It's that time of year when Valentine's Day is just days away and the world is filled with talk of love and expectations and gifts. It's the time of year some people can't wait for and the time of year most people can't for to be over. Some dread it is because they don't have someone to love -- or to love them. Some dread it because, even if they do have someone special, the hoopla surrounding the holiday is just too much pressure.
Here at Positively Present, and particularly during Self-Love Month, we believe that there's absolutely no reason why you need someone else to celebrate a day of love. And there's no reason why you shouldn't love yourself every single day of the year. No need to wait for the 14th of February to be your own valentine.
While I won't deny that having a sweetheart on Valentine's Day does bring a bit of happiness into the dreary month of February, I also know that a lot can be gained from loving oneself (with or without a significant other in the picture). Being one's own valentine -- not only on February 14, but every day of the year -- is one of the best ways to live a positive life. Here's how you can get started:
1. Tell yourself how great you are. You don't have to wait around for another person to tell you that you're beautiful or smart or amazing or talented. Yes, compliments feel wonderful coming from others, but they also feel pretty great when you give them to yourself. Many of us focus on what we've done wrong or how we could be better, and, while I'm all about self-improvement, it doesn't help us improve when we're just bringing ourselves down. Resolve to give yourself a compliment every single day of the year.
2. Send yourself a special gift. Getting gifts from others is nice (in fact, it's my primary love language), but there's no reason why you can't treat yourself to something nice every once and awhile, just as you might do for someone you love. It doesn't have to be some big, grand, romantic gesture (though it can be... who says you can't send yourself dozens of roses?), but it should be something that makes you feel really good, something that you would be wowed by if someone else did for you.
3. Indulge in a treat occasionally. The definition of what a "treat" is will vary for each of us, but every now and then, you should allow yourself a bit of indulgence, the way you would on Valentine's Day if your significant other gifted you with a big box of chocolates. Whether it's chocolates, a spa day, or even just a nice relaxing hour with a good book, indulging in what you really enjoy is a great way to show yourself love and to remind yourself that you're worthy of such an indulgence.
4. Give back to what matters to you. Oddly enough, one of the best ways to feel loved is share your love with the world. Give time, money, or resources to a cause that's important to you. Or spend time with someone (a friend, a grandparent, etc.) who matters a lot to you. When you put love for people (or causes) out into the world, you feel a wonderful sense of pride and fulfillment. We all have things that matter to us and one way to validate their importance is to give back to them in some way.
5. Surround yourself with what you love. Another great way to show yourself love is to create an environment that makes you feel safe and happy. When you look around your living space, it should make you feel as if you show yourself love. You should see photos or art that is meaningful to you. You should see colors and patterns that make you happy. We all deserve to be in a place that makes us feel loved, and it's up to you to create that space for yourself.
Whether or not you have a significant other this Valentine's Day, the season of love is a great time to remind yourself how important it is to love who you are. The more you love and appreciate yourself, the more positive and present you'll become. Of course, loving yourself isn't always easy. In fact, it's something most of us struggle with a great deal (whether we admit it or not!). If you need some advice or inspiration for loving yourself, be sure to check out The ABCs of Self-Love, a book filled with self-love tips and reminders.