Loving Yourself

Give yourself a little love this Valentine’s Day.

Posted Feb 10, 2019

AUGUSTO ARAUJO SOARES CABRAL/Deposit Photos
Source: AUGUSTO ARAUJO SOARES CABRAL/Deposit Photos

Love is in the air and Valentine decorations line the shelves of stores across the nation. From chocolates to flowers, more than half (53 percent) of Americans will reach deep into their pockets for this love-filled holiday. In fact, according to Finder, 135 million Americans are expected to drop $30 billion this Valentine’s Day, with the average consumer spending about $221.34. Jewelry will be at the top of the gift list, followed by an evening out and flowers. And those on the recipient list include wives $357.90, kids $280.07, and ourselves $235.56. Now, that last one may come as a surprise, but should it? Don’t we deserve to treat ourselves with something special every now and then?

In truth, loving ourselves doesn’t have to come at a lofty price and it doesn’t have to happen one day out of the year. Rather, self-love should be a part of our everyday lives. Begin this heart filled season by devoting to take better care of the one person who has never left your side, always has your back and is with you day in and day out – You!

Unconditional self-love can be expressed through self-care. Self-care is one of the kindest ways that you can improve your health and make positive life changes, all while creating a healthier mindset. Attending to your personal and emotional needs is vital to your wellbeing. And as simple as self-care may sound, sadly, most of us neglect our personal needs. If you don’t know where to begin, below are five simple ways to help you get started living a compassionate life of self-care.

Pakorn Lopattanakij/Deposit Photos
Source: Pakorn Lopattanakij/Deposit Photos

Five ways to love yourself.

1.     Do what you love and love what you do. Identify some talents or activities that you truly enjoy and do them. Stop wishing that you had the time to go for a walk, run, paint, cook, or read a book and start making it happen. If you can only spend ten minutes doing it, then great - if you have an hour, even better. You aren’t in a race against the clock to spend time with yourself, you just have to make it a priority. Self-care should be simple and enjoyable.

2.     Embrace each moment. Too often life is spent looking back to the past or jumping too far ahead in the future. Whether you’re attending a loved one’s wedding or having your favorite beverage at the local coffee shop, stop and take time to embrace that special moment. Make a conscious effort to place the noise of everyday life in the background by focusing on the present moment. As the Dalai Lama XIV so astutely stated, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly, live.”

3.     Get plenty of zzz’s. Sleep is a basic need that too often gets neglected. Did you know that adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night? According to a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of Americans are sleep deprived. Coincidentally, lack of sleep has been linked to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and mental distress. Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a bare necessity.

4.     Begin each day with gratitude. As Tyler Trent, the twenty year old inspirational Purdue superfan, who lost his fight with cancer wrote, “Though I am in hospice care and have to wake up every morning knowing that the day might be my last, I still have a choice to make: to make that day the best it can be. To make the most of whoever comes to visit, texts, tweets or calls me.” We could all learn something from Tyler about making a choice to make each day the best, and that all begins with a little gratitude.

5.     Celebrate your victories. Don’t hastily brush off your accomplishments and move on without first patting yourself on the back. When was the last time that you took a moment to celebrate your successes? It’s so easy to accomplish something and then jump ahead to the next item on the list, but don’t sell yourself short. Instead, take time to acknowledge what you have achieved, and treasure the moment. Not every day is going to be great, so why not hold onto the good ones for as long as you can? Plus, life is too short to not celebrate each victory no matter how big or small.

Now, if you’re still having trouble finding ways to indulge in some self-care, check out Shine’s First-Ever Self-Care Atlas: How People in 50 Countries Find Zen. This site is packed with inspirational ways people show self-love from around the world.

Pakorn Lopattanakij/Deposit Photos
Source: Pakorn Lopattanakij/Deposit Photos

Make this Valentine’s Day extra special by loving yourself. You don’t have to do anything lavish or extravagant. You just have to set aside some time and put first things first – and that begins with the one and only – You!