Dancing With Myself
February 10, 2023
With Valentine’s Day upon us it is common to feel a mix of emotions! While those in loving relationships feed into this collective energy of romantic love and connection, those who are unhappy in their relationships or those who are single, may feel otherwise. After all, Valentine’s Day does encourage us to highlight romantic relationships, leading us to forget the most important relationship of all; our relationship with ourselves!
Self-love is a crucial part of your journey in life. It is not something that humans are born with, but rather something that is developed over time. It is a skill that allows you to embrace your true and authentic self. When you experience self-love, you are able to recognize both your strengths and your weaknesses with compassion. You honour all parts of yourself, including your Shadow Self, and recognize that you are worthy of love. For some, this affirmation “I am worthy of love” is something you may not have experienced, or may even scare you.
Have you ever heard the phrase “you can't expect anyone to love you until you learn to love yourself”? This concept shows up a lot in the self-love community and can be an intimidating thought! Individuals who have experienced trauma in their life (in childhood, in relationships, etc.) that impact their self-worth really struggle with this concept. While you most definitely can be loved by someone before you learn to love yourself, you don’t have to wait for this mystery person to show you just how worthy of love you truly are! Here are some tips to begin your self-love journey this Valentine’s Day!
Start A Self-Love Journal
Journaling is a powerful tool that helps you reflect, uncover, and understand yourself and the world around you. By creating a self-love journal, you are creating a safe space to explore the whole you! Through this process of journaling, you learn to love yourself through acts of acceptance and forgiveness for things in your past that made you feel unlovable. By recognizing these pivotal points in your life, and welcoming in some compassion, you start to let go of the limiting belief that you are not worthy of love. A self-love journal fosters empowerment and confidence to love your true and authentic self!
List What You Love About Yourself
While you have that self-love journal out, why not list all the things you love about yourself! Those who experience low self-confidence may struggle with this activity, which is why it’s such an important practice. The goal here is to rewire your brain into noticing why you are worthy of love. You can do this by listing things you love about yourself in various aspects of your life. List something that you love about your emotional self, your mental self, your physical self, how you treat others, how you show up for yourself, how you show up at work, etc. Write these down at least once a day and soon you’ll be able to feel just how amazing you truly are!
Spend More Time Looking at Yourself
As you reflect on all aspects of yourself, take some extra time focusing on how you look. I don’t mean how you look in a material and analytical sense (makeup, skincare routine, etc.) but rather as a way to love our whole body. Many people (men and women!) struggle a lot with body image. We are surrounded by these images on TV, advertisements, influencers, and even mannequins in the stores all showing us the “ideal body” image. It’s no wonder we run past mirrors and avoid getting our photos taken! This is why developing self-love is so important. This “ideal body” image is false, and yet it leave us feeling ugly and wanting to hide our bodies. To challenge this, spend one minute each day standing in front of the mirror after a bath or shower. Don’t try to hide yourself, just simply be there. Notice your kind smile, the unique curves of your body. Say out loud “I love my body… I love my thighs… I love my arms… I love my chin…” and continue the list. This can seem like a disheartening task, but the more you observe your body and repeat these self-love affirmations you will start to notice your true beauty and no longer fear the mirror!
Take Yourself Out on A Date
What better way to explore self-love on Valentine’s Day than taking yourself out on a date! Use this as an opportunity to treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated. Take yourself out for a spa date, enjoy a relaxing hike in nature, go out for dinner, or make yourself a gourmet meal at home! Use this as an opportunity to get to know yourself a bit more. What does your heart desire? Are you someone who values their quiet time and wants to spend the day at a library diving into a good book? Or, do you value having new experiences and want to go on a single-day road trip somewhere? Perhaps you enjoy unleashing your creativity and want to join an art class! Whatever the case may be, allow yourself to indulge in the activities that make your heart sing!
Write A Love Letter to Yourself
Who doesn’t love the romance behind a handwritten love note? Take a moment out of your day as you write out all that you adore about yourself! Use this space to reflect on treasured memories, romanticizing even the smallest details that make you feel warm and fuzzy. Write about what you cherish from how your younger self led you to this moment. Note what dreams and desires you hold for your future self. Fill this space with loving words and affirmations, compliments, or even poems! Try writing in third person and feel free to use prompts such as “I know you feel loved when…”, “I am proud of you for…”, or “I love how passionate you are about…”. Let your creativity run wild!
This Valentine’s Day I encourage you, regardless of your relationship status, to make some time for you! Learn to love and cherish yourself just as you love and cherish others in your life. May this February 14th fill your heart with warmth, compassion, and love for both yourself and others!