Be Your Own Valentine

One day I decided I was gonna choose me. I haven’t looked back ever since
— Claire

It’s a bit sad, isn’t it? That we’re putting that much thought into Valentine’s Day, I mean.

When you think about it, there’s something very discomforting about the fact that posts like these (i.e. posts of self-love and encouragement) are written only in the midst of preparations for the “love holidays”, such as Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s and probably our birthdays when – essentially – we should be loving and encouraging ourselves throughout the entire year, and our entire lives, no matter the date.  

The Valentine’s bubble

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If we’re to be absolutely honest, Valentine’s is one of those random, capitalist holidays they’ve come up with to lure those in love into expensive restaurants, buying expensive gifts and making up for not being thoughtful with each other on other days. No, we’re not bitter – we’re telling it like it is. Love, devotion, gifts and treating those you love (and yourself) right shouldn’t have a date, a time frame or an occasion; this should be a continual impulse to make someone happy, to feel their joy and remember how blessed you are to have a partner as wonderful. So, should we really care about Valentine’s? I should say not. Should we let having a date define whether we deserve or don’t deserve to be loved? Not in a million years. But, should we love ourselves daily? Yes, 100%.

So, in the spirit of what’s been written above, we’ll talk a little about how to treat yourself on February 14th, even though we don’t care about Valentine’s. What we care about is self-love, and – if that love comes wrapped in a Valentine’s gift – we’ll take it.

 

Take the day off

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February 14th is Wednesday, and unless you want to rot the day away at the office, ask for a day off. Hey, you’ve been working hard enough as it is, you deserve it! Organize the entire day around pampering yourself – from that first cup of coffee in the morning, to the extravagant lunch or a shopping spree. Yes, even staying in your jammies the entire day, watching Love Actually is super cool if that’s what will make you happy. The key to a day off is to actually make it about you – limit social media usage (texting, emailing, Instagramming, etc.) and use this time for more human contact – whether it’s with your family, best friends, new people you meet or yourself. Remember the thing that used to relax you and go do it the entire day! For me, it’s long walks around the city and writing in my journal if I feel like it. It helps me clear my head and detox from everyday stuff. Go back to yours, and do it.

 

Treat yourself

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Making yourself happy in every way possible is key to being happy every day. Use this Valentine’s Day as a perfect opportunity to splurge a little bit and treat yourself like the Queen you are. Book a pampering session at your favorite salon and let the staff spoil you; take yourself out to lunch afterwards and treat yourself to a shopping spree you won’t regret. Whether it’s shopping for those luxury bags, designer pieces such as kaftans online or adding a few new pieces to your wardrobe, the idea is to remind yourself you deserve the best!

 

Repeat positive affirmations

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Photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash

A positive affirmation a day can change your entire life. Telling yourself “You are great”/”You are beautiful”/”You are worthy”/etc. is helping your inner-self shine. Dedicate Valentine’s to nurturing the love in you. Self-love should be your driving force, your mantra and your light in the darkest of nights. No, loving yourself isn’t the same thing as selfishness. Yes, learning how to love yourself is a never-ending process, and one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. And why exactly does loving yourself and being comfortable with yourself matter? Because only in appreciating who you are in all of your complexity do you become capable of creating a healthy basis for knowing how to love someone else without turning that same love into a form of pathological obsessiveness whose primary goal is nothing but mending your own emptiness.

 

Give back

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Believe it or not, sharing your love with the world is one of the best ways to feel loved: give your time, resources, money, etc. to a cause that means a lot to you or choose to spend this day with a person you adore (your parent, grandparent, best friend, etc.). The Universe feels the love you invest, and it bounces it right back to you. Be selfless in giving love and you’ll get it ten times more.

Enjoy your journey to self-love and don’t ever let it slip your fingers again – Valentine’s or no Valentine’s. Okay? After all, self-love costs nothing, and you gain everything.