a greater sense of purpose and meaning. Even just small steps in a direction that feels good for you, can take you down paths that you never would’ve imagined for yourself – and may have never even thought possible.
A great way to get in touch with figuring out what you truly want, is to start a reflection practice. You can begin to ask yourself questions like: What truly makes me happy? Is there anything about my life I’d change if I could? Go deep. By recognizing some of your innermost feelings and desires, you can begin to notice what you’ve swept under the rug, and what you can begin to incorporate to help you live a more deeply satisfying life!
At the end of the day, what we eat, think and do, all have a part to play on our well-being. This may sound a little cliche but… the more uplifting regimes we can incorporate into our days, the better we’ll feel overall!
Once you recognize and harness the interconnectedness of every aspect of your life, the easier it will be to understand why you feel the way you do so you can get back on track… to a place of self-love.