With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I felt it necessary to jump in on that "luv-biz". Some of you might LOVE love. The cheesy rom-coms, candlelit dinner, chocolate-dipped strawberries. I've personally enjoyed this holiday solely for the conversation hearts and the never-ending tumblr Valentine cards. I mean seriously look at these things.
In elementary school, it was an excuse to get out of class and give your crush the extra special Cars valentine. You know, the one that says "You make my heart RACE" instead of just the basic "You're a winner". Now that I'm a lot older, Valentine's day is an excuse to sit in and watch Fantasia on blast while sharing cookies and cream ice cream with my cat. Especially because of quarantine, my introvert tendencies are kicking into overdrive. It's okay to give yourself some love and time once in a while. This year the love I'm celebrating and reveling in is my love for me. Lizzo truly said it best. This year I'm giving myself the love that I deserve.
You've seen the stories and posts about how self-care is retail therapy and going for walks and taking bubble baths. If that's all there is to it I would be glowing, the epidemy of self-love. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. In order to really get on the path to being your own soulmate, you gotta do some hella work first. You gotta take care of each part of your psyche.
It's scientifically proven that getting your heart pumping is linked to an increase in mood. This doesn't have to something extreme, just a little up and at 'em. You could go for a walk, do a quick couple of jumping jacks, just get up and get your body actively involved in the day. Stretch before you do anything. See if you can feel each of the muscles in your toes all the way up to your ears. Get familiar with what your body can do, it's amazing what humans are capable of.
You also gotta make sure you're taking care of your physical self. It can be easy to forget but make sure to eat, drink water, shower if it's your day. Take care of your body!
Understanding your emotions is one thing but fully accepting them is quite another. Honestly, just understanding emotions can be a hard thing sometimes. Anxieties and other personal biases can skew reality for a person that isn't confident in their emotional relm.
In order to love this part of yourself, you have to understand where these emotions come from and why they're there. They are there for a reason, you just gotta trust it.
This also means knowing when to dip out of your emotional brain and think more about the situation. Try to balance this by acknowledging your emotions throughout the day and exploring their cause of origin. Thank your friends. Put out good energy.
Whether you believe in a god, a God, an abstract idea of a higher being, or simply "the universe", it's important to tap into what your beliefs are and how they manifest in your own life. Spirituality can be kind of like a roadmap to your life if you know how to use it. Just like a muscle, this can be strengthened with practice. Meditation breaks can help center yourself and doing that self reflection can promote peace within yourself.
Tune in with your higher self for this one.
Every day is another chance to learn something new. With the power of technology, now we
hold all kinds of knowledge in our jean's back pockets. You could spend 15 minutes on Duolingo learning a new language or you could spend a few minutes looking at This Day in History. It's important to keep learning and growing to keep up with today's racing information. You have to keep your brain in shape just like your body. Reading, seduku, and puzzles can train your mind for memorization and critical analysis. The more you know, the more you will be able to contribute to your environment and your own personal perspective. Dive into your own personal interests and get lost in them.
Human beings are social creatures. People need other people to be full. In order to show up for yourself in the social aspect, you want to make sure that you are creating genuine and mutual relationships. Lean into the people that are there for you when you need them to be and define what you need in a respectable relationship. Whether it be a friendship, partnership, romantic relationship or even a relationship with yourself, strive to be giving and receiving in a relationship. This also means being vulnerable and letting other people help you when you need help. Sometimes they want to know that you care about them. Be that for yourself and be the best version of you that may be.
This is the fun part where I can say things like paletas and cuddling a pet and feeling the sunshine. These things are directly related to the senses. This would include tasting your favourite snacks or watching one of your favourite movies. This specific kind of self love is what most people think of when that term is first said, but there is so much more internal work that should be done as well. When there is a balance, there is true fulfillment and happiness and dare I say, self-love?
This Valentine's Day, try to focus on giving yourself the treatment that you deserve. That may be taking a meditation nap before that big meeting or drinking wine in your ring-stained bathtub. Whatever you do this Sunday, remember to take sometime for yourself. True love only happens when you're by yourself. Ain't that right Lizzo?