Valentine’s Day: Self-Love Sunday
February 14, 2021
There are thousands of ways to show love to another, through material items, food, and signs of affections. However, society has lost sight on the one person that truly should be loved by yourself: you!
With this extremely unprecedented year, the lockdown and quarantine has forced us to spend more time on ourselves. We no longer get six hours of sleep, on a repetitive cycle between homework and school. We are given endless hours to attend to our needs, whether it be through baking our favorite pies or creating our own skin care routines.
You owe it to yourself to fall in love with the amazing person that you are and better yourself each and every day. While there may be setbacks, and you will have a bad day, realizing and accepting that you are an imperfectly perfect human will leave you content.
There are so many more reasons for you to love yourself rather than hate yourself. We live in such a negative world that is filled with body shaming, low self-esteem, and insecure bullies that will always try to get into your end. But, at the end of the day, you must ask yourself the question: Do these people’s opinions really matter more than mine? As Maya Angelou once said, “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an opinion.”
You cannot let these people get to you, no matter how hard they try. Find a safe space for you to be happy and express yourself, and everything will be okay. I promise.
While we do not have the same paths and methods of becoming happy, the ending goal will be the same. Make 2021 your best year yet. Fall in love with yourself. Be your best self. You got this. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Pin your self-love interest
Vitality of self-love
Vital for maintaining a positive mindset, self-love impacts an individual’s regard for themselves and increases their mental well-being and contentment. Individuals who decide to immerse themselves in self-love achieve a sense of appreciation for themselves, which helps to improve themselves and places them above the negative energy of others.
Various aspects of self-love, including relieving yourself from self-judgement, forgiving your imperfections, and mindfully speaking to yourself with kindness, are crucial to developing a healthy mindset. Your internal monologue is influential as it directly reflects your true sentiments for yourself. If you keep your inner voice positive, aware, and caring, you will develop a long-term foundation of love for yourself. Regardless of the difficulties and problems you may face throughout your days, you will be more resilient because your established self-love will not allow a negative inner voice to devalue your importance or self-worth.
Inconveniences, especially minor ones, should not greatly affect your state of mind if you have a barrier of self-love to help you realize that you are the priority and should be treated with kindness and respect. If an outside source insists on bringing negative energy into your life, you have the strength to uphold yourself and prevent it from affecting your self-fulfillment. This foundation of self-love through maintaining a positive attitude and setting healthy boundaries with issues in your life is unquestionably important for improving yourself and well-being.
Aside from developing a loving mindset to prevent you from spiraling downward into negative thoughts, self-love is also important for physically caring for yourself. Of course, it all begins with mindset. When you love yourself, you tend to spend more time and direct more attention to your actions. This translates to desiring a healthier lifestyle as well as focusing on your necessities. The key here is to develop healthy habits, like exercising regularly, following a nutritious food plan, and ensuring proper sleep, because you care about yourself. Self-love does not prompt you as an individual to engage in healthy activities because your friends are doing it, popular influencers recommend it, or you feel some negative pressure and self-judgement to finally improve yourself. Instead, self-love causes you to practice healthy habits because you have a true and high regard for yourself and make yourself the priority in your life.
Self-love is essential to your everyday life because it improves your mindset and well-being. Once you begin to care for yourself by maintaining a kind inner voice and developing healthy habits, you will gain a sense of self-respect that only you can give yourself.
Self-Love vs. Narcissism
Taking care of yourself is especially important during the month of Valentine’s Day. Self-love is this year’s goal, and Eastside wants to let you know that there is a huge difference between self love and narcissism. Contrary to what many believe as they may misconceive it as narcissism, self love is extremely important and healthy as it focuses on bettering one’s internal peace and well-being. Meanwhile, narcissism, or egoism, is the excessive amount of pride or care in one’s physical appearance and attitudes.
Many people underestimate the importance of loving and treating yourself. According to whatiscodependency.com, “92% of people think too little of themselves, not too much, and often falling in love is merely a compensation for inner emptiness, loneliness, and shame.” Reminding yourself every once in a while that you are enough helps you to consciously avoid the need to rely on others for happiness and it is vital for good mental health.
On the contrary, too much self love that turns into feeding your ego can come off as having a high self esteem, or narcissism. Narcissism can come from many different sources. For instance, narcissists determine their self worth based on other people’s opinions or even what they say to them. A narcissist would heighten their high self esteem by gaining adoration and praise from others rather than looking within themselves for happiness. Self esteem is solely what you think of yourself, but for narcissists it comes mostly from other people. Also, many people believe that if you feel good about yourself, other people will find you confident. This may be the case, but it could also come off as having high self-esteem.
Self love and narcissism are opposites. It is important to take care and check up on yourself every once in a while internally, but focusing too much externally can lead to having an outwardly high self esteem and an inflated ego. Also, narcissists have such an obsession with themselves, they do not acknowledge their imperfections, which is different from self-love which has positive energy within yourself, but does not overblow your flaws. Studies have actually shown that narcissists have a rather low self-esteem, contrary to what they present. Once you have confidence in yourself internally, it will begin to show externally, making you natural and authentic. To make sure you are doing just enough self care, you can do things to make you happy to better your mind.
People learn what they like and do it to make sure they are taking care of themselves. If you are hesitant to practice self-care because you feel like you are feeding into overconfidence, let’s get rid of that mindset! You deserve so much!
So many people don’t realize the importance of self love and taking care of yourself. Especially during the month of Valentine’s Day people should try to focus on trying to take care of themselves.
How to fall in love with yourself
“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” Spoken by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, these words pose as a testament to the power and healing that self-love can bring to one. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is bound to be in the air, and it’s officially time to begin the process towards achieving self-love. This process is everything but “easy” and is a life-long skill that is vital towards making healthy choices in life, and can be attained through several tips/tricks.
A major step that must be taken when attempting to achieve self-love is gaining trust and accepting yourself for your individuality, which can be done through the utilization of a journal. Writing on a daily basis in a journal can help one confront your own fears and insecurities that have been harbored for too long. By communicating your thoughts, opinions, and feelings, you are able to check in with yourself and see where you stand mentally and physically. Reflect on what aspects of life have made you both the happiest and unhappiest in the past week. What are you planning to alter in order to make yourself happier next week? Throughout this journaling experience, make sure to remain kind to yourself as this can be one of the most difficult forms of self-love to achieve.
Relationships play a prominent role in determining one’s ability to truly love themselves with who they are. Create and maintain healthy relationships with those who make you happy and push you to be your best and truest self. Although it may be difficult, it is necessary to cut out toxic, unsupportive individuals that constantly bring negativity to your life. Toxic relationships will destroy your best self, which will place you in a poor mental state for a prolonged period of time. Ensure that those who you surround yourself with want the best for you as this establishes a second support system that can contribute to your own contentment. Opening up to friends and relatives can help you feel supported even through difficult times.
In the midst of this love-giving holiday, many forget to give love to the most important person…themselves. Take this time to treat yourself! Whether that means to splurge on skincare products or to order a meal from your favorite restaurant, it’s an essential part to successfully attain self-love. Life can become overwhelmingly stressful to the point where you lose touch with the small things that make you happy, and reigniting that spark you share with specific interests and hobbies can be fulfilling to both the soul and mind.
Throughout this journey you take to find self-love, know that this process will require lots of devotion and determination as it won’t be smooth sailing. However, you deserve to fall in love with and appreciate yourself, regardless of the challenges that are presented. It’s officially time to admire yourself just a little more.
Choose your favorite items from the menu to improve your self-care routine.
Write yourself motivational letters
Once a week, write 5 things you are grateful for
Create a vision board to motivate yourself
Create a self love jar: a jar full of things to be grateful for, reasons you love yourself, and activities you enjoy
Make a routine for yourself to keep yourself motivated and on track
Have a personal spa day with a mani/pedi and facials
Take a 30 minute walk or do your favorite workout class
Try yoga for a few minutes to relieve your body
Have a personal dance party to let out all your emotions and express yourself
Listen to your favorite song in your room and sing to your heart’s content
Unplug for a few hours and do some of your favorite activities
Write down 10 things you love about yourself
Buy something new that you have always wanted
Learn a new skill that you have always wanted to have
Importance of self-love in a relationship
Before starting a relationship with another individual, before you can express any love to someone else, you must realize that you have to love yourself. With self-love, a person will enter a relationship with strength, confidence, and security. When you truly love every form of yourself, you will know what boundaries to set, what to put up with, or even when to walk away. In other words, treating yourself with love, compassion, and respect will lead others to do the same. Self-love is truly the foundation of every relationship, and without it you might find yourself stepping into a relationship far too quickly.
If someone emanates self-love they automatically attract other people that they are more simpatico with. Thus, by shifting your energy, you will attract better people and people that are worthy of your love. If you desire an emotionally healthy partner who wants the same type of relationship as you, then you must be willing to take care of yourself and your own needs first. Additionally, in order to attract others, you must work on feeling lovable, enough, or even worthy on your own without needing validation.
Self-love can help improve the overall quality of your relationship as well. This is due to the fact that if one partner is lacking a sense of self-love, the quality of the relationship will become toxic. You and your partner will then try to fill this void instead of building love from within yourselves. If each person tries to create a dose of self-love, the relationship will improve greatly.
By knowing your own worth, you can truly set the tone for your relationship. It is crucial for you to stay connected with yourself so you can work to improve your mental and emotional well-being. Like all relationships, self-love requires time, attention, and practice. It is a process, and even its own relationship in a sense. So instead of you telling yourself, “I’m not good at self-love,” ask yourself, “How can I love myself more?”
In order to practice self-love you must first focus on taking time for yourself. Stay in touch with your needs before you worry about anyone else’s. Additionally, comparing yourself to others is detrimental to any progression of self-love. This will create stress and unwanted feelings of negativity in your body. Lastly, working on forgiving yourself is key to moving forward with loving yourself. Once in a while you must let yourself off the hook for your mistakes and imperfections. Therefore, you need to believe that you did the best you could and tomorrow is a bright new beginning.
You are the person that knows yourself best. You are the person that you’ll always be with. You are the only person that will be there for yourself through absolutely anything thrown your way. Spend time to love yourself the way someone else does. Appreciate who you are and learn to respect everything about yourself. Be kind to yourself to create a powerful inner self-love before you decide to share it with someone else.
This Valentine’s Day: Operation CREATE
Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love. Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not this Valentine’s Day, let’s focus on falling in love with the person staring back at you in the mirror. Every morning after a long night’s sleep, you motivate yourself to step out of your place of comfort and get through the day. That alone is something to celebrate. Here are some ideas in order for you to fall in love with yourself this Valentine’s Day. Operation C.R.E.A.T.E will ensure you create our own sense of appreciation for yourselves on February 14.
Change your mindsets. The first step to self-love is acknowledging reasons why you should love yourself. This can be demonstrated through any mediums that speaks to you. If you’re the artsy type, opt for a canvas collage. Attach your favorite photos of yourself, write down some quotes that remind you of your personality, transcribe some song lyrics that resonate with you, or add any other fun and unique items you can think of. Decorate the canvas with doodles or stickers–make it your own! If you are more of an organized person, try a list. Set a timer for five minutes and strive to write down all of your positive traits in a list until the timer goes off. After the timer rings, read through your list and say “I am” before each characteristic. This is an easy way to uplift and remind yourself how amazing you truly are. Finally, if you’re a music lover, create a playlist with encouraging and cheerful songs. You could always refer to pre-created playlists if you don’t feel like making your own. Listen to the playlist and dance around or belt the words. Either way, you are sure to feel more confident!
Rest and relaxation. Now that you recognize all the great qualities you have to offer to the world, it’s time to cut yourself some slack. Whether you’re the type to stress and overload yourself with commitments, or the type that binge watches 7 hours of The Bachelorette, most people put lots of pressure on themselves in day-to-day life which creates tension. To relieve some of that tension, I recommend taking a bubble bath. Pull out all of those bath bombs you have been storing since 7th grade and put them to good use. Or, apply a face mask and listen to soothing spa music. Get cozy in fuzzy socks and wear your bulkiest sweatshirt–remember you have no one to impress but yourself. Really give yourself this time to clear your mind. Remind yourself you are worthy of this break. Refer back to your canvas, list, or playlist for that boost of reassurance we all need here and there.
Entertainment and enjoyment. Use this time to do something that makes you happy. If you’ve always had that one thing you wanted to try, now’s the time to go for it. Surf the web for new hobbies or pick up a new skill. For some inspiration, you could try sewing or knitting. Maybe you want to try learning ASL or French. Let’s say you wanna juggle to show it off to your friends, watch a YouTube video. Try learning a fun magic trick or doing a new zumba workout routine. Prep for you and your friends to do a PowerPoint night, this would entail each friend creating a funny themed Google Slide and then presenting to the group. You could use Zoom and then present your topic on anything you want to friends and family. For example some slide themes could be “What would the US Presidents look like as Bitmojis,” or “Which of our friends would be top of Abby Lee Dance Miller’s Pyramid”. Get creative with it and you’re sure to have some good laughs.
Acts of service. At this point, you should be having a great Valentine’s Day filled with self love. While you might be spending Valentine’s Day by yourself, there are people in the world that spend every day by themselves and alone on the streets. Take some time to give back to others and truly appreciate all aspects of your life that you are grateful for. Gather some of your clothes from 5th grade that don’t fit anymore and donate them. Collect cans that you can donate to food drives. If possible, donate money to different charities or organizations online. Anything you can do to give back to the community will make you feel great in return. While you are doing an act of service for others, you yourself are rewarded with a sense of pride in knowing that you make a difference in someone else’s life.
Treat yourself. Okay now here’s where things get interesting. You deserve a treat for all the things you accomplished today….even if you didn’t do the first four steps and just skipped to this one, no one’s judging. Try to bake something Valentine’s Day themed. Whether you prefer brownies, cupcakes, or cake pops, try out a new recipe for your favorite dessert. After you finish baking, it’s time to decorate. Whip up some pink or red frosting (or if you’re like me, just buy a premade package) and top that on your dessert. Add heart shaped sprinkles or mold fondant into the shape of a heart and put it on top. Decorate with whatever you feel drawn to and be unique. Even if you don’t want to decorate it, it will taste just as good. Remind yourself you deserve this treat and make sure to enjoy every bite.
Evaluate. Now that your Valentine’s Day was a success, it’s important to keep this mindset throughout the year. Take a moment to reflect on your day. Maybe you might find it inspiring to watch a Youtube video, listen to a podcast, or read a blog about self-love to cap the day off. You want to ensure this motivation you have continues for the remainder of 2021. After all, you are the only person in your life that you know is 100% going to be there for you the entire year, so you should treat yourself how you treat other people in your life. Be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up for little inconveniences in your life, and pamper yourself every once in a while. Every morning when you wake up, ask yourself, “Am I going to have a powerful and loving mindset today, or am I going to feel down all day?” The way you go about answering this question is up to you.
Reminder: Do not forget that you are loved
You may be wondering ‘what exactly are affirmations?’. Affirmations are used to motivate or encourage you or others. They act as positive statements or reminders that we should all incorporate into our everyday lives. We all are worthy of a fulfilled and happy life. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of that! It is easy to get lost in stress and worry, especially during this unprecedented time, but it is important to prioritize yourself and your mental health. Below are ten positive self affirmations. I encourage you to start with one self affirmation and say it in front of the mirror or out loud.
1) I know that I am strong and capable. I know that I am enough.
2) I feel proud of myself when [fill in the blank].
3) I have the power to create the life I want to live.
4) I will be patient with myself and give myself time to grow and learn.
5) I have the power to change my mindset and how I view things.
6) I embrace that I am perfectly imperfect, because I am human.
7) I am grateful for what my body and mind do for me every day.
8) I put my time and effort into things that are important to me.
9) I am worthy of happiness and fulfillment.
10) Each day is filled with blessings and opportunities.
Valentine’s Day Cards
Save the image and send to a loved one or someone who you think needs a reminder of how special they are.
Credits to Lalitha Viswanathan (’22) and courtesy of Canva.