6 Ways to Prioritize Self-Love
In February we focus on Valentine’s Day and dub the entire month as “the month of love.” We’re no strangers to the concept of love, but we seem to forget that it also focuses on the relationships we create with ourselves. The celebration of love can and should include self-love!
Loving yourself means making yourself a priority, spending time on self-care, and pouring into yourself. The journey to seeking ways to love ourselves isn’t just for Valentine’s Day - it’s always a good time to prioritize self-love, which has many emotional, physical, and mental benefits.
6 Ways to Prioritize Self-Love
1. Redirect your view of love. Oftentimes we define relationships by romantic partners. However, love extends past this definition. There are special platonic relationships, creative outlets that you can find comfort in, and the relationship that you build with yourself during your self-love journey. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, it is important to love yourself and invest in yourself to truly shine.
2. Take the time to do activities you love. This can mean different things to different people. The hobby or activity you choose can range from emotional, physical, social, personal, etc. It can be listening to music, going on a run, redecorating, having a spa day, meditation, etc. Whatever it is, it’s anything that motivates you, keeps you going, grounds you, keeps you mindful, and calms you. It can keep you at peace so that you can de-stress. It can also help you with anxiety, overthinking, and other negative feelings or emotions.
3. Treat yourself physically. It’s okay to splurge on yourself! Buy yourself flowers or a new outfit. Indulge with some chocolate. Light some candles and make yourself a nice dinner. Whatever the gift or quality time is, remember that you are worthy of it and you deserve to express gratitude toward yourself.
4. Practice self-care affirmations or journaling. This is important because we take in a lot, but we don’t always hold the information. Sometimes, we just need little positive reminders of what we want for ourselves or to speak to our inner child to work on our healing journey. We experience catharsis from writing about things we want to happen, things that we are happy or proud of for happening already, or negative or positive feelings that we feel that we can grow or learn from.
5. Communicate your feelings. Sometimes, we forget that love comes in many forms. During times like this, it can be easy to feel lonely or down about ourselves, but take a time to reflect on the other sources of love in your life. Whether it’s your parents, kids, grandparents, significant other, friends, etc. don’t hesitate to reach out to a support system if you feel like you are struggling and celebrate love with the people who are in your life.
6. Explore things out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, we set boundaries for ourselves based on internal conflict or societal pressures. Maybe you’re scared to eat alone so you’ve avoided it. Maybe you’re single for the first time after a long relationship, or maybe you never entered the dating game. Whatever the case is… there’s no such thing as the perfect time. It’s never too late to achieve your desires. Be kind to yourself and take experiences and adventures as they come!
Self-care and self-love are important because they guide us toward a healing and empowerment journey, build our confidence and relationship with ourselves, and impact the love we give and receive. By carving out time for self-care practices, we become more mindful, appreciate the relationships in our lives, and can become the best version of ourselves.
Vanessa De Jesus Guzman is an Educator and a Board Certified Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked with children and families for two decades. Vanessa is the owner and CEO of Free to Be Mindful - a private practice located in Ridgefield, New Jersey.
Vanessa is passionate about helping moms, kids and educators with mindful living, mental health and personal growth through efforts including:
Host of the Free to Be Mindful Podcast which provides bite-sized tips and guided meditations to anyone working with kids
Founder of Amiga Moms, a supportive network for 21st century moms offering educational events founded in mindfulness
Public Speaking and Professional Development for parents, educators and young adults on topics such as mindfulness, building healthy relationships with kids, self care, mental health and more.