Lots of people think of Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romantic love…but don’t let that mindset cause you to miss out on celebrating you and the relationship you have with yourself by practicing self-love.
Today is Valentine’s Day, or as we like to call it, “Love Day.” Whether you’re coupled, single, or choosing to become a cat lady – excellent choice, by the way – this is a day to celebrate love in all its forms. Skip the “Singles Awareness Day” jokes; today is all about you.
Besides the relationship you have with your Creator, the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one you’ll have. It deserves to be prioritized, treated as sacred, and celebrated. What better day than today to start practicing radical self-love? Here are five ways to start practicing self-love.
Say “no” more often ways to practice self love
ways to practice self love
How many things on your to-do list are things that you actually want to do? What things made it to your list because you felt guilty or obligated? Remember that “no” is a complete sentence.
Many times when we tell someone “no,” we may be tempted to explain our answer, and justify why we’re saying no. The truth is, you don’t owe anyone any explanations. “No” is already a complete sentence. Getting into the habit of saying “no” can be tough, but like anything else, it will become easier with practice. Give yourself permission to say “no” to something today.
Do something you love
Have you ever heard the saying “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”? It’s easy to get caught up in the seemingly endless list of tasks waiting to be completed. Making time for pleasure, play, and joy is vital.
How often are you able to prioritize pleasure in your life? And what does that look like for you? Maybe it means eating your favorite foods, getting a mani/pedi, or spending time enjoying a hobby. Whatever it looks like for you, carve out some time today to do something that will bring you pleasure and joy.
Move your body
Your body was made to move. Movement isn’t just good for you physically, but also mentally. There are many studies that show the benefits of exercise on mental health. Movement helps us release feel-good endorphins, move emotions through our bodies, and allows us to strengthen the connection we have with our bodies.
When you get stressed, your body activates a response known as the “fight or flight” response to help you either fight back or run away from a perceived threat. If you aren’t moving your body, that stress, including the neurochemicals released, can remain “stuck” in your body. The fast-paced stressors of modern life can lead to a constant activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This chronic stress can lead to burnout. So not only will movement help give your mind some much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life, but it can also help you regulate your nervous system as well.
Spend time in self-reflection
Time for self-reflection is important. There are many different ways to engage in self-reflection. Some of the most common ways are using prayer, meditation, or journaling.
The beauty of beginning a self-love practice is that it’s your practice, meaning you can change things up as you feel called to. It’s about tuning in and giving yourself what you need, instead of waiting for a third party to give it to you. What do you need today? How can you give it to yourself?
Use positive affirmations
The way you speak to yourself matters. Are you reserving your kindness for family, friends, and even strangers? You are deserving of your own kindness and love, too. Speak to yourself the way you’d speak to a beloved loved one, with life-affirming words.
Using positive affirmations is a great way to get yourself in the habit of using helpful self-talk. Take a few minutes and write out some positive affirmations you can use. Practice saying them to yourself in the morning when you wake up and at night right before bed. Say them to yourself in the mirror for extra impact. Notice any shifts in the way you begin to perceive and think about yourself.
Throughout life, we may begin to internalize many ideas and beliefs about ourselves that are untrue or limiting. Unlearning these things and filling our cups with self-love is how we can help ourselves have a healthy relationship with ourselves again. When we have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we become much more available to have healthy relationships with others. May these five ideas on how to practice self-love be a catalyst for you to transform your relationship with yourself.
Which of these ideas will you be putting into practice today? Leave us a comment and tell us your favorite self-love practices, and be sure to follow us on Instagram at @tuesdayinlove.