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Practice self-love this Valentine’s day, it's the perfect time to reconnect with yourself. Consider the joy and contentment in your life that comes from no one else but you. To be truly content, one must be comfortable spending time alone and remember that relationships should be an addition to their complete sense of self. Doing things alone that bring us joy helps remind us of our value as individuals, responsible for our own happiness.
Valentine’s day encourages us to consider how our love life correlates with our self-worth. Capitalism thrives on individuals with low self-esteem, using ‘self-care’ and the idea that we need to ‘treat ourselves’ as a sales tactic. We are swayed into believing material objects can improve our mental state when in reality we need to spend more time working on ourselves by doing things like reading, spending time with those we love; seeing new places, and learning new things. On Valentine's day, the concept of material objects and other people being our sole source of happiness are united. If we don’t receive loving gifts or we are not romantically engaged, society tells us we have a reason to be disappointed. Inner peace and confidence come from understanding our worth on our own, separate others and material things.
Being kind to yourself enables you to make better decisions. When you have more self-esteem you are more inclined to think carefully about how your actions will impact your life and you will make healthier choices for your future. As well as this, loving yourself and being confident alone may reduce feelings of anxiety and nervousness, as you are fully self-sufficient and less reliant on others for gratification.
There are endless reasons why honouring yourself this Valentine's day is a good idea, but how can you practice self-love?
Reading is an easy way to perform self-love as you can expand your mind and learn about the world - or escape to a fictional one. Books have so much to offer us, but the experience of reading can be enriched depending on where you read. Try taking a book to the park or pamper yourself with a candle-lit bath (complete with some chocolate to nibble on, of course). Reading doesn’t have to be a chore, especially when you love what you’re reading. Discover some of our recommended reads written by powerful women and start your reading journey!
Take yourself on a walk
Taking a walk alone is the perfect way to slow down and have some time to yourself. When we are not at work we may feel the pressure to socialise with friends and family, but sometimes time to yourself is what you really need. Walk somewhere you haven’t been for a while, somewhere that makes you happy or reconnects you to a different time in your life. Take time to reflect and consider where you are now. It is important to take time out of your life to slow down and evaluate your existence, in order to be truly at peace with yourself. It’s hard to progress and prosper without learning from our experiences. A walk alone is the ideal time to reflect, especially if you venture out without your headphones.
Take yourself on a date
Doing things alone is crucial to self-development. As individuals, we are worthy of nice experiences, even when we are alone. Take yourself to the cinema, sit in a coffee shop and read for the afternoon, or cook yourself a new meal you haven’t tried before. You don’t need an excuse or a companion to have a good time and enjoy nice things. Enjoying time on your own in public places will empower you and expand the possibilities of how you can spend your free time. You are no longer limited to relying on others for enjoyment.
Take a class
Learning a new skill or reigniting a passion can help give you a new sense of purpose and enjoyment in life. Try a life drawing class, yoga, or learn how to cook. Doing productive and self-enriching things alone demonstrates your value and potential as an individual. Having interests and skills will help you identify your worth and strengthen your sense of identity.
Go plant shopping
Filling your space with plants will most likely have a positive impact on your mood, as plants have been proven to make people feel happier and more at ease. Plant shopping is a fun activity with little to no impact on the planet. Unlike impulse buying clothes, bulk buying plants is a kind of shopping that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty.
Plants require looking after which is another reason why they are a great act of self love. You become responsible for the plant which adds to your sense of individual value and purpose.
Journaling has recently become a popular online trend. Positive affirmations and setting goals are essential to understanding yourself and setting yourself up for success. Take some time out of your day to set goals and decide what you want from your day, week, or month. It is refreshing to prioritise yourself and your needs, and journaling orders you to take time out of your day to do just that. There are many different styles of journaling, from bullet journaling to visual documentation. They all offer different ways to organise your thoughts and daily tasks. Experiment and find which one works best for you.
Self-love is about wanting the best for yourself and believing you are worthy of achieving it. These rituals will help you reconnect with yourself and discover your value and potential as an individual.
Florenne Earle Ledger