I used to dread Valentine’s Day, resenting all the commercialism and hype. I now realize I was missing an opportunity to focus on myself instead of the inflated cost of flowers and chocolate. Whether you are currently seeking a love relationship, in one, or happily single, you can’t give what you don’t have, so falling in love with yourself is an important aspect for every relationship.
Falling in love with yourself may be a new concept and requires practice. Here are 5 ways to practice loving yourself so you can love others more deeply:
1. Get Grateful.
What are you grateful for about yourself? It could be anything from your long eyelashes to your culinary adventurousness or steadfast loyalty. List 3-5 things right now and ignore your inner critic, who may question every item!
2. Practice Self-Compassion.
What could you stop beating yourself up for doing or not doing today? Maybe it was making a wrong decision, forgetting something important, or falling off your fitness routine. In other words, practice self-compassion and give yourself a break by embracing your humanness.
3. Make Recovery Time.
This scheduled time is all about making yourself important enough to connect with yourself. It could be drawing, hiking in nature, or working a puzzle. Whatever it is, you do it because it fills you up and restores and rejuvenates you. Do one thing a day to recover—even if it’s only for 5 minutes.
4. Find Fun.
When is the last time you did something just for the sheer fun of it? Watch a funny movie, hang out with someone who makes you laugh, play a silly game, or do something completely spontaneous? Children are great resources because they know all about how to be silly and have fun!
5. Let Go.
Loving yourself can include letting go of difficult people, situations, and expectations. You could be making things harder for yourself than they need to be. Less stuff is less time. Less busy is less stress. Less expectation is less disappointment. Is there someone or something you can let go of?
These activities may feel trivial or even uncomfortable initially, but with practice they become more familiar and you will experience how they help you feel good about yourself. Feeling good about yourself is the first step to loving yourself.