Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Galentines Day! Two different days about love. The love of a partner and the love of your girlfriends.
Some women don’t like either day. To them it implies that they need someone in their lives to feel whole or to feel loved. Some don’t have a partner, others don’t have a group of girlfriends like you see on “Sex in the City”, “Living Single” or” Friends.” Some have it all, and don’t want to celebrate any of it.
Who says you have to celebrate loving someone else on Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day? What about celebrating loving you? If you have been following me on Instagram this month, you know that I have been talking about ways to practice self-love.
You may ask, why is self-love so important? Well, if you don’t love yourself, you may surround yourself with people that will not show you true love. You may pick people who treat you badly if you treat yourself badly. Self-love is how much you care about yourself no matter who is in your life. Self-love is the way you treat yourself and talk to yourself. When you love yourself, you teach others how to treat you and love you.
Self-love does not need to be overwhelming, time consuming or cost a lot of money. Here are four ways to celebrate the love of you.
I find this to be the number one game changer. We all know that words hurt. I don’t care what the “sticks and stones” saying says, words do hurt. I see it in my private practice and I’ve dealt with it in my personal life. Many of you are devastated by something someone said years ago and it has stuck with you 10, 20, 30 years later. Many times, you start to believe it and start telling yourself the same thing. “I am ugly” or “I am fat” or “They probably think I’m stupid.” You say these things to yourself day in and day out. Over the years, the self-hatred builds until you can’t stand the person who is staring back at you in the mirror. It affects your self-esteem, your career, relationships and how you navigate the world. Of course you try to get out there and date, and wonder why you keep picking the wrong partners or you wonder why you didn’t get the promotion. You can turn this around by changing the negative self-talk to positive self-talk. You may be thinking “telling myself I am skinny is not going to make me believe it.” That is not what I am saying. Right now, it’s about accepting yourself for who you are right now and if you feel like changing the way you look, that will be icing on the cake. Let’s reframe the above negative statements.
“I am ugly.” “I accept the way I look. Maybe I can try a new hairstyle, or new outfit
that makes me feel more comfortable.”
“I am fat.” “I accept my body has changed. I will live a healthy lifestyle
in order to have a healthy body.”
“I’m so stupid.” “I have several accomplishments in my life.“
Would you talk to a child or a friend the way you talk to yourself? Of course not. That would be mean. Stop being mean to yourself.
Create A Healthy Lifestyle
Creating a healthy lifestyle, inside and out is a great way to celebrate loving you. If you aren’t eating healthy or exercising, you aren’t going to feel that great. And if you aren’t feeling great, you aren’t going to love yourself. Also, not feeling good about yourself can drive you to have unhealthy habits. You want to numb ourselves with food, alcohol, drugs, etc. It can be a vicious cycle of self-loathing. A healthy lifestyle is not about joining a gym and becoming a vegetarian. It is about finding food and a joyful movement that your body enjoys. Make it fun too. Don’t use the words diet and exercise plan. You can use “self-love meal” or “happiness dance time.” You want this lifestyle to bring joy, not deprivation, stress and sadness. If you want a brownie or piece of chocolate cake, go for it. However, will your body love 2 or 3 pieces of cake? Probably not. Show yourself love with a healthy lifestyle.
Celebrates Your Accomplishments
When you lack self-love, you notice everything that is wrong with you. Everything you haven’t done. Everything you did wrong. Of course looking the lens of “I do everything wrong” is going to make you feel bad about yourself. What would happen if you thought and spoke about everything you have accomplished? Instead of looking at your weight, how you messed up on a presentation, how you don’t have a partner, look at all the great things you’ve done. You graduated from Yale, work at a Fortune 500 company, started a business, have a great group of girlfriends, you are a loving daughter/aunt/sister, and you are able-bodied. Make a list of all your accomplishments and when you think about all you haven’t done, read the list of accomplishments to remind yourself of all you have done.
How many times has someone told you how great you are and you’ve shut them down. Do any of these sound familiar?
“You look great!” “Yeah, but this dress is old”
“Congrats on the promotion!” “Yeah, but I really didn’t have to do much. “
“Great job on the presentation!” “ I screwed up towards the end.”
When you don’t accept the compliment, you dismiss everything the person has said. A person took the time to tell you what they see in you and you shut them down. Even if you don’t believe it, accept it by saying thank you. The person took the time to say something nice about you, so take the time to ponder that there may be something to it.. Stop believing that people are just walking around complimenting for the fun of it or to be fake. I can guarantee that if someone said something negative you would accept it. Let’s be real, you can accept the negative because that is what you are used to and you may not love yourself. Although you don’t love yourself yet, they want to let you know you are loved.
Loving yourself takes time, however don’t stand in your own way. True love starts with you first. Once you love yourself, you will know what to accept from others.
What have you done to show yourself some love today? Comment below.
I am a therapist who helps individuals who are motivated to transform their inner voice of self-doubt and self-criticism into a powerful voice of positive self-talk and self-trust. We help individuals recognize their inner worth, build their self-esteem and speak their truth.