12 Little Ways To Practice Some Self-Love This Valentine’s Day

A woman getting her nails painted by a beautician.
Kris Atomic / Unsplash

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love that people get excited over it and want to get a little somethin’ somethin’ for (or from *wink*) their loved ones.

I think my main problem with this holiday is that it puts so much focus on love for another individual. And YES! It’s important to let others know that you love them. But I don’t think we need one specific day to show this love.

There’s that one saying — “Fall in love with yourself before you fall in love with someone else.” I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes. When you practice self-love, you’ll 1) become more positive, 2) have more energy, and 3) learn to love your flaws. When we don’t take the time to focus on ourselves, we can get run down and lose sight of what we want.

So, this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to take some time for yourself. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, whether you already do some of these things or not… take time out of your day to love yourself.

1. Stop comparing

This is the one that I struggle with the most, and it’s not something that can be done overnight. With all of the different social media platforms that we have nowadays, it can be hard to see what other people are doing with their lives and not become jealous. “What?! Susie got to go to Jamaica?! She knows I’ve always wanted to go there! This isn’t fair.”

Just remember that people (usually) only display their happy moments. Everyone has bad days, everyone feels down. We aren’t going to put those moments on display for everyone to see. And to the people who do display those vulnerable moments: I applaud you.

2. Buy yourself flowers/chocolates/a card

This is just something fun you can do for yourself. You don’t need another person to get you flowers. You want flowers?! Buy them. You deserve ’em!

3. Take yourself out to dinner

If I ever feel like I just absolutely need to get out of the house and do something, this is most likely the one I’ll go for. I’ll go to Buffalo Wild Wings, sit at the bar, and people watch while I eat my food. Even if you want something more classy than a wing place, do it. Put on an outfit that makes you feel good and treat yourself.

4. Make a list of your favorite qualities about yourself

Part of self-love is learning to accept who you are. So often, we focus on the qualities about ourselves that we don’t like. It’s important to shed those negative thoughts and think about the things that you do like about yourself.

5. Do something you enjoy

This can be as simple as watching an episode of a TV show on Netflix or as adventurous as going rock-climbing. Just take a break from studying, work, taking care of others and do something you enjoy!

6. Fill your body with good food

When you fill your body with healthy food and water, you’ll feel better. Trust me, I want a chocolate glazed donut almost every second of the day. But if I sit down and binge on chocolate glazed donuts, I’m not going to feel great by the end of the day. I’ll feel sluggish and greasy and gross. Filling your body with foods that are good for you will just make you feel fresh and alive.

7. Smile

Just the act of smiling can make you feel more positive.

8. Put the phone away

This one goes along with stop comparing. Get off the phone, go outside. You can take a break from social media, text messages, emails… they’ll all be there when you get back.

9. Take a day trip

In December, I was feeling really down at one point. I just felt like I didn’t even want to wake up in the morning. So one day, I woke up, got in my car, and drove two hours away from my apartment. I didn’t have a destination in mind, I didn’t know where I was going — I just drove. And when I got back home, I felt so much better.

10. Sleep naked

Just read this article and tell me you don’t want to do this. It’s relaxing, it’s freeing, it’s AMAZING.

11. Pamper yourself

Take a bath. Put on a face mask. Get a massage. Get a manicure or a pedicure or both. You’re worth it.

12. Accept compliments

Again, this one can be extremely hard to do when we’re just used to focusing on the negative qualities about us. You may not like your brown eyes, but if someone else compliments your brown eyes… accept that damn compliment about your brown eyes! A negative quality to you could be a beautiful quality to someone else. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

The People Bringing You Delicious Dairy

A new Thought Catalog series exploring our connection to each other, our food, and where it comes from.

Meet Alise Sjostrom