February is a month for cozy sweaters, hot chocolate, and of course, love. Valentine’s Day can be a sweet, charming holiday, but it also creates pressure to find a significant other, plan the perfect date night, impress your lover, etc. Yes, Valentine’s Day can be good fun, but it’s important to remember an obvious but often forgotten truth: Love is a daily practice that begins with yourself. Caring for yourself boosts your mood, confidence and sense of self-worth. Consequently, when you love yourself (remember: it’s Love Yo’Self Week!), you are cultivating a positive, steady base for your romantic partnerships. Here are some easy ways to express that love.
1. Buy Fresh Flowers
If you’re like me, fresh flowers will instantly brighten your day. Bright blooms make your home feel lively while reminding you that someone is thinking of you. Buying flowers for yourself may sound silly but this simple gesture will make you smile ear to ear. Spend some time tidying your space and then deck out your room with a gorgeous bouquet of daffodils. There is never a wrong time to buy flowers, especially if it has been a long week.
2. Change the Conversation
Negative self talk can become a toxic habit. We live with ourselves every moment of every day, so it’s vital we talk to ourselves as a friend. Admittedly, some of my internal conversation completely forgo the kindness present when I speak to my friends. Becoming conscious of negative self talk is the first step in changing the conversation. To push this practice even further, add positive affirmations. Compliment yourself aloud and list traits you like about yourself. Whether you admire the color of your eyes or you’re proud of a new accomplishment, acknowledging your positive traits — while maintaining a kind internal conversation — is a cornerstone of self-love.
3. Set the Mood
You deserve a place where you can relax and unwind. Sometimes it is important to have a chill night in. Light your favorite candles, break out the essential oils, run the bath, and pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine. Devoting at least one night a month to simple pleasures is a wonderful way to care for yourself. Find time to diminish your stress, simply relax.
4. Go to the Spa
It’s okay (great, actually) to occasionally treat yourself to a spa day. Whether you splurge on a massage, manicure, facial or all three, going to the spa will rejuvenate you. Spa days are a time to clear your head. At the spa you can feel good without worrying about pleasing your partner (it’s all about you, baby). If the spa is a little too pricey, you can always have a DIY spa day. All you really need is a mud mask and some nail polish.
We accept the love we think we deserve. Learning to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our lovers is the foundation of a healthy relationship. This Valentine’s Day, remember to spread love to the people you care for, which includes you.
How do you express self-love? —Alex