Will You Be YOUR Valentine? 7 Tips for Self-Love

As we all know, February is associated with love.  Oftentimes, many focus on wanting or having the love of a significant other, but I decided to put a twist on the focus.  Some find themselves single, separated, or divorced and can dread that, shall I say it…. the 14th day of February.  Valentine’s Day.  Two statements that we tend to learn in our early years are to treat others the way that we want to be treated and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Well,  in order to do each of the aforementioned statements, we must first treat ourselves with love and kindness.  Many times the focus has been on how we treat other people, but the part about how we treat ourselves is glossed over.   Yes, it is nice to have someone else show us love, but we should be our first love.  Not in a selfish type or way, but in a balanced,  healthy, and intentional way. The more that we love ourselves; the happier and healthier we can be even if we are not in relationship with a significant other.  If we know who we are, love who we are, and appreciate who we are, we can enjoy this month of love. Below you will find a few tips to show yourself love that hopefully extends beyond the month of February.

1. Affirm yourself.  In the social media age where “likes” of our posts and pictures are rampant, we tend to look for the validation of others.  One key aspect of self-love is being able to affirm, appreciate, congratulate, and esteem yourself.  Get in front of the mirror, put a smile on your face, and tell yourself what you like about you.  Yes, I did say get in the mirror and talk to yourself.  Tell yourself how beautiful, handsome, brave, intelligent, kind, etc… you are.  

2. Do something that makes you feel good.  Whether it is getting your hair done, a mani/pedi, or eating your favorite treat, engage in something that you enjoy.  It can also mean trying something new.  Have you been considering going to that exercise class or art show?  What about that cooking class or art exhibit?  Just do it.  Exploring new things can help you find other sources of fun and excitement that you otherwise would not have known appeased your appetite for fun in life. 

3. Buy yourself something you have always wanted.  Now this does not mean go blow your entire paycheck or ignore your monthly budget, but it does mean setting up a fund within your budget that goes towards that new shirt, those new shoes, or that new electronic gadget that you have been eyeing. 

4. Find time to relax.  Whether it is creating a relaxation zone in your home with a bubble bath, candles, and lavender scents or it is taking time to sit next to a soothing body of water, find something to do that relaxes you.

5. Laugh more.  Life can be challenging and stressful, but laughter is a true form of natural medicine.  Turn on your favorite comedy, call that funny friend, or even take time to reflect upon some funny moments in your own life and laugh like no one is watching.  Yes, that deep belly laugh is the one that I am talking about.  

6. Say no.  At first glance, this might not seem like a fun thing to do. For some, this concept might even sound dreadful.  Nevertheless, just stay with me for a moment.  Do you find yourself so busy that you wish there were more hours in the day?  Do you feel like you are always helping others and never have enough time for yourself?  Do you ever feel taken for granted?  If you answered yes to any of the questions, there might be some people, places, or things to which you just need to say “no.”  This may seem difficult at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes, and the more you can make time for the most important priorities in your life. 

7. Have standards.  Sometimes, for the sake of not being alone, I won’t say “you”, but I will say, “that one neighbor that you know” will tolerate any man or woman that is breathing.  Never mind the fact that he/she is disrespectful, unfaithful, unmotivated, and flat out selfish.  It is time out for this.  Make this month the month you decide to love you more.  That means cutting off those unhealthy relationships and falling in love with you.  Set standards that you will be respected, you will be understood, you will be heard, and you will have other healthy aspects within any relationship in which you choose to engage, not, you will be happily single until that person that meets your pre-established standards comes along. 

Whether single, separated, divorced, married, or in a committed relationship, my hope is that each of the 7 tips are helpful and shed light on some ways to love yourself and answer “yes” to the question that you will be your own Valentine.

Quinnise Pettway