“How do I Love Me? Let me Count the Ways”
10 Tips for Self-Love this Valentine’s day
Valentine’s Day makes us think of adoring bonds between happy couples, which is certainly something to celebrate. But this V-day, we’d like to challenge you to make another type of affection a priority: self-love. Self-love is not self-centered or narcissistic; it’s about valuing yourself in a way that supports your health, relationships, and emotional well-being. Most people understand the importance of showing love to the people they care about, yet many of us tend to put our own feelings on the back-burner.
But there’s more to self-love than just treating yourself to the occasional spa day or night out with the guys. So what can people do to start truly loving themselves more?
1. Understand it’s importance
Self-love influences who a person picks for relationships, impacts the image they project at work, affects how they cope with challenges in life, and supports their mental and physical health. Loving yourself also provides a positive example for children and teens to understand the importance of self-care.
2. Know it’s not narcissism
Some worry that self-love is vain or narcissistic, but there’s a difference between caring for your well-being and thinking you’re superior to others. Narcissism is a delusional sense of superiority that is characterized by being blinded to one’s flaws. Self-love is about accepting yourself for both your positive traits and flaws while valuing yourself for exactly who you are.
3. Treat yourself as you would others
It’s ironic that we say, “treat others as you would have them treat you,” when we’re usually less critical of others than ourselves! Next time you’re being hard on yourself, think of whether you would be so harsh in judging your friend, neighbor, parent, or child for the same shortcoming. Treat yourself with the same grace and acceptance you offer to loved ones when they are less than perfect.
4. Accept your humanity
Remember that you are only human and making mistakes is part of the human experience. A self-loving person recognizes that being human includes making the occasional error or lapse in judgment. The important thing is seeing yourself for more than your shortcomings and using your experience to grow moving forward.
5. Quit comparing yourself
Stop measuring yourself up to others who are wealthier, wittier, or better looking. Remember that people only publicly share the highlights of their lives and tend to gloss over their challenges and shortcomings. When you compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel, you’ll focus on your flaws and falsely believe that they are worse than everyone else’s.
6. Make life mindful
People who love themselves tend to be aware of what they think, feel, and desire. They make decisions based on self-awareness rather than relying on what other people want for them. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to become more attuned to your true self. Be mindful by reflecting on your feelings without judgment. Practice deep breathing and stay focused on the present moment; when your mind starts to dwell on the past or get anxious about the future, redirect your focus to the sensations of the present.
7. Ritualize self-care
Caring for your basic needs is a great way to show yourself love every day. Make it a daily ritual to nourish yourself through healthy activities such as exercise, sound nutrition, proper sleep, intimacy, and fun time with friends. Keep your scheduled appointments for physicals, dental screenings, and mental health support.
8. Believe in boundaries
Part of self-love is knowing not to try to be everything for everybody. People who struggle with self-love often fear the repercussions of saying no to requests, but the truth is people respect those who know how to set healthy boundaries. Don’t be afraid to say no to tasks or activities that make you feel emotionally depleted.
9. Detox your circle
Sometimes your loved ones struggle with their own self-love and may act in ways that make you feel bad about yourself or drag you down. If someone in your life is damaging to your self-image, it’s ok to love them from a distance and limit communication with them. Just as you would want to protect a loved one from harmful influences, remember to protect yourself against toxic or abusive relationships.
10. Surround yourself with support
Positive energy is contagious, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who support you and love you for who you are. Sometimes, however, we need a little extra support outside of our circle of friends. If you are struggling with self-love and making your needs a priority in life, our specialists can help.
Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D. specializes in supporting men and teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you are a man who struggles with self-esteem, Dr. Sample can provide you with tools to overcome obstacles and lead a fulfilling life.
Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D., is an expert in dealing with the unique challenges that women face throughout each stage of life. If you are a woman struggling to love yourself for who you are, Dr. Davis can support you discovering your self-worth and finding ways to practice self-care.
Cynthia R. Johnson, LMFT, is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. If you have a family member that struggles with self-love, Cynthia can provide strategies to increase self-esteem and strengthen your family.
Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D., is an expert in child and educational psychology. Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support for children or adults who struggle with self-esteem challenges.
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Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.
Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).
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Shinn. M.M. (2019). Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s Most #liked of them all? Psychologically Speaking. [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-whos-the-most-liked-of-them-all
Shinn. M.M. (2019). “Why Can’t I Say No?!” The Women’s Holiday Guide to Stop People-Pleasing. Psychologically Speaking. [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing
How to Cite This Blog Article:
Shinn. M.M. (2019). “How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways”. 9 Tips for Self-Love this Valentine’s Day. Psychologically Speaking. [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/10-tips-for-self-love-this-valentines-day