When Valentine’s Day comes, we think of heart shaped boxes of chocolate, red roses, thoughtful gifts, and special dates. You may be someone who loves this holiday and looks forward to showering loved ones with gifts and memorable experiences, or perhaps you are someone who avoids this holiday altogether. Despite different feelings about Valentines Day, many of us can agree that it is a day that focuses on the expression of love. This focus doesn’t have to be just on the love for a partner, child, or friend. What if we chose to focus on dedicating time and thought to loving ourselves? Loving yourself can sound selfish or self-absorbed but being kind and loving towards ourselves is actually good for our mental and physical well-being, loving ourselves affects our relationships with others in a positive way.
Here are 5 ways we can love ourselves more:
Amplify the Positive
Schedule 5-10 minutes to give yourself permission to focus on your positive attributes and qualities. Make a list! Our mind can tend to go towards things we don’t like. if your mind starts to wander in this way redirect it and focus on things you like about yourself. For example, someone may love their hair, their smile, their eyes. Others may like that they are funny, kind, or generous. Whatever their talents or attributes may be, It is important for us to remind ourselves regularly of them to boost our self-confidence and overall mood.
Be Your Own Best Friend
Talk to yourself like you would to a friend. Be aware of your thoughts being self-critical can affect our overall well-being. Be your own advocate, ask yourself if you would say these things to someone you love. Would you help a friend to challenge these self-critical thoughts and point out their positive qualities? Yes, then do that for yourself!
Treat yourself by engaging in self-care. We can take care of ourselves in a variety of different ways. First start with the basics. When we get busy, it is easy to overlook some simple things that can greatly affect our mood. Some of these things include making sure we are eating nutritious meals, getting adequate sleep, moving our body daily, making time for rest and relaxation and dedicating time with friends and family. If you feel you are already have the basics down, some other self-care ideas are enjoying a delicious meal, engaging in a new hobby, listening to your favorite music, visiting a favorite place, or planning a trip or event in the future.
Commit to self-compassion.
We can be so tough on ourselves. So many people feel the need to punish themselves for mistakes that they make. It is important to accept that we are human and flawed. Often in life, where we truly learn and grow are through our mistakes. Forgiveness is a crucial part of self compassion. Learn to recognize we can not go backwards but we can move forward and give ourselves permission to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes.
Be on the lookout for joy, it is important to seek out joy daily in of our lives. What are the things that spark joy for us in our daily lives? Is it spending time with our pets, connecting with others with a common interest or passion, enjoying our morning coffee, watching Netflix with family , getting in some restorative alone time, or going to our favorite places like going to the park or the beach? Determine the things that bring you joy and find ways to be intentionally incorporate them into your daily life.
If you find that despite trying to work on self-love that you are struggling, please know that you can always enlist the help of caring therapist to help you develop these skills. Give us a call today to start your journey towards better self-care, click here to learn more about how individual counseling can help.