Hallmark cards, cinnamon hearts, flowers – these are the things typically associated with Valentine’s Day. The day when you express love and appreciation for the relationships that you cherish in your life. But there’s one relationship that usually gets left out and ignored – the relationship you have with your self. There is a growing movement to turn Valentine's Day into a day of self-love, to focus on cherishing and appreciating the person who truly matters most in your life - you. Unfortunately, our relationship with ourselves isn’t just ignored on Valentine's Day – it gets put on the backburner most days of the year, making it hard for many people to know what it is to practise self-love and self-care. Nurturing the relationship with your self is much like taking care of relationships with others. It involves kind words, thoughtful actions, gentle thinking, and taking purposeful time to connect. An important aspect of cultivating self-love is engaging in self-care, which can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. This requires carving out time in your day to focus on yourself. Scheduling wellness time is often the first step to engaging in self-care, and this often means saying 'no' to commitments that don't serve you. So what are some examples of self-care? Here’s a few to consider for this upcoming Valentine's Day: PHYSICAL SELF-CARE:
Making sure you are getting enough sleep, either at night or by napping or resting in the day
Paint your nails, get a massage, do a facial – whatever feels good!
Go for a gentle, mindful walk, noticing how your body feels as it moves.
Take a bubble bath or a nice long shower.
Make yourself your favorite meal, and take time to savour it!
Talk to or visit a friend – reach out and connect with someone.
Read a leisure book.
Write yourself a loving letter expressing appreciation and gratitude.
Give yourself space to cry.
Play a musical instrument, sing, paint, get creative!
Practise a self-compassion meditation, or take a moment of mindfulness – check in with yourself.
Spend time in nature.
Journal about your relationship with yourself, focusing on how you want it to progress.
Look up or create affirmations that focus on self-acceptance.
Of course, these lists are not exhaustive, and the activities aren't limited to just one day a year. There are many more ways to practise self-care and grow your self-love. The important thing to remember is that we are in a relationship with our self, and that relationship requires nourishment and loving attention if it is expected to thrive. So turn this Valentine's Day into Self-Love Day, and send yourself flowers, write yourself love notes, and show yourself just how much you mean to you.