What comes to your mind when you think of Valentine’s Day? Do you associate it with chocolates, heart-shaped balloons, or perhaps a feeling of loneliness? Since the occasion is dedicated to couples, you might feel like hiding until it’s over.
But even if you’re single, you can still celebrate Valentine’s and feel love in your own way. Self-love, in particular, is about taking care of yourself by doing what makes you happy and spending time with the people you love.
Here’s how you can cultivate self-love:
Appreciate the love you already have
Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone. Even some couples refuse to celebrate it and treat it like any other day because they think it’s too commercialised. However, just because companies see the holiday as a chance to maximise their profits doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with what Valentine’s should be about: love. Even though the focus is on romantic love, it’s worth remembering that love comes in all shapes and sizes. One of the best ways to celebrate it this year is to express gratitude towards people who are already in your life. Think of your friends, family, co-workers and pets, and let them know why you appreciate them. And to cultivate self-love even more, don’t forget to show appreciation towards yourself too.
Even if you already practise self-care every day, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to take it to the next level. The best way to express self-love is to pamper yourself, whether it means spending a day with your favourite book with a phone on silent, soaking in a hot bath filled with essential oils or treating yourself to a professional massage. If you have extra time to spare, you should also consider doing something that’s been missing from your life. For example, engaging in a new activity is a great way to satisfy your need for novelty.
Give back to the community
Love is often associated with a warm fuzzy feeling in your stomach. But this kind of sensation isn’t just a symptom of limerence. Giving back to the community, for example, by volunteering can generate a similar kind of feeling. A lot of people dislike Valentine’s Day because seeing happy couples everywhere makes them feel lonely. By helping others, you can fulfil your need to belong and potentially make new friends. After all, love isn’t just an emotion but also an action and one way to cultivate it is by being kind and building connections, which don’t have to be romantic.
Spend time with your family
You can also practise self-love by strengthening the connections you already have and reaching out to your parents or siblings. Plan a few fun activities that you can do together as a family such as going on a trip or playing board games. If they live away and meeting in person isn’t possible, you can always organise an online movie night. Go for a feel-good movie that’s inspiring and can make you laugh; it will improve your mood and remind you that love is all around, whether it’s love for a family member, a spouse or a hobby.
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