It's Valentine's Day tomorrow - a day that we celebrate love. I personally like to think of Valentine's as every day, but this is the day that society honors, so let's talk about love..... self-love.
There's a ridiculous amount of info out there on learning to love yourself - so much that it can be overwhelming. In my coaching work, I'm a huge fan of action steps. We can read about something, and discuss it until we are blue in the face, but until we apply some action to it, not a whole lot seems to change right?
I want to share some real acts of self-love that you can work on putting into action....and it's not ALL bubble baths & spa days.
Here we go!
1) Yes, bubble baths, spa days, lazy afternoons reading on the couch, taking yourself out on dates are all wonderful acts of self-love. Giving yourself the breaks you need when you need them (or better yet, before you feel like you NEED them) is a really really important part of self-love. Shower yourself with things that nourish you! Know what those things are. Schedule them on your calendar just as you would any other important thing in your life. Allow yourself pampering!
2) Create a habit of positive self-talk. How we talk to ourselves and about ourselves makes a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves, and we tend to be way too hard on ourselves. This habit takes practice. Do whatever you can to remind yourself - sticky notes, daily journaling - anything to keep this at the forefront of your mind. Tell the people closest to you that you are working on this and give them permission to call you out when they hear you putting yourself down. When the inner-bitch pipes up with something to say, engage the inner cheerleader and correct her with loving, positive, encouraging self-talk. Talk to yourself like anyone else you love. Keep practicing this!
3) Create a life that you don't want to run away from. Yes, spa days & get-aways are amazing, but creating a life that we don't feel like we NEED to run away from on the weekend is key! What does this mean? Work on your list of things you have been procrastinating. Let go of toxic people that drain you. Make lifestyle decisions that eliminate stress. Develop habits that help you to cope with stress. Take charge of your finances. Practice forgiveness & letting go of grudges. Work to simplify your things and your life. Declutter your home & create calming spaces for you to spend your time. Take steps to manage your time well & let go of things that feel like too much for you.
4) Physically take care of yourself. Create a bedtime routine so that you get yourself to bed and get enough sleep nightly. Create an exercise routine so that you feel physically strong & energetic. Create a meal prep routine so that you are nourishing yourself well even when you don't have time to cook every day. Make the appointments you need to make. Get the massages. Do the things.
5) Do the work to value yourself & know your worth. Make a list of your best qualities -the things that you love about yourself & the things that those around you love & appreciate. Allow this list to grow! Stop comparing yourself to others (this might mean less time on social media?). Stop saying yes to people and things that you want to say no to so that you can spend your time & energy on what's important to you! KNOW that whatever is a priority for you is worth your time and energy.
6) Do the work to continually grow. Feeling stagnant sucks. What are the things that you want to learn? The things that interest you? Take the classes, go to the workshops, read the books, join the groups, hire the coach, see the therapist, volunteer, explore & expand life for yourself in whatever ways you feel called to!
Putting the above into action looks very different for everyone. I'd encourage you to read the above again, and now ask yourself if you were to work on just ONE of these things, which would make the biggest difference for you? How exactly can you put this into action? Make that action your valentines gift to yourself. You deserve it.
Happy Heart Day!