Updated: Feb 17
" Will you be my Valentine?" We see that all over the internet, and we might grimace at the thought that we have no body to say that to. February 14th can be the worst day for many of us that feel lonely. We tend to watch Netflix all day, eat bags of Cheetos, and feel disconnected on this day. However, the way we are conditioned to think about Valentine's Day doesn't have to be this way.
We have to start pushing back on the walls that contain these socialized thoughts because self love is important. Many don't realize that self love is the foundation for loving others; without knowing how to self love, it will be challenging loving someone else.
At the beginning, I didn't realize that. I always knew that I am not happy with who I am and was ashamed of who I was. Many that know me, will doubt that. However, what many people didn't know is that I went on a 5 year journey of finding myself. It started with tears every time I looked at the mirror and had my reflection staring back at me. It was definitely difficult, especially since my facial structure is not something that I had seen a lot of in 2010. I vowed that when I grew up that I will chop off my nose, change my eye colour, change my lips, and my jaw structure. I had meaningless relationships with people who I don't even consider anymore -- I wouldn't call them "less than me" because they are humans, but they were just not the healthy relationships I needed.
At any chance I had, I continued to hurt myself; emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It's almost as if though I was punishing myself for being me. As time went on, my parents continued to allow me to discover my self love. They were great support at times and they continued affirming my confidence.
The moral of this story, isn't to bore you. The moral of this story is that, self love protects you from getting hurt; by others and yourself.
Here are some tricks to love YOU:
1. Cut out those friends that hurt you, belittle you and continue to bring negative energy near you. An example of this would be: those who search for the most influential/ famous people to hang out with, who are two faced around others, who complain a lot, who are always in a certain mood despite everything, and who constantly disrespect your time and you.
2. Take time to have some silence in your life. Although, it is good to interact with others and spend time with people, it is also vital to spend time alone. Silence keeps your mind healthy; it allows you to think, plan, calm down, breathe regularly, and etc.
3. Download an app called "Insight Timer". This app allows you to approach problems with a relaxed attitude. It helps in many ways; fighting with yourself or others becomes less frequent, it helps with improving sleep, regulating emotions, and improving self confidence.
4. Go out for walks in the nature. Set an alarm and go out for a walk. Walking doesn't only improve physical health, but it also helps with mental health. Fresh air, animals making noise, trees hissing, and your feet shuffling against the pavement/road. You can also tune out the nature sound, put headphones on, and listen to music. Despite what you do, you will feel better. It can also become part of your daily routine. Routines are super important in our daily life, they keep us focused on our goals.
5. Pick up a hobby. Whether that be painting, writing, singing, playing instruments, playing video games, playing sports, or other activities. These hobbies were once a part of you. I know sometimes life gets in the way and we lose time for our hobbies. However, these hobbies once made us feel good, they comforted us when we felt less than. They will continue being there no matter what.
You can do this everyday, not just on Valentine's day. You can bake for yourself on this day, buy some snacks, put a nice movie on, and enjoy the day. You do not need someone to be there with you always, you are there for yourself.