The day before Valentine’s Day is National Self-Love Day. In a world full of opportunities to compare ourselves to other people and constant urges to reach “the next level” or “the next accomplishment” it can be so easy to overlook the things that are great about ourselves today as we are. Self-Love often ends up being forgotten on our to-do lists. It can easily be stepped over on our way to reinvent ourselves.
I’m glad there’s a day dedicated to reminding ourselves of the most important love we will ever have in our lives – the love we have for ourselves.
I’m sharing just a few of the ways I try to show myself love on a regular basis.
1. Treat Rest Like A Need Instead of a Reward
I can’t tell you how happy I am that we’ve moved from the hustle mentality and the “no one can outwork me” messaging and more towards leaning into rest and ease. As a person who is fully addicted to being productive, I used to treat rest like a reward. “Once I finish this task, I can chill on the couch and watch a movie”.
At some point, I realized that rest is also productive. Especially when you find yourself stuck, lacking creativity, or unable to focus. I see that as my mind telling me it needs to rest and recharge. Loving myself means giving myself what I need when I need it. If my mind needs rest, then rest is exactly what I’m giving. I don’t have to earn that. I deserve it.
2. Write in a Self-Love Journal
You remember years ago when Oprah started the Gratitude Journal craze. She said that every day she writes down three things she’s grateful for. Last year, I was really struggling with self-love. I had recently been let down by a guy I liked and found myself spiraling into self-loathing. My internal soundtrack consisted mainly of my saying negative things about my weight, my financial situation, and every mistake I made turned into an internal attack on my character. We rarely call this what it really is – verbal abuse. It’s brutal when you become your own abuser because there is no escaping yourself.
The only remedy is redirection. I decided that I would take the gratitude journal idea and remix it a bit. I bought an adorable journal at Target and started writing in it nightly. My prompt is “Three things I love about myself today.” This exercise made a HUGE difference in how I felt and quieted those negative voices by quite a bit.
I got this journal from target, you can get the same one here.
3. Buy Clothes That Fit
For a long time after I started gaining weight, I refused to buy bigger pants. I was in complete denial about how my body was changing and I also felt I would lose the weight and get back to my “normal” size. I saw the smaller numbers on my pants size as a goal. But the thing is, it didn’t end up working that way. Every time I would have to work to put my pants on or button them up, my internal bully would tell me I had gotten fat. I would feel disgusted with myself for not being able to get into clothes I had worn for years. Holding onto my old clothes wasn’t motivating me to lose weight, it was just making me feel worse about myself. What’s worse is by the end of the day, I would be in physical pain from the pants digging into my waist. Why was I doing this to myself?
I finally convinced myself to go buy some jeans that I could easily put on and button up. When I put them on with a cute shirt, what I found in the mirror was way better than what I saw wearing clothes that didn’t fit. The pants that fit my current body also flattered my current body and made me feel better about how I looked. Which motivated me to take care of myself. What’s more, I was in no pain at the end of the day! Self-love is saving your waist from being choked all day from your jeans.
4. Send Myself Gift Notes
I buy myself things all the time – with zero guilt. I think that’s an act of self-love, especially as a mother. Moms often feel guilty about buying things for themselves when they could be spending their money on their kids…even though they ALREADY spend their money on their kids. But I like to take it a step further with a tip I got from one of my close friends – opt for the gift note at checkout.
I like to write myself a sweet note to go along with my purchase. I often forget what I wrote by the time the gift arrives so it’s always such a pleasant surprise. If you aren’t doing this, you should definitely start!
5. Take Myself Out on Fancy Dinner Dates
Listen, I am a foodie. I love great food, great drinks, well-decorated restaurants, pleasant waiters, I even love reading menus. I love pretty much everything about the fine dining experience. I believe that I deserve to experience it whenever I want. I shouldn’t have to wait until I have a man taking me on a date or a group of friends to go with. Quite frankly, even when I do have those things, I still genuinely enjoy treating myself to dinner. It’s something I will likely always do, even after I’m married (I’ve done it while in relationships too).
This is one of those things a lot of women feel uncomfortable with. They’re worried about what other people are going to think of them. They’re worried about looking lonely. They’re worried about what they’d do at a restaurant by themselves. As a woman who’s been taking herself to dinner alone since she was in her 20s, I can tell you that 1) no one is thinking about you – they are busy enjoying their own meals and what’s happening at their own table and 2) there is plenty to do including:
- Read or listen to a book
- Journal/write your thoughts and ideas down
- Daydream about what you want your life to look like or your goals
- Chat it up with the waiter or bartender
Self-Love is a Constant Journey
I don’t believe self-love is just a thing you get and keep. Like the love you have with anyone, it requires intention, action, and work. There will be times when loving ourselves is hard and times when it comes easy. What are some of the things you do to show yourself love?