A lot of us get lost in the commercialism of Valentine’s Day or if we’re single, feel the day is pointless. I was one of those people in the past. “Man, f$*@ Valentine’s Day!” “This love crap is for the birds!” Yeah, I was a little bitter at that point. Thankfully, I’m nowhere near that bitterness now.
In spite of the superficiality of this holiday, it can still serve as a reminder for us to make love an important focus in our lives. This Valentine’s Day (and the other 364 days of the year), cultivate some love for yourself. This is probably the one area of love we overlook more than others. We believe as mothers, we should love our kids and sacrifice so much for them. We believe as spouses or mates, we should love the other more than ourself.
We believe that love means putting another person’s needs and desires ahead of our own. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It sounds cliché, but to truly love others, you have to first be able to love yourself. Here are some ways to manifest love in yourself and ideas that just make life nicer, more enjoyable. You deserve it!
-Get a massage… or give yourself one. It’s not the same, but it can make a difference if you don’t have the funds to get a professional massage. Make it as much of a spa experience as possible: candles, soothing music, oil or lotion.
– Buy good quality bedding, towels or a bathrobe. Loving yourself can also be about feeling good, literally. We all deserve some pampering from time to time.
– Make your bed. I’ve never done this every day. But when I do, it just seems to make the bedroom look nicer. Crawling into a neatly made bed feels special too.
– Exercise. There are many benefits to be had from this, so what are you waiting for? If you’ve already made exercise a regular part of your life, do a different form of exercise; something that challenges your mind and body.
– Meditate. You don’t have to be Buddhist or be able to sit for hours on end to reap the benefits of meditation. If you just have 5 minutes a day to spare, meditation can open your mind, heart and soul to a whole ‘nother level of existence. Click here for info on a basic meditation technique.
– Buy or grow a plant. This is especially beneficial if you live in an area that deals with the harshness winter can bring. Adding some green or blooms to your surroundings can help uplift your sun-deprived funk. Plants also help improve the quality of the air by helping to filter toxins.
– Eat no meat or animal products: eat a vegetarian or vegan meal or go for the gusto and be vegetarian/vegan for the whole day. We rely heavily on meat in this country for sustenance, when we can receive all the nutrients we need through other foods. Regardless of our beliefs regarding animal products or the ethics involving meat, eating vegetarian is a great way to eat healthier. It’s also kinder to the environment. Hop over to Vegetarian Times for more info and great recipes.
– Touch yourself. Ladies, give yourselves a breast exam; fellas, give yourself a testicular exam. Early detection is crucial in healing and treatment. Check out these links for more info: breast self-exam and testicular self-exam.
– Get a routine/preventative physical exam and/or dental cleaning. It’s a great way to love yourself by being in tune with your body and take a proactive approach to your health.
– Do something creative. I believe in all of us exists a creative side. For some of us that may be in writing, music, decorating, painting, etc., but creativity isn’t limited to things that are widely considered artistic. Creativity can be gardening, cooking, baking, building, sewing, etc. Tapping into your creative juices can be a remarkable, introspective and therapeutic experience.
– Make a list of all the qualities your love about yourself. It may sound like an exercise Stuart Smalley would have you do, but it seriously is a great way to generate some love and gratitude for yourself. We’re all given life for a reason and all possess great things. Sometimes we have to look within and remind ourselves of these great qualities.
These may be ways you can better love yourself, but they’re ways that ultimately bring love to others. The stronger your body, mind and soul are, the better equipped you are to take care of others. Some of these suggestions also benefit other beings, such as animals, the environment, and the other 7 billion people on this planet. I believe that like energy attracts like energy… so the more love you generate for yourself, the more love you create in this world. I think we can all agree we could use some more of that in our lives.