Valentine’s Day can be tough for some people, especially single heterosexual girls conditioned since birth that their worth and desirability is reflective of their relationship status. It sucks if someone feels bad about one’s self because of some holiday. To counter this chocolate-coated capitalist scam, I wrote a short list of ways one can exercise self-love anytime of the year and not just today.
1. Nourish your body. Train and eat healthy. The best way you can show yourself love and respect is to tend to your first home – you.
2. Feed, heal, transform your soul. Become that which moves you.
Fuel your soul by exposing yourself to new art, knowledge, sports, experiences, places etc. Soak up whatever positive ideas inspire you and become the living, breathing version of them.
3. Get checked, okay? Schedule an appointment with your doctor to get tested for STDs, cancer, etc. (and your dentist for oral health! or your psychiatrist for mental health!). If you can’t afford it then please try to save-up or explore options like free clinics and guidance counselors. Enquire at your local public health office. There is no shame in self-care.
4. Other people’s happiness are not units of measurement for yours. Respect the pace of your growth.
5. Take a break from chasing success. Replenish your mind and spirit with silence and reflection. Set aside adequate time and space to focus on what’s good for you. It may also be wise to regularly distance yourself from the bad news/posts in your newsfeed.
6. Instead of abilities and skills, we are taught to associate success with money, medals, and diplomas. There are loads of talented people who deserve recognition but are unable to find a platform or audience that’ll readily honor them and their craft. For instance, an underprivileged farmer from a third-world country who toils daily to feed the world in order to afford the luxury of feeding himself is considered of less value and genius to, say, a CEO.
Don’t beat yourself up if you are not yet society’s limited definition of successful.
7. Accept and enjoy who you are at this very moment. Avoid becoming overly-engrossed in the quest to achieve an idealized version of yourself. It is always good to work towards a better you, but learn to love the you that you are right now, too.
8. Permit yourself to have moments of weakness, grief, and misery. Pro-actively discern ways you can cope and handle these in a healthy manner.
9. Support yourself. Avoid becoming the villain in your own story.
Plenty of people will gladly help to pull you down, you don’t have to be one of them.
10. In this age of consumerism, satisfied and confident people make for lousy costumers. Rebel against the system of self-loathing for profit. Hating yourself is not modest or humble – it is damaging. Loving yourself is not arrogant – it is beautiful and essential.
11. Sometimes what you should do is look in the mirror and say “I am good enough. I am MORE than good enough.” Repeat daily until internalized. Cultivate within you the love you so readily give others. Even on days when you struggle to love yourself, force yourself to! Who else is gonna do it if not you?
“You are not hard to love if you can love yourself and no one has the authority to break you except you.” – Sade Andria Zabala, WAR SONGS
12. Don’t tolerate anyone or anything that repeatedly makes you feel shit. Don’t tolerate bullies. Don’t tolerate wicked parents. Don’t tolerate bad friendships. Don’t tolerate mediocre romance. Don’t tolerate fuck boys/girls.Don’t tolerate boring sex. Don’t tolerate sexism, racism, or ignorance. Don’t tolerate a culture designed to profit off your self-doubt.
13. In a world that seems to bolster hate and apathy, be resilient. Persevere in your softness, principles, and compassion. Resist by existing.
14. Invest in yourself because YOU are your best and biggest investment.