It’s Valentine’s day – a time traditionally for couples to celebrate their undying love for one another, and more recently thanks to the coining of ‘galentines’ and ‘palentines’, a time for showing the love to those who mean the most to us. However, there is one person that often gets overlooked – the most important person in your life to show love to… you.
Self-love comes from the inside and creates within you a pillar of strength and confidence that cannot come from anywhere else. It is a state of appreciation of ourselves that is essential to living well and being truly happy without having to rely on the people around us.
You are you enough, and you always will be! Every being is special regardless of background, qualifications, jobs, perceived successes, relationship status etc. and we should appreciate ourselves for the joy we bring by being in the world. Self-love starts with being kind and gentle with yourself and appreciating who you are inside and out – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Lock away your inner critic and make a pledge to be your own Valentine this Valentine’s day!
Here are our 5 favourite tips for showing yourself the love every day:
#1 Speak to yourself how you’d speak to a friend.
Thinking self-love is the most important way to learn to love yourself. Do you speak to yourself in the same positive and supportive ways you’d speak to a friend? Do you console yourself with kind words when you’re upset? Tell yourself you’re doing a great job when you’re feeling defeated? Compliment yourself and celebrate the daily wins? Many of us engage in daily self-criticisms and talk negatively too and about ourselves – no wonder we’re left with low self-esteem. These are totally undeserved and are things we would never say to anyone else! Next time you’re beating yourself up about something, take a deep breathe and recite back to yourself the lovely things you would say if you were interacting with a friend. ‘Don’t be silly, you look amazing’, ‘Don’t worry about it, everything rights itself out in the end’ ‘Don’t be down, you’re doing such a great job!’. And if you’re feeling sad then that’s ok too, you’re allowed to feel down from time to time, don’t push it down, give yourself time and space to recover.
#2 Self Care time is imperative
Spend time with yourself, doing the things that you love to do and if that means cancelling or putting off plans with other people, then do it! So many of us find ourselves ‘too busy’ to find time to relax and partake in an activity that is just for ourselves. Whether your thing is relaxing in bed with your favourite book, cooking your favourite meal, soaking in bath oils or dancing around your bedroom if your favourite underwear – make a space in your calendar for self-care time every week if not every day. Meditation and leaving the busy world behind to go out into nature is also a great way to unwind. Loving yourself means looking after your mind as well as your body, and taking time out to reset and recharge is imperative to your personal wellness. We also have a Valentine’s gift for you in the form of a Brighton Lace Valentine’s playlist that makes perfect background music for all self-care activities.
#3 Be kind to your body
Stand in the mirror every day in your favourite lingerie and just take a minute to appreciate the wonderful person in front of you. We all often participate in negative conversations with ourselves about our own bodies – setting unrealistic goals and expectations. But with self-love comes a self-appreciation, acceptance, and assurance surrounding our physical being. Give yourself a pep talk look yourself in the eye and tell yourself you are an incredible human just the way you are. This also encompasses eating nourishing foods, exercising regularly and resting when you feel like your body needs it.
#4 Learn to put yourself first
Of course, it shows that you are a caring and charitable person if you put other people’s needs before yours, but if this is something you are doing too regularly it can take a great toll on your own wellbeing. Instead of saying yes to everything and taking on more than you can cope with, you should be showing self-love through putting yourself first. In the end, you can’t love and support other people if you are not loving and supporting yourself. Do things that make you happy, follow your passions, develop yourself as a person, and say no if someone asks something of you that you don’t want to give. You don’t owe anyone else anything, but you do owe it to yourself, to show yourself love.
#5 Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself
You can’t be it all, and you don’t have to be. Modern women are especially hard on themselves and we often feel like we have to be the entrepreneur, the caregiver, the socialite and the charity worker all at once, and if we can’t do all these things then we are failing. We’ve all tried to cram an unrealistic amount of work into a day and got angry at ourselves for not completing it, scheduled in multiple social dates into a busy week and then feel guilty for backing out of plans last minute and constantly compare ourselves to the way we perceive other people to be. But it doesn’t have to be this way, you just need to remember that we’re all only human and we’re all different. Avoid the compare and despair cycle and show yourself love and compassion instead.
Make a Valentine’s day promise to yourself, that from this day forward you will take steps towards making self-love a part of your daily routine. Don’t forget to check out our Valentine’s playlist on Spotify – the perfect soundtrack to your new beginning.