Madly In Love With Me - 3 Self-Love tips for Valentine's Day
Try looking into the history of Valentines Day and you'll dig up an array of theories as to where it all began. From pagan festivals to christian martyrs, there are numerous legends about the Day of Love and what it's all supposed to be for but who the heck cares, I say! Whether you think its smushy and corny, or romantic and heartfelt, the fact that there's a day to celebrate love is a wonderful thing. The only thing that would make it more wonderful, is if it were practiced every single day - starting with the one person that's always with us: ourselves.
We've all heard the saying that you can't expect anyone else to love you if you can't love yourself. We see examples of love being unconditional and seemingly infinite. Parents don't love just one of their kids, they love them all. And some of them love their offspring no matter what they do. Love breeds love, and it is (I think) one of the greatest gifts to the give. Whether you're in a relationship or not, loving ourselves is a practice that we should all do more often. Here's how I do it:
Recognising our amazingness We all have days when we feel we don't add value to the world and question our self-worth, but its far from being the truth. Author Rebecca Campbell shared a wonderful exercise on self-love in her book, Light Is The New Black, and it literally changed my view of myself. Write a list of unique and wonderful things about you - things that you kick ass at. It might be that you're a great secretary, or a great listener. Maybe you're a good driver or you make fantastic tea. It doesn't have to be big, but it should be something you do fabulously. And every time you think of something new, add it to your list. Write your list somewhere you'll come across it often - in the back of a diary for example, or pin it to the inside of a cupboard. And watch the smile that'll appear on your face when you read it back to yourself.
Shower yourself with gifts I'm sure we can all agree that it's lovely to get a bunch of flowers or even great big squishy hug from someone, but what are we bringing to ourselves? Our bodies carry us around every single day, our heart beats for us without us even having to think about it. Doing something nice for yourself is a great way to say thank you, to you. Buy yourself flowers, treat yourself to a hot bubble bath, take yourself out on a dinner date where you sit with yourself, alone, gift yourself an hour of quiet time to do whatever the heck you want. Learn to be your own best friend and you might find that you become a better friend to others.
Get real What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you loving towards your self-image, or critical? Do you look at your reflection and wish for bigger boobs, a flatter stomach or smaller nose? Or do you look at yourself and recognise how lovely you actually are? We tend to have such a distorted image of ourselves, mostly because we judge ourselves according to someone else's standards. This might be the hardest step but I've found its the one with the biggest reward. Stand in front of the mirror, naked preferably and without make-up. If this is too much, then take it one step at a time until you can. Now tell yourself that you love yourself. You can choose to give yourself a reason why or not. It might be weird at first, but stick at it. It'll be worth it, I promise.