14 Ways To Love Yourself

by - 18:00

Heart, Love, Romance, Valentine, Romantic
 So, Valentine's Day is coming up this Saturday and, as usual, there's a lot of mixed feelings going around; both about the concept and the day itself. Ideally, the day should be spent by celebrating the love that you have for those around you, be that through gifts, acts of kindness or expressing your appreciation for that person in its simplest form. Family and friends have big parts to play in the world of love and care that usually surrounds a person and showing these people how much you love and appreciate them is definitely important.

However it is boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands and partners that are the main focus of the modern day 'scam' of Valentine's. The notion of being alone for Valentine's Day can be depressing and bitter for some and the extent to which all the merchandise and attention surrounding it goes has a big part to play. But being without a partner doesn't mean that you should not experience love for yourself: sometimes it can be that if you don't love and care for yourself enough, another person may struggle to do so for you.

Not everyone will be someone's 'other half': but that doesn't mean you can't be your own 'whole'. Learning to truly love and accept yourself as you are is far more rewarding than you may think, even if you are in a loving relationship. Having been with Dave for three years, I know that it can be easy to lose yourself in a relationship, especially if you feel really connected to the other person. But even if you receive bucket-loads of love and care from those around you, I would still highly recommend taking some alone time and doing a whole day of activities that are just about you.

Getting in touch with yourself and doing things that you enjoy remind you of your identity and what it is that separates you from others, even if there's a person to which you are mostly joined at the hip! I've compiled a list of activities that I believe help to get a person back to being themselves. Maybe they'd be best done on or around Valentine's day to stay with the whole 'love' theme but either way they should definitely be focused on regularly to help to stay grounded.

  1. First and foremost, remind yourself that you are worth the things that you desire. Whether necessary or not, if they are important to you they are worth striving for: and you have every right to give it your best shot. Mind-map some of the most important goals that you currently have, even if they seem unrealistic.
  2. Take a whole day to do your favourite things. Try and choose things which are unique to you and can mostly be done alone so there is nothing to distract from you and your experience. For me, I would walk my dogs for a good hour, bake something yummy, write some thoughts/ideas or a blog post (like this one!) and just take everything slow and easy. 
  3. Write a letter to an important person/people in your life. Express your good feelings for that person in your letter and say how much you love and appreciate them. Write until you are overflowing with the love you feel for this person - then decide whether you want to give the letter to them or not!
  4. Buy yourself that thing that you've been lusting after. If you were waiting for the right time/a sign to buy it: this is it. Treat. Yo. Self.
  5. Turn off the phone. Yep, even though you're reading this on some form of device it would still be very worthwhile to take some time away from the internet, social media and Candy Crush Soda Saga (it's okay - I'm obsessed too). Getting outside is great too but even if you just spend half a day getting back to the basics of life without your phone or laptop you'll feel much more in tune with the real world. 
  6. Write a list of all your favourite parts of yourself, both physical aspects and traits. Don't be afraid to be really self-complimentary! It's easy to pick flaws in yourself and your personality but there's definitely going to be lots of good things about you that are worth writing about. 
  7. Spend some time learning more about a topic that interests you. Some ideas could be: learning a new language, researching more into an event or a theory, practicing the art of yoga or teaching yourself about something you didn't learn in school 
  8. Sometimes when we start to feel bogged down and unmotivated it can be because we're spending too much time in our head (mental) and not doing enough with our body (physical). We are solid, living, breathing beings and we're made to move - get back in touch with your physical side by doing some light exercise like walking or dancing. This technique is also really great if you're prone to over-thinking and sometimes feel like your head is going to explode!
  9. Draw a diagram of your most perfect, ideal life. It can be as fantastical as you like and is totally personal to you and your desires. Keep these seemingly unrealistic ideas in mind and use them to uplift and re-direct you when life feels like it's not going quite right. 
  10. Do something you're good at it - especially if it's something you don't get to do day-to-day! This will massively boost your self-esteem and help to bring out the best in you. And there is definitely something you're good at!
  11. Try going on a date with yourself - take yourself out to a nice cafe/restaurant, spend some time writing or reading or just people-watching. Then go buy yourself something pretty. Afterwards you can look forward to a relaxing bath and a night snuggled on the sofa watching your favourite film. You are your own perfect partner! 
  12. Sometimes we can start to not feel so great about ourselves when we realise that we're going against our morals or beliefs. This can be due to work pressure, the influence of another person or a desire to fit in. One way to conquer this is to write a list of your 'Absolute Nos' - these are things that you never want to do, have or have happen to you. By doing this, you define your boundaries and hopefully it can steer you in the right direction if you feel like you're having to compromise who you are.
  13. Have a big clear out of your possessions. Even if you're a naturally tidy person, it's always good to chuck out the old to make room for the new. Having an organised, clutter-free living space is also crucial in helping you to have an organisend and clutter free mind.
  14. Always remember that you are in charge of yourself, you can change, you can make decisions, you can choose what path to take and, most importantly, you are the greatest thing that's ever happened to you! It is never too late to make a change and to start loving yourself fully. Once you truly love and respect who you are it will be much easier to protect yourself from those who don't and only welcome in people who are going to add to this bubble of self-love that you've surrounded yourself with.
So no matter whether you're going on a romantic date with your other half this Saturday or spending that time with your new best friend (you), I hope you feel da lurrrve and have fun celebrating Valentine's Day. And if you're still feeling down, just remember that Pancake Day is the Tuesday after Valentine's - happy days!

Sending big to love to all of you reading this, and I hope this has given you some ideas on how you can become more in touch with yourself and the art of self-love. And remember you always come first.

 Stay inspired!

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