exploring the importance of loving and looking after ourselves for no one but ourselves
February is known by many as the month of love because of the impending February 14th date, also known as Valentine’s Day. The positive connotations to this cupid’s holiday celebrate love and adoration, bringing couples to the forefront as the quintessential relationship to be fawned over. Familial love follows as a close second, though still does not compete with the main imagery of a head-over-heels couple.
However, negative connotations can arise rather quickly over Valentine’s Day for those who aren’t in a relationship and do not describe themselves as a partner to a significant other. February 14th becomes a day of blues rather than reds and outright sadness over joyous song. We have all experienced the feeling of missing out on the celebration of this holiday and the true isolation because of this imagined separation from, seemingly, the rest of society’s couples (trust me, I have every year thus far).
Yet why does this holiday, so focused on love, have to be defined by romantic love and partnership. What about self-love? What about the care we have for ourselves and the development of the relationship we have to our own persons? On a day meant for the celebration and appreciation of love, I am here to tell you not to forget about yourself and the love you place into your own spirit without the need of another.
Today’s society may (and usually does) look down upon selfishness. As communities rise up, as organizations band together, as people come together for some common good, looking after yourself can be understood as looking after a selfish desire. But a line must sometimes be crossed from being an active part of community to being an active part of self. The common variable of our everyday is our own physical, mental, and emotional person. It is you and me as individuals who get out of bed each morning, live each day, and create memorable moments for ourselves. Our “selfishness” must be a part of life simply so we do not forget to care and love ourselves.
Self-love may take on different forms and meanings for everyone yet it comes down to one idea: consideration of our well-being and happiness. So what may self-love and personal care look like? Here are some ideas, though this list is certainly not exhaustive. How we love ourselves is different for everyone.
A morning where we sleep in and treat ourselves to lying in bed for an extra hour.
A ridiculously long shower where you pamper yourself with body scrubs and hair masks while the mirror fogs and you sing happily along to the background music.
Sticking to a positive morning routine which allows for you to feel energized and motivated from the moment you wake.
Money may not buy happiness, but that shouldn’t mean we can’t splurge on ourselves every once in a while. See a coat that wraps you in wonder? Go get it. Spot a bra that will make you radiate positivity? Go get it.
Begin a cycle of meditation. There are so many amazing apps you can download and start using immediately. Set aside 15 minutes everyday for this quiet moment. I personally love Insight Timer.
Watch your favorite feel good movie with snacks and a lot of laughter.
Call your closest friend or family member just to say hello. Not only will this make you feel a bit more like smiling, but it will also bring that person an unexpected surprise.
Start daily journaling. End the day by writing out your thoughts from the day, your accomplishments with an “I Did” list, or a creative idea in which your thoughts grow into a colorful, imaginative piece.
Buy yourself flowers, everyone, and feel amazing about it.
Be spontaneous and do something simply because you can, because you are living in each moment with intentional action and thought in order to feel happiness that radiates from within rather than from others.
Feel free to use these options, create your own, and share with others around you. In creating an accepted environment for self-love, we create a comfortable and confident space to appreciate our own beautiful selves. That is what self-love comes back to for myself: appreciation of who I am, including all my imperfections and the dimples on my back. We will not find self-acceptance and recognition with others. That needs to stem from ourselves. We need to see the beauty and incredible presence we bring to the world. We need to feel that we deserve life’s incredible moments while also believing in our strength to get past the negative moments. In creating a world of personal positivity, we can then build healthy communities in which we support, empower, and encourage everyone to greater heights.
Is this article to shout across the rooftops “we don’t need anyone in our lives for love and satisfaction”? Not particularly, simply because individuals can bring so much meaning and growth in our lives. However, this is to make you realize that we have the power to love ourselves within ourselves. We have the power to treat ourselves as queens and kings and all other royal parties. We have the knowledge of ourselves to be ourselves, without living in the shadows of others.
With all of our hearts, we can love ourselves. As a result of this self-passion, we can then see others as complementing the persons we are everyday. Self-love. Self-care. Who says Valentine’s is just for couples? Celebrate your love of self everyday and be intentional in your actions for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.