Valentine’s Day is just one day out of 365.
Hard to believe, right? I find that no matter if I’m single or in a relationship this day seems to dangle over my head (and in my subconscious) for the entire month of February.
Even this year, I actively decided not to make Valentine’s a big deal and here I am writing an entire article about it!
It feels nearly impossible to ignore—so I decided to approach it from a different angle this year.
It’s not just about chocolates, teddy bears and cute couples going out to eat.
I know it sometimes feels this way. Our society has done a phenomenal job of getting us to buy into it hook, line and sinker. But there is another way of looking at it.
Love is all around! And love is a beautiful and essential thing.
And for all my single peeps reading this, that might not feel so great. Or maybe it feels like something to celebrate! Either way, it is up to us how we want to interact with this holiday.
At the end of the day, Valentine’s is a great opportunity to pause and remember to love thyself.
We all know the importance of self-love. It is at the root of our ability to love others, at the core of our own satisfaction with life and it serves as the foundation from which all growth and self-realization begin.
This time of year actually provides us with loads of opportunity to see the beauty within and boost our own happiness.
And this is exactly what happens as we begin to be more conscious and mindful in life. So here is how we can use Valentine’s as a fantastic excuse to practice awakening to our authentic self.
Actively look for love and beauty.
The world is our mirror. This means when we see things in others that cause our skin to prickle, there’s a really good chance that exists somewhere deep in our dark corners.
But this also means that when we see a couple truly in love sharing a romantic moment or notice the beauty of the sunset or admire the beauty of a rose, this love and beauty exist within us.
We can only know these things to be what they are if we have some experience of them. And that experience is part of who we are and what we are capable of in the world.
Connect with others.
Use this time of year to reach out to family, friends, strangers on the street or support your favorite cause. When we connect, we have a positive impact on our brain. We are social creatures and are meant to connect with others.
And when we remember that we all want the same things in life—to feel loved and and a sense of belonging—we can extend more compassion to others.
Connection and feeling compassion for others boosts our natural anti-depressants and increases real happiness.
Do something nice for yourself. Use this time to celebrate all that you have done and all that you are. Write yourself a love letter or take yourself to dinner.
Another thing we can do is expand on the feel-good thoughts we sometimes have. When you notice a positive thought, ask these four questions from Elisha Goldstein.
1. Is it true?
2. Is it possible that it’s true?
3. If you step into that possibility for a moment, how does that make you feel?
4. Can I allow myself to linger in this feeling for a few moments?
When we actively love ourselves first and practice self-care, we create space to let go of the judgments, expectations and negative thoughts and experience a deeper sense of self.
No matter what our status, we can celebrate Valentine’s Day in a self-nurturing way.
It’s up to us to reclaim this holiday (and all other 364 days) as a day to celebrate our authentic inner essence and experience more peace and joy.
What is your favorite self-nurturing ritual? What else would you add to make this holiday more about self-love? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Author: Amanda Johnson
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: PG Neto/Flickr