The occasion of Valentine’s Day often acts as a reminder for people to express their love for someone special. We instinctively think of our partners and lovers, but how many of you think of yourself whenever you hear the words ‘someone special’?

I’m guessing, not very often and it’s time to change that.

This Valentine’s Day and beyond, why not act like you matter and show yourself some love with the following six gifts?

Forgiveness

Women are frequently expected to be all things to everyone. We place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and measure our worth against impossible standards of perfection. Then when we are unable to do everything or make a mistake, we can be painfully critical of ourselves.

It’s time to show yourself some love by consciously forgiving yourself. Additionally, give yourself permission to be imperfect, make mistakes and be human.

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Time out or a day off

We are now living in a society where we are connected 24/7. It is exhausting, unsustainable and consequently bad for our health. Often, we feel guilty if we are not doing something that we consider ‘productive’ and sadly, taking care of ourselves rarely fits into that category.

Take the day off and spend it showing yourself some love. Alternatively, if you can’t take the whole day, free up an evening and pamper yourself in the same way you would if you were going out on a date with someone – protected, uninterrupted time to enjoy each other’s company. Except, you’ll be your date and you’re expected to treat yourself with the same courtesy.

Switch off your phone or at least put it on silent and completely disconnect from social media, email, and WhatsApp.

 

Saying no

Many of our problems or challenges come from our inability to say no. Not being able to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime which means you’ll miss your weekly yoga class.

Or, ignoring the call from your friend who simply wants to moan about her life, when all you want to do is focus on you making your own dreams a reality.

No is such a tiny word, yet it can be extremely powerful. But, it can also be very difficult to use. Practice saying no. Say no to habits that are no longer serving you. Say no to toxic people and relationships that drain you. Say no to the unrealistic demands you place on yourself and say no to the stereotypes and limitations placed on you by society.

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Working with a therapist, coach or healer

Sometimes reading an article like this one, or speaking with a wise and positive friend can be enough to highlight all the ways you’ve been neglecting yourself and your needs. However, there are times when you need professional help in order to overcome the obstacles holding you back and keeping you stuck in an unhealthy cycle.

For emotional challenges, consider working with a therapist or counsellor who specialises in the area you need to work through. If you’re struggling to make progress in your career or with your health goals, you could work with a life coach or personal trainer. And for a more holistic approach, consider having a session in something like reiki, reflexology or acupuncture.

Act like you matter and show yourself some love by prioritising your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

 

A love note

Woo yourself and send yourself a love note. Write yourself a love letter detailing everything that makes you the wonderful person that you are and all the reasons why you are worth loving authentically, day in and day out.

Fill your letter with everything you want and need to hear about how great you truly are and acknowledge your progress and accomplishments.

You can choose to buy yourself a card, or make one. Or simply write yourself a letter. But make the effort and actually physically post it to yourself.

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A make-over

There’s something about a new look that screams, ‘You’re worth it’!

You feel better about yourself, you walk taller and everything about you radiates confidence. With self-love, it is vital to do the internal work, but sometimes you need to start on the outside and work your way inwards.

Change your hair, update your wardrobe or have a make-up consultation.

Alternatively, if you’ve been thinking about that tattoo for months, or maybe even years, make the appointment – and of course, make it meaningful.

Step out of your comfort zone and change things up a bit. Do whatever you need to do to ensure that every time you look in the mirror you feel amazing and like you matter.

The beauty of the six gifts above is that they don’t need to be tied to a specific day.

In an ideal world, you would incorporate self-love as part of your daily life, but we all know that more often than not, self-love is one of the first things to drop off of our ‘To do’ lists.

Make the change today and start to show yourself some love.

Image credits: www.123rf.com.