What comes to mind when you think of Valentine's Day? There are so many perspectives! Some of us go all out with treats and decorations, while others of us attend Singles Awareness Day parties. Some of us are disinterested in the commercialization of love, and others find it charming to dedicate a whole day to the idea.
Whatever your thoughts on Valentine's Day, I am challenging you to take another perspective. What if you could decide it was a day to practice self-love? What if you declared a cease-fire on all that negative self-talk? What if you stopped the hustle, and allowed yourself to just be where you are?
It might feel self-indulgent, decadent even, to take this time just for yourself. But, a gentle reminder: you cannot give to others what you yourself do not have. If you truly want to give love to others, you must first love yourself.
5 ways to love yourself on Valentine's Day
1. Take yourself out on a date! This is so important, regardless of your relationship status. Really sit down and think about what you'd like to do- what makes you feel fully alive? What do you value? For example, my idea of a great self-date is going over to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and then having coffee at Spyhouse. Just thinking about it makes me excited!
2. Give yourself permission to re-evaluate some friendships. Some people come into our lives for seasons, and others are around longer. Are you holding onto some friendships just for the sake of longevity? If a relationship is toxic (read: you feel worse after spending time with this person), it's time to take a good long look at your reasons for staying.
3. Practice yoga! It's no secret that yoga is wonderful for your mind and body. But sometimes it can feel painful to be in savasana when that to-do list is racing through your mind. Lean into that discomfort. Notice what feelings emerge. Allow yourself to tend to your mind and body during a solo yoga practice.
Maybe you're not exactly feeling the love this Valentine's Day. Try this lovely sequence by Yoga with Adriene:
4. Write down your thoughts. Even a few moments of journaling can be eye-opening. The act of putting your thoughts down on paper forces you to slow down. This way you can really notice the quality of your thought life. Is your inner voice is more critical or compassionate?
5. Start prioritizing your mental health and make an appointment with a counselor. You don't need to be experiencing a crisis to benefit from counseling. Think of it like preventive maintenance, or going in for an annual physical!