With Valentine’s Day around the corner it’s hard not to be bombarded with signs of love and shapes of hearts everywhere you go. You may have someone special to spend Valentine’s Day with, showering them in love and chocolates, or you could end up boycotting this “Hallmark Holiday” and spend the day alone. Regardless of who you choose to celebrate or not celebrate Valentine’s Day with, there is one person you can’t get away from on February 14… YOU.
With all this focus on making Valentine’s Day about loving other people I want to take a minute focus on someone that we often neglect to love: ourselves. Self-love is one of the most important things that someone can experience that positively affects themselves and those around them. We here at True North Beauty believe in taking an inside out approach to beauty; we believe that the more we take care of ourselves the better we feel. The more you show yourself love, your days will become brighter, you will have more energy, and you will have more to give to those around you!
I used to believe that self-love meant taking time out for a bubble bath, getting a massage, or going to get my nails done. Although those are great things to rejuvenate our spirit, over the years I have come to believe that loving yourself goes deeper than just taking an afternoon off to pamper yourself. I believe the key to self-love is becoming your own best friend. That you need to love yourself with the same depth as you do your closest friend. Deep down inside we all want to be happy, cared for, and feel loved. There is nothing wrong with having relationships with people around us that provide this, but in order to get the most out of those relationships we need to start with our relationship with ourselves.
Some people might think that self-love is being selfish, but in reality self-love helps you become more selfless. It provides you the nourishment you need to feel whole and in turn gives you the capacity to love those around you more deeply. If you are emotionally depleted it is easy to resent the energy necessary to maintain healthy loving relationships, which is what real self-love is: service to others. Think about the "in case of an emergency" rules on an airplane. There is a reason we are told to put oxygen masks on ourselves first; it is so we can make sure we are ok to take care of others around us. Loving yourself is like the oxygen mask: a simple act of self-care that will allow you to help others to the best of your ability.
One thing that I have learned is that self-love needs to be practiced every single day. That's why I thought this week would be the perfect time to talk about it with you. Before you spend Valentine’s Day thinking about others, I want you to take these next few days for yourself and work on self-love and becoming your own best friend. It isn't something that happens overnight but is something we can all start and work on together this week!
Here are some ways I have learned how to be my own best friend and practice self-love:
-I talk to myself the way I would to a dear friend. Remember #MantraMonday? I make sure my inner dialogue is positive and I practice my mantras.
-I am gentle with myself when things get tough and celebrate my perfect imperfections. I am able to laugh at myself when things don't go according to plan and try to find the lesson or silver lining when things have me down in the dumps.
-I am protective of myself. I only reserve space in my closes inner circle for those who love me unconditionally. These are people who are genuinely want to see me happy, will be a cheerleader for me, and will support my desire to have a healthy life and relationship with myself.
-I look for opportunities to incorporate gratitude into rituals. Each morning I have a ritual before I get out of bed and use my Purifying Solid Facial Cleanser: I think of something I'm grateful for and something that is currently bringing joy to my life. Then each evening I cleanse my face with a warm wash cloth using my Cleansing Oil and say a thanks to all the good things that have happened to me that day. This ritual helps me to set free anything that is weighing on me from the day both mentally and physically.
Now that I have shared a few ways on how I practice self-love, I would really like to hear yours! Take the next few days to think about it, see what works for you, and what small steps you will take to start your journey of self-love. Share them with me in the comments - your suggestion might help someone else out! I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day and spend the day showing yourself some love!