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Ditch the Candy Hearts and Overpriced Roses: Practice Self-Love This Valentine's Day

Most people would say Valentine’s Day is meant for couples. But is Valentine’s Day really about all relationships? So many of our holidays focus on giving love and attention to other people; whether it’s spending quality time with them, attending events with them, or giving them gifts. I mean, Valentine’s Day is really about love, is it not? Who says Valentine’s Day can’t be a holiday focused on loving yourself? 

If you’re single, in a relationship, or just somewhere in between; consider flipping the script by spending this Valentine’s Day practicing self-love. Here are a few ways to do just that: 

Do something YOU love 

Whether it’s exploring a new spot to practice photography, having dinner at the new sushi bar down the street, or just curling up on the couch with a good book, do something that you truly love to do. Don’t think about whether or not your friend will be disappointed if you don’t show up to her annual Galentine’s Day dinner or feel the need to orchestrate some grand gesture for your S.O. If these people really love you, and know you love them, they don’t need you to prove it to them on a specific day of the year. 

Admire yourself 

Spend 5 or 10 minutes just looking at yourself in the mirror. Reflect on who you are, how far you’ve come, and what you love most about yourself. It can be physical, like your eyes or your hair -- but don’t stop there. What parts of your personality do you love the most about yourself? What’s something you’re proud of yourself for achieving or overcoming? Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend that you’re hyping up. Make time to recognize your good qualities and attributes. Don’t just rely on external gratification, you should be your biggest cheerleader. 

Stop doing and start being 

Over the last few years, it can be more and more difficult to unplug, and we all feel that nagging guilt if we aren’t being “productive” by society’s standards. Our culture gratifies getting things done and checking off to-do lists. Give yourself some time to just be present. Being mindful of your feelings and experiences will help you build a stronger, more loving relationship with yourself.  

Treat yourself 

This one isn’t a necessity, but it definitely doesn’t hurt. Get yourself a gift this Valentine’s Day. Buy a fresh bouquet of flowers, splurge on that new coffee maker you’ve been dying to get, order that massage gun that hits juuuust the right spot, or take yourself on a solo retreat for a weekend; stay in a cool Airbnb or a nice spa. Everyone deserves to be treated once in a while, plus you know better than anyone else what YOU want!  

So, stop stressin’ about if you’ll have a date to take you to some overpriced, overcrowded restaurant, or what wine will pair best with your friends’ charcuterie board at her Galentine’s Day dinner. Instead, make this Valentine’s Day about showing yourself some love.