Whether you celebrate it with your S.O., your squad (#GalentinesDay), or on the couch with a box of chocolates and a rom com, thanks to the folks at Hallmark, Valentine’s Day is pretty hard to ignore. But what if we turned the holiday on its head this year and focused on self love?
For some advice on how to make the day all about self love and self care, we turned to our panel of experts.
On Why it’s Important to Love Ourselves First:
Nicole Hudson, Creator of Kind is Strong:
“As someone who learned this the hard way (despite reading every cheesy quote and cliche), you should never look for love to fill a hole. The best way to love and be loved is when you’re whole on your own. I had measured so much of my identity on my decade-long partner that when it ended I felt like I had lost myself. I then spent almost a year reclaiming my identity and learning to fully love myself and my life without depending on a person. Relationships and friendships will come and go, but everything is better when you learn to love the only relationship you have for life: the one with yourself.”
Tara Good, Reiki Healer:
“We are all connected. And when you begin to feel love, not just for your self, but IN yourself, you are reminded of this. You become a clear channel for this loving energy to flow through you. This loving energy is our natural state, and that of the Universe, so when living in that feeling, you are able to connect to the love that exists within others, reminding you of the fact that we are all connected in this light.
“It is when we choose to look for love outside of our selves, we feel a lack, because we haven’t fully connected to this flow. We have left ourselves out of that equation, thus blocking the flow of that love inwards. This leads you to feeling stuck, or in some (many) cases, placed in situations that don’t always feel so great. These act as reminders to reconnect to the love that you are, so you can re-open that channel. Understand that you don’t find love, you ARE love. Acts of self-love remind us of this, so begin with yourself, and the rest will follow.”
How Can We Learn to Love Ourselves?
“Let go of the noise and what society projects as ‘self love’ and be kind to yourself in whatever way looks best for you. Some people turn to massages, green juice and spin classes (which is totally great!) but if comfort food, sweatpants, and coffee dates with friends is what you need to recharge, OWN IT! Being a human is complex and there are no rules for how we choose to be kind to ourselves.
“Also: stop comparing yourself to others. In a digital world of sharing our lives online it’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison of others, but trusting that everyone’s lives are more layered and harder than the ‘squares of pictures’ is a good place to start. Finally, be gentle with yourself. It’s so easy to love others unconditionally and see good in them, but somehow we don’t always remember to offer that grace to ourselves.”
“Trust yourself. Reconnecting to love is about feeling it, and catching yourself anytime you are preventing yourself from feeling it. So anytime you find yourself in a situation, a thought, or an action that does not feel good – and by that I mean, one that does not feel like yourself, does not feel easy, does not feel right, or leaves you feeling down – catch it, and change it. Get out of the situation, get out of the thought, and then bring in the love.
“You can only learn to love yourself by remembering that you are worthy and deserving of it. So taking the time each and every day to allow these acts is crucial to your life. You know when you feel good and you know when you don’t. And this will look different for everybody. So trust that you know what feels good for you, and then do that. Every day. Every moment. Every second.”
Some Alternative Ways to Celebrate V-Day and Practice Self Love…
Rachael Hunt & Becka Crowe, Vibe Tribe Wellness
“We are all about self-care any day of the week, so with love day around the corner, we are going to take a little extra time for ourselves. First and foremost, we love masking. While that sets, grab a book and give yourself some much needed digital detox time. When you remove the mask, massage your face with a good face oil (it’s great for lymphatic drainage). This whole routine takes only 20 minutes, but you are worth it and so much more.”
With a significant other…
“Since we love cooking, this is a great opportunity to bring our S.O.’s into the kitchen with us. Crack a nice bottle of wine – because heart health, of course – and prepare your favourite dish. A curry or bolognese would be our go-to.”
With our squad…
“Angel cards, crystal meditation, intention setting, face masks, healthy snacks & kombucha (or wine). Not in that order!”
“For myself, the practices I find most helpful to bring me back in alignment with love is anything that makes me feel nurtured and supported. Safe and at ease. This allows me to fully surrender, and in that surrender you automatically connect to the unlimited love and support around you, reminding you of the larger picture. So for me this looks like meditation, energy work, yoga, being in nature, taking a bath, or even just lighting a candle.
“In those practices I become aligned, so I will naturally show love to myself in other ways (i.e. I’ll eat better, I’ll spend more time with the people and in the places that match that vibration of love, and I’ll simply take care better care of myself, which leads to me making better choices all around). It’s a cyclical process, and the entry point for everyone will be different. But what’s important is that you start somewhere, and the rest will follow. Remember, we are all connected, so everything you do is connected as well.”
Bonus: The Best Yoga Pose for Promoting Self Love:
“Restorative yoga is one of my favourite to ways connect to the feeling of being supported, nurtured. A great pose is supported heart opener. To do this at home, you can take two blocks, one on the highest level to the back of the mat, and one on the lowest level about six inches in front of that block. Take a bolster, lie it over the blocks. Recline backwards over the bolster, allowing the full weight of the body to fall into the props. Feel your chest open as you recline back. Breathe long and deep here for as long as you can. You can add in the visualization of a golden white or green light (the colour of the heart chakra) at the centre of the chest, and watch it expand and grow with every inhale, and soften and surrender on every exhale.”
How are you practicing self love this Valentine’s Day?
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