Valentine’s Day can be stressful: getting your spouse a card and possibly a gift, getting valentine’s made for your children’s classes, making or buying treats, or volunteering for a class party. If you’re going out for Valentine’s Day, then you may need to: make reservations, find a babysitter, pick out the perfect outfit, and get yourself all dolled up for a night out. Or maybe it’s stressful because you want to go out and be swept off your feet by your spouse, but you know that’s just not up your spouse’s alley.
You can be your OWN Valentine and be your own Valentine every day!
Afraid you might sound a little bit selfish? Heck no!
When you take care of YOU, everyone else is better off for it. Self-care is not selfish. When you are taking care of you, you can become happier, and you can have more energy to take on your daily responsibilities. If you have children, you are showing them that self-care is a priority
Here are 14 ways you can take care of and show love to Yourself.
The great thing about this is you get to choose whatever works for you, and it can be done in as little as five minutes a day.
1: Start a Basic Journal
This journal can be similar to a diary. It’s a way for you to be able to express yourself without having to share what you’ve written with anyone. It can be about anything you want. You can share your day to day experiences in it, or write a thought of the day in it. It’s your choice.
2: Start a Gratitude Journal
This can be hard for some people. Sometimes life is hard and it can be difficult to think of things we are grateful for. Even if it’s only “I’m thankful I can breathe,” It’s a start. If you commit to writing in the journal every day, you will discover more things to be grateful for.
3: Start an “I’m Awesome Because…” Journal
This is exactly how it sounds. I know I tend to be hard on myself. It can be helpful to think of the things I am good it. Again, if you need to start simple, “I’m awesome because I got out of bed today.” That is good enough! Each day will get easier for you to find something you think you are awesome at.
4: Start a “1 Challenge and 3 Positives Journal”
Each day list one thing that was challenging for you, followed by three positive things that happened to you that day. I think we can forget how much we overcome throughout the course of a day. Writing these things down will help you to see you are capable of overcoming obstacles and help you to stay positive at the same time.
5: Create a List of Your Accomplishments
Write down everything you have accomplished. This will help you to see just how far you have come. Writing down your accomplishments is a great visual tool. You will see you have accomplished more than you think!
6: Create a List of Goals
We all have hopes and dreams. Write them down! Some will be achievable, and others might not be right now, but it can be nice to reflect on what you would like to accomplish. Then when you do, you can add it to your list of accomplishments!
7: Create a Vision Board
For the goals you see as achievable, create a vision board for these goals. A vision board is anything visual that reminds you of this goal. It’s like a collage of what you’d like to achieve. This can also be a fun project to do with a friend. Pictures and magazines are great sources for finding materials to add to your vision board. Just cut and paste!
8: Affirmative Messages
Affirmative messages are simple positive statements about yourself or pertaining to how you want to feel. Examples include: “I am as calm as the ocean on a spring day;” “I am a strong, capable individual;” “I can do hard things.” You can even write your affirmation down and hang it where you will see it every day. Don’t only read it in your head to yourself; say it out loud! It might feel silly at first, but it will become part of your routine once you put it into practice.
9: Try Deep Breathing
It’s as simple as it sounds. You breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take it a step further by incorporating affirmative messages into your breathing. You do this by stating the affirmative message as you breathe in, and follow it up with a “Yes, I am, or Yes, I can.” while exhaling. Another way to practice deep breathing is breathe in like you are smelling a flower, and then exhale like you are blowing out a candle. The more you practice the easier it becomes.
This can be awkward and challenging for some. It can be hard to sit and be with yourself. Choose a word or something you would like to meditate on. If you have to start out for only 10 seconds, then meditate for 10 seconds. You can slowly increase. The second you feel yourself coming away from your chosen word, attempt to refocus once, then after that, be finished and try again the next day. Everyone has different preferences for focusing. Do what you need to do in order to be able to focus. That can be having calming music in the background, dimmed lights, or a favorite scented candle burning.
11: Go Outside
Sometimes just getting out of the house helps. You can stand in the sunshine, the rain, the snow, it doesn’t matter. Grounding yourself to nature can help you remember that you’re human, and as humans, we are capable of so much. If you’re able, take your shoes and socks off. The more you can actually touch nature the better.
Sing your go to song! Who cares how old or silly the song is. It doesn’t matter if you can carry a tune. If it makes you smile, that’s all that matters. Turn it on, turn it up, and belt it out!
13: Dance it Out
Put on your favorite dance song and dance it out. It doesn’t matter if you have rhythm or not. Coordination is not a requirement for dancing. The movement will help you appreciate what your body is capable of.
14: Have Your Favorite Beverage
Whatever your favorite beverage is, indulge! You can take a moment to be by yourself and slowly drink. Take in the smell, taste, and temperature of what you are drinking. Giving yourself permission to indulge will allow you to see your worth.
Loving yourself doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming.
Remember, it is also not selfish to take a few minutes for yourself each day. The old saying definitely applies: “If mama ain’t happy, then nobody is!” The more you practice taking time to love and appreciate yourself, the easier it becomes.
Trying any of these practices will hopefully allow you to see yourself in a better light. We are all worthy love, especially self-love. If we can’t love ourselves, then who will?
What way are you going to love yourself today?