The holiday of love is upon us, and while it's traditionally been a time to focus on our loved ones, I can't think of a better time to get intentional about self-love than Valentine's Day.
What does self-love mean? In a nutshell, self-love means accepting yourself for who you are – flaws, quirks, and imperfections included. It also means being kind and compassionate toward yourself when you make mistakes, and giving yourself the same grace and forgiveness that you so easily give to others.
It’s easy for us to celebrate loving other people, but how about loving ourselves? Fortunately, it has become more of a conversation in recent years, thanks to inspirational people like Dr. Kristen Neff and her work on self-compassion, but I'd say most of us (myself included) still have some room for improvement.
Here are some ways to practice self-love this Valentine's Day:
- Practice positive self-talk: The words you speak become the house you live in, so be mindful of the way you speak to yourself.
- Write a list of the things that make you your perfectly imperfect self. Valentine's Day is all about expressing appreciation and admiration for your loved ones – why not do the same for yourself?
- Treat yourself: Here's some encouragement to practice self-care. What do you want? What do you need?
- Practice mindfulness: Be kind to your mind with a guided meditation.
And in case you needed an extra push to practice some TLC, there’s actually evidence-based benefits of self-love, including higher self-esteem, better mental health, and increased self-awareness.