If prime time TV can be believed, Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to love; it’s an oasis of flowers, hearts, lace and warm gestures to thaw the chill of a February that seems like it may last forever. Unless you’re alone, that is. Then its purpose is to be mocked and rejected from the comfort of baggy sweatpants and ice cream straight out of the container.
But I would like to offer an alternative: no matter your situation, why not dedicate the holiday to falling in love with yourself? There’s a lot to be said for the happiness that comes with the peace and acceptance of yourself and your surroundings.
That doesn’t mean you’re agreeing that the here and now will be your everything forever, just that you are making the effort to be your own best friend – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.
In honor of February 14, here are 14 ways from MindBodyGreen to practice self-love.
Love Yourself By Practicing Acceptance
You are perfectly imperfect. Learning to accept yourself is the most important step to self-love. Stop comparing yourself to others and embrace who you are.
Love Yourself By Decluttering Your Space
Living or working in chaos can deeply affect your mood and create a feeling of chaos within. Getting rid of that pile of clothes you’ve been meaning to donate, or that stack of papers you’ve been meaning to organize is refreshing.
Love Yourself With A Little Pampering
Taking care of your body shows you have respect for the amazing temple your soul inhabits. Take a hot bath, slather on your favorite moisturizer and get some extra sleep!
Love Yourself With Proper Nourishment
Replenishing your body with water and fresh foods is a loving gesture. You are what you eat, so avoid the garbage and fuel up on the nutrients you need.
Leave Yourself Love Notes
Try writing a positive note or listing your goals as a reminder on your mirror so you can’t avoid it. It’s a great way to wake up each day.
Surround Yourself With Love
As we grow older, we start to value our time and friendships differently. The energy of your inner circle is contagious, so it’s important to surround yourself with uplifting and positive people.
Love Yourself With A Show Of Gratitude
Does your inner dialogue tend to focus on the negative? Finding things to be grateful for on a daily basis can go a long way towards changing that.
Love Yourself By Letting Things Go
Recognize that you are not the world’s savior. You can show kindness and compassion to others, but not to the point at which it detracts from your other responsibilities. Sometimes, you just have to let things go.
Learn To Love “Me” Time
Even taking just an hour every now and then can help to recharge, reset, and re-energize you. This is not only important for your own well-being, but for those around you as well.
Love Yourself By Turning Off The Screen
Between our phones, computers and TVs, our minds are constantly being stimulated. All this screen time can distract us from reality and from ourselves. Take time at the end of the day without gadgets to get back in touch with yourself.
Love Yourself With Positive Affirmations
Begin each day by acknowledging something positive about yourself. All the little things we overlook truly make a difference. Focusing on the positive moments in your day can transform your mindset.
Love Yourself With Forgiveness
Instead of harping on that mistake you made, learn to forgive yourself. If you’ve never failed, then you’ve never tried. Think of all the things you learned from each mistake you’ve made in life. Embrace your imperfections and learn to forgive yourself.
Love Yourself By Having Fun
When’s the last time you danced? Or sang at the top of your lungs? Allowing yourself to be creative and let loose will boost your spirits and remind you that life isn’t just about work. There can still be some playtime in there, too!
Love Yourself By Learning To Say “No”
You can’t be everything to everyone and that’s okay. People will respect you when you stand up for yourself, and your relationships will flourish because of it.
So whether you plan to celebrate with a fancy dinner or bingeing your favorite TV show on Netflix, remember that a little love goes a long way – and doesn’t have to be limited to Valentine’s Day.