Hi Friends, happy February! Perhaps you’re like me and felt like January barely existed. The month seemed to fly by! I am certainly not complaining because that simply means my favorite season, Spring, is not too far away.
While I love Spring, I don’t want to rush through February too quickly. It’s the month of LOVE, after all! Yes, some people consider Valentine’s Day a “Hallmark holiday” and I don’t totally disagree, but I do appreciate a reminder to really focus on love for others and love for ourselves.
Love is a universal language.
We all know how to love and hopefully we all know what it feels like to be loved. To that last point, if you answered, “No, I don’t know what it feels like to be loved,” let me encourage you to do work on self-love.
Focus on loving yourself first before you expect anyone else to love you. When you truly love who you are, it will radiate and others will be drawn to you.
So how do you work on self-love?
Here are some tips on how to love yourself no matter where you are in your life. Maybe you’re feeling lost or stuck. Or perhaps you’re feeling lonely and frustrated. You could also be feeling happy for the most part, but something still feels unfulfilled. Let’s take a look at some ways you can explore yourself and show yourself some love.
Say “no” to things that aren’t a “hell yes!”
Most of us are people-pleasers to a degree. Years ago, I stopped being such a pleaser because it simply wasn’t working out for me. I was being too nice and, in turn, felt taken advantage of.
I realized that I was saying ‘yes’ to too many things and I started feeling resentful and exhausted as a result. It was time for me to start saying no to things that simply did not light me up inside. I was terrified to put my foot down and to set boundaries, but once I started doing this, I found a much more noticeable sense of peace within myself.
Saying “no” usually comes with that voice of doubt that says, “But if I say no, they might not like me, invite me, hire me, yada yada yada.” The “might” statements can easily take over, but the truth is, if saying no turns people off to you, it’s more about them than it is about you setting a boundary. Keep setting boundaries and people will learn to respect that you mean what you say.
Take “Me Time” As Needed
You’ve heard me say this time and time again on this blog, but allowing yourself to have “me time” to explore your own interests, indulge in self-care activities, or simply get a longer night’s sleep is never overrated. Never! Giving yourself time to be alone deepens your love for yourself. You’re nourishing your body, mind, and spirit and that is priceless.
If you’re not good at putting yourself first, use this month to try it out! Pretend it’s an experiment and be sure to take account of how you’re feeling throughout those moments when you take care of YOU. Hopefully with time, you’ll see and feel just how lovely it is to care about yourself.
Find Your Purpose
What are you passionate about? What lights you up and puts a smile on your face? Find something you could talk about all day and all night if given the chance (that’s usually a good clue).
You may or may not know this answer yet and that’s okay! Part of self-love is taking the time to explore things, including your feelings! Meditating has always helped me get in touch with my purpose. I have learned that I LOVE to write (yay for this blog!) and I also really like helping people. I have also realized that my purpose changes. While I love being a therapist and a blogger to help others, I also know that my biggest purpose at this stage in my life is to be a loving mother to my son.
Purposes change and shift! Like everything on this planet, nothing is constant.
If you haven’t spent time in meditation, I’d encourage you to try it. Quiet your mind and you might be surprised to see what comes up!
If you’re still feeling a bit unsure of your purpose, you could always ask others what they think you’re exceptional at. Everyone brings gifts and talents to this world, you might be overlooking yours! Be open and be patient, and trust that your purpose in this world is simply being YOU at all times. No one else can be YOU.
Do Mirror Work
Self-love comes with a solid sense of who you are and what you’re worth (hint hint, you’re worth more than you give yourself credit for). So many of us carry life experiences with us for way too long. Perhaps something happened in your childhood that sculpted how you view yourself.
Perhaps you never thought you were “good enough” for someone’s time, attention, or approval. Or, maybe an experience in your adult life left you feeling “less than” or “shameful” or “misunderstood”. Whatever the story is that you’ve created in your mind about your situation, know that it is simply that. It’s a story. YOU are not your story.
If you’re ready to let go of past hurts or past dialogues that keep you from fully knowing your worth, try doing mirror work. Here’s how it goes:
- Stand in front of a mirror or hold a mirror directly in front of your face.
- Look yourself in your eyes for a full minute. After that minute say, “I love you “insert your name”. I really love you.” (maintain eye contact with yourself)
- Then, I want you to find several positive compliments you can say to yourself about what you see in the mirror. You might say something like, “I love the way your eyes sparkle, the little crease you get on your forehead when you laugh and the softness of your skin. I love what your scar represents. You are beautiful.” (This might be difficult at first, but stick with it.)
- Make mirror work a habit for the entire month of February. Once a day, devote time to doing mirror work. Then, as you start getting used to it, every time you walk past a mirror, say something positive about yourself (that hasn’t happened for a while, has it?).
Write Yourself a Valentine.
You might be used to writing Valentines for other people, and I hope you still do that this year. But don’t forget about yourself. This year, write a letter to yourself expressing your love for yourself. I know, it might sound sappy or corny, but it’s actually quite powerful. Set a time aside on your calendar so you don’t forget to do this, and spend a few minutes writing a love note to yourself. Fill yourself up with all the love you deserve!
I hope you embrace February as the month of LOVE. I give you permission to love yourself first and continue spreading love to others along the way. Love connects us all, so let’s start tapping into this powerful emotion and enjoy every second of it!
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