Valentine’s Day is just three days away, and for many of us it conjures up images of a dozen long-stemmed roses, a box of expensive chocolates, and a romantic dinner with a loved one. But what if we shifted the focus of Valentine’s Day to an equally important form of love – loving yourself?
The most important relationship you will ever have is the one that you have with yourself. Try these seven tips to find out how loving yourself can help you live a healthier, happier, life of Pure Joy.
1. Stop trying to be perfect. Stop criticizing yourself for being less than perfect. Always do your best, but know that not reaching perfection does not equal failure. Don’t let any one’s expectations of you put any pressure on you. Remember that no matter what, you will always be perfect just the way you are, flaws and all.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone on this earth is unique and we all have different gifts. When you compare yourself to others, it can make you feel bad about yourself. One way to stop is to focus on your own strengths or begin a practice of daily gratitude, learning to be happy for what you already have. Gratitude keeps your heart open to love.
3. Stop saying bad things about yourself. When you mess up, and even when you don’t, it’s easy to be your own worst bully. Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t beat yourself up. Life is good enough at doing that for us; we don’t need to add to it. Instead, practice saying good things about yourself and appreciate your own efforts, while thinking positively about ways to improve for the future.
4. Nurture yourself. Self-care is very important. Set up some time to be by yourself, just by yourself. Do something that gives you peace, love, and joy with yourself. Nurture yourself physically by exercising and consuming healthy food. Nurture yourself emotionally by listening to love songs, painting, or helping others in need. Nurture yourself mentally by reading your favorite books. Nurture yourself spiritually by doing meditation. As you give yourself to others and offer help, you receive the gift of love back. You feel good about yourself, because you live your life on purpose.
5. Treat yourself like you treat your very best friend. How do you treat your very best friend? Do you treat him/her with love, kindness, trust, appreciation, acceptance, and respect? If you can give that to your friend, why not give that to yourself? Practice treating yourself like you treat your very best friend, by saying kind words to yourself. Stop calling yourself names. Stop beating yourself up. Give yourself compliments. Know your boundaries, and listen deeply to your needs. Always be kind and gentle with yourself.
6. Practice receiving love. To truly love is to be able to receive it. When someone loves you, does kind deeds for you, says kind words, gives you gifts, or gives you compliments, embrace it. Allow yourself to feel the love that has come your way. Know that you are worthy of love. Another important way is to practice receiving love by saying, “I love you” to yourself. Let that love fill your heart. Receive that love that you give to yourself unconditionally.
It is also important to accept a gift of love by others. When you do, you give yourself a chance to learn more about yourself, and know that you are lovable. Added benefit? You also give someone a joy of giving by loving you.
7. Do what you love. What do you love to do? If you find something that you love to do and spend time doing it, you will experience love, joy, and happiness in your heart. That is when you truly connect with your authentic self. As a result, you become happier and more loving.
What does self-love mean for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Share your comments below.