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How to Practice Self-Love This Valentine’s Day

Although it sometimes feels like it, you aren't required to have a partner to have a good time on Valentine's Day. It can be hard to be single and deal with feelings of loneliness while walking by boxes of chocolates in the store, and scrolling through endless couple photos on your feed. 


However, we often forget that one of our most important relationships is our relationship with ourselves, which I believe deserves some celebration, especially on Valentine's Day. 


Practicing self-love can feel unnatural for some people. Some might even say they feel bad when indulging in their guilty pleasures, such as buying themselves a box of chocolates or taking an hour to watch a reality show. But maybe it's time to eliminate guilty pleasure from our vocabulary, not only because the term comes with a history of associating negative qualities with marginalized identities, but because there is no sense in feeling guilt about the things we like. It only gets in the way of our enjoyment. 


With that being said, here are some ways you can show yourself some love this Valentine's Day, or any day of the year.


Do something you have been wanting to do for a while: sometimes it feels like life is moving so fast that we don't have the time to pick up that book we have been wanting to read, start that show that everyone is talking about, finish a puzzle, or even just step outside and breathe. Carving out time for the things that make you smile is a great way to show yourself some love. 


Rest: Lounging is one of my favorite activities, I do it daily. In all seriousness, sleeping, resting, and lying on the couch are often equated to laziness, but that isn't always the case. Our bodies need lots of rest for good mental and physical health, so maybe take the opportunity to sleep in a little later if you can, or lounge around this Valentine's Day. 


Go outside: It's no secret that nature can do wonders for our mental health. Although it can be harder to persist in the outdoors during the winter months, you don't have to commit to a 5-mile hike to benefit from nature. Even just an evening walk with the dog, an outdoor coffee date, or sitting in some sunshine can do some good. 


Invest in self-care: Making self-care a priority is one of the best gifts to give yourself. Investing in your self-care can look like anything from carving out 10 minutes to meditate, booking a monthly massage, buying yourself something you've been wanting for a while, to even unfollowing toxic people on social media.


Self-compassion: You deserve the same love and respect you give other people. It can be so easy to get caught in a whirlwind of self-critical thoughts that we forget that making mistakes and having imperfections is all a part of being human. Maybe take some time to reflect on the ways you are being too hard on yourself, and where you can give yourself the same understanding you give to others. 

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