Valentine’s Day is looming and let’s face it, it can be a depressing time for many of us. Self-love can be practiced by anyone. Whether you’re madly in love, miserably single or somewhere in between. It’s the most accessible type of love yet quite possibly the least practiced.
Loving ourselves is vital even if we are in a happy relationship. It means our happiness isn’t dependent on anybody else and isn’t that true freedom? I just read a wonderful quote “I don’t want to be the other half of your soul, I want to remind you that you are already whole”. If you are in a relationship remember just that you need to offer whoever you love the opportunity to be free.
One technique I found really helps (especially if I’m feeling down) is to occasionally write myself a love letter. I imagine I’m writing a letter to a friend. If your friend was in your shoes what would you say to them? Well done for ___, you’re great at ___, you deserve ___, thank you for ___, don’t beat yourself up about ___. It may feel awkward at first and you may even feel guilty about being nice to yourself but please persevere.
Remember we are all human – nobody out there is perfect. We all make mistakes, we all get lazy and we cause the people we love pain. Life is hard and teaches us many lessons, we don’t need to be hard on ourselves. Be realistic yes, know what’s right and what’s wrong but don’t shame yourself and bring yourself down. As I mentioned in the blog on ‘anger’ we need to act out of compassion – even to ourselves.
In fact I would go as far as to argue that our natural state is one of love. To use an idea from Headspace (an app I use to meditate) there is always a blue sky. Even when it’s cloudy if we get in a plane we fly through the clouds and there it is, the blue sky. In the same way, we are always in a state of love, love for ourselves, others and life but clouds in the shape of thoughts or our attitudes manage to hide it from view. Sometimes there are a few spindly clouds and other times it’s super stormy. Just know that the blue sky is there.
To access this eternal state of love techniques such as meditation and mindfulness can really help. Living in the present and not being dragged into the whirlpool of negative thinking which feeds off itself. Thoughts come and they go, they are not you. Detach yourself from them and they have less meaning – they start to dissolve away.
So this Valentine’s day go treat yo’ self! Love that magnificent in its imperfections hunk of humanity that you are. Don’t wait around to get swept off your feet – you have the power of love already in your hands. I insist that you do at least three of the following (please message me any of your own additions):
- Have a bath with bubbles/a bath bomb/essential oils/Epsom salts and a rubber duck if possible
- Make yourself a decadent hot chocolate
- Buy yourself a nice bottle of wine (drowning in sorrows not allowed)
- Buy yourself your favourite chocolate / treat
- Get a take away and do not skimp – starters, sides, the works
- Make or buy a face/hair mask
- Book a massage
- Practice ‘Yoga Nidra’ (a relaxing guided meditation which will probably send you to sleep) with pillows and blankets
- Practice yin/restorative yoga instead of a proper workout
- Go for a walk amid beautiful nature
- Switch off all tech. and read your book with tea and candles
- Have a lie in
- Give yourself a manicure / pedicure
- Write yourself a love letter
- Go to the cinema and eat an outrageous amount of popcorn