Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and my birthday is in two weeks.
The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize the importance of the relationship you have with yourself. There is no way you can love someone selflessly and completely if you ignore your own needs, refuse to realize your own worth and accept and love who you are! So, while this holiday is often centered around relational love with another, I thought it couldn’t hurt to turn the tables a little bit and encourage you to give yourself the gift of self-love this Valentine’s Day. Many of you may be spending the holiday with your significant other or your children, but I hope you can take some of these suggestions to heart. What YOU need as an individual is important so don’t feel guilty for spoiling yourself from time to time!
Here are some ways to show yourself some self-love:
• Schedule a day to check out and treat yourself to whatever you want: Whether it’s taking a trip to the spa or enjoying a quiet morning with a book, a hot cup of coffee and my boys … I have never treasured ‘me time’ more than I have over the past couple of years. It’s important to pump the breaks on the ‘busy’ and hit the recharge button in order to truly be your best self and put the most into the things that really matter in your life, like relationships and the work you do.
FAVORITE FACE MASKS
My favorite thing to do on those days is to stay in pajamas, put on a face mask, keep my phone face down away from me and binge watch one of the shows I’m behind on! I’m currently binge-watching This Is Us because I stopped watching it this season after episode 2 so I’m so behind and I love this show too much to get even further behind, hah! But, Dateline is definitely my favorite show to catch up on when I do take days to myself! What’s yours?
• Give up the need for approval from others. This is a hard one for some of us, myself included, as I am definitely more of a Peacemaker than a Challenger, per the Enneagram [free version here]. However, it is important for some of us to realize that we’re entitled to our opinions, we can stop worrying about whether someone is going to agree with you or not and we can especially stop apologizing before you even offend anyone. We’re all entitled to our own opinions and we’re all allowed to ask questions. When we truly start to believe that, we can stop letting everyone’s approval dictate how we operate. It will heighten your own personal self esteem and help you operate more confidently. I love these quotes about giving up self-approval:
“A truly strong person does not need the approval from others any more than a lion needs approval of a sheep.”
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world but there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches.” – Dita Von Teese
This point leads us to our next one ….
• Let it go. All of us have things that we just let bother us for way longer than is necessary, but not only that … for longer than is GOOD for us. These things could the source of hurt or shame and if we hold on to these for too long it can affect our self-esteem and view of ourselves. This is actually something I’m working on this year. I’m so lucky to have such a sweet community of people who follow my blog and Instagram but, there are always going to be those few rotten eggs who are following along to eventually say something nasty about me, whether it’s directly to me or behind my back on the dark web. Something I try and remind myself is what they are saying about me says more about them than it does about me and that they’ve already decided they don’t like me so there’s nothing to say. I naturally want to defend myself when they make themselves known to me but, sometimes, there’s just no point. So, I’m working on just ‘letting it go’. If someone wants to spend their time trying to hurt someone else, then they’re clearly hurting deep down themselves. Operating out of this mindeset has honestly made me feel lighter so I can’t recommend it enough! What do you need to let go of?
• Explore your spirituality. This makes some people nervous, which is completely understandable. Before I was a Christian, I was certainly really nervous anytime a friend wanted me to go to church with them. In the end, though, it was accepting an invitation to church that changed my life. I won’t lie …. when you explore what you truly believe, it can be an emotional process but it sharpens your perspective on what’s truly important, brings about a sense of gratitude that I don’t think I had honed into before and provides a foundation for self-love. It clears out a lot of negativity and replaces it with love and grace. Walking through life as a woman of faith has changed everything so starting my mornings with one of my favorite daily devotionals is certainly a way for me to extend myself some self-love. I truly believe it allows me to love others better and start the day with a clearer mindset. [Note: Of course, there are other spiritual beliefs outside of Christianity. I just used my experience as an example but I certainly encourage you to discover your beliefs, whether they’re with the Christian faith or not.]
• Follow your passion. If you feel like your life is centered around doing everything for everyone else, take some time to think about what you’re truly passionate about and carve out some time to go and do that. You deserve to do something for yourself from time to time and I think, especially as you start a family, it can be hard to remember that you are an individual with individual interests outside of your role as mother and / or wife. So, leave the guilt behind and go follow your passion! If it seems impossible, get outside of your comfort zone and ask for some help!
• Stop comparing yourself to others. Living in this digital age has made it so hard for us to remember how truly blessed we are because we’re constantly seeing how other people are living their lives, what they have, etc. The thing is … we all have something unique to offer the world and we all have so much to be thankful for. It’s important to take this issue into our own hands. No one else can stop this but you. So, put up mental blinders or set boundaries to prevent yourself from going down this comparison rabbit hole. It’s going to look different for everyone. For me, I have unfollowed people on social media that negatively affect my mentality, that make me question what I have to offer, etc. I don’t frequent my personal Facebook account often, especially on the weekends, because the posts are filled with people who are 5 years younger than me sharing their baby announcements or wedding day photos. Of course, I am happy for them but it does get hard to see weekend after weekend so I just choose to stay away from it. I’m naturally pretty secure with myself sans a significant other but, there’s just something about being reminded of what you don’t have via social media that makes you think things you wouldn’t normally. So, that’s what I do and what has worked best for me. What do you need to do to stop the comparison game?
Remember: social media is a highlight reel. Everyone has things going on in their life that is hard.
• Do something you’re good at. I mean, is this not the most instant confidence booster? No matter what it is … take the time to do something you’ve always excelled in! It’ll rejuvenate you and make you feel more alive! It’s important to not let those things slip away from you.
• Be nice to yourself. Stop waiting for someone to give you a compliment and give yourself one! You’re beautiful, strong and a great person! So, remind yourself of that everyday and live out this life confident in what you have to offer the world! I put sticky notes on my bathroom mirror sometimes when I’m needing a little pick-me-up!
• Buy something for yourself, even if it’s just flowers. I don’t why but this always just lifts my spirits and makes me feel better! I’m not someone who has a significant other to lift my spirits or bring me flowers when I accomplish something I’ve worked hard for so sometimes, I’ll treat myself to flowers or a new pair of shoes to pat myself on the back. Of course it’s nice for other people to reward you for your accomplishments but I think it’s important to not NEED that. It’s only you in the end so be your biggest cheerleader! Let yourself be proud of what you’ve accomplished and treat yourself from time to time.
• Say “no” [without the immediate need to explain why] and set boundaries where they’re needed. I used to say YES to almost everything in college and, while this provided me with a ton of friends and a really fun college experience … in retrospect, it prevented me from being able to be the best student and friend that I could be. When you’re always saying yes to everything, you’re also constantly spread too thin. You’re always rushing and unable to truly appreciate the things you’ve said yes to. So, say no sometimes so that you can give the things you’ve said YES to more focus and attention and, in return, it’ll give you more appreciation for what you have going on in your life.
I hope these were helpful suggestions for how you can give yourself some love this year on Valentine’s Day! I hope you all have a wonderful day! Thank you so much for stopping by! xo.
All those are really great and effective tips on how to love yourself and be at peace with yourself and others. 🙂
Love all of this! I’m really big on self-care and self-love. I think we all forgot to take care of ourselves first.
FAVORITE POST TO DATE!!!! What great advice, especially regarding comparing yourself to others. It has gotten so hard to NOT compare with so many “highlight reels” constantly in your face. Such beautiful advice.
Thank you, Haley!
Comparison is a hard thing to fight but we can do it if we are mentally aware when it happens and we DO something about it. It doesn’t go away naturally, most of the time. It’s something we have to work on and through. I’m glad this post was helpful for you! 🙂
This was wonderful. Thank you for writing this and helping me to put the focus on me and not somebody else this Valentine’s Day. Great blog list idea.
Of course it’s important to give love away but I think if we are constantly shelling it out to everyone else but ignoring your own needs, it will lead to burn out and negative feelings. It’s important to pay attention to what you’re wanting deep down. 🙂
I love this post! I also 100% agree with saying no – that’s so important for sanity!
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Such a great post. I have a boyfriend, but we don’t really do Valentine’s Day. I like to celebrate my gf’s instead. As a woman, I love to feel special – but I find it so nice when a friend goes out their way to make you feel good. I usually send a little something to my closest gf’s on Valentine’s Day. Self-love though…SO important.
That’s so sweet that you do that for your girlfriends! They’re so lucky to have you! xo.
Always a lovely post! ❤️????❤️
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Love this post Alyson… we all need to take more time for ourselves. I know that I don’t do nearly enough of that. Soooo happy for the reminder. 🙂
Hugs and Happy Valentine’s Day eve gf ❤️
You’re welcome, Kristy! You do seem to do so much for other people so be sure to spoil yourself this week! 🙂 xo.
Thank you for taking the time to write this post! I had a baby earlier this year and am discovering how important self love is. Also, this may sound crazy, but I can’t believe anyone would say anything bad about you/your blog…that really blows my mind. You always have such great content and outfits! Your honesty & accepting mindset is always refreshing. What trolls.
Honestly, I’m very lucky. Truly heinously mean comments are rare but it does really hurt when they do want to throw one at me :\ Thank you for your kind words. Thankful you find your way to my blog from time to time and enjoy what I’m sharing here 🙂 xo.
I love all of this! I swear by buying myself flowers, it is one of the best pick me ups. Something I am definitely working is not trying to meet the expectations of others, that’s something that brings me down sometimes. This happens specifically with family expectations (getting married, having kids, etc). I think recognizing that with all of this some days are better than others but that we need to keep looking up to God and moving forward. Thank you for always being to honest with us, it’s refreshing.
To be honest, at first I kind of rolled my eyes at this blog post title because so many of these articles are popping up. But yours is one of the best I’ve seen lately! (So sorry for the initial judgment!) I was sick of the tips about buying yourself flowers and taking a bath – while those are very valid, it was nice to read a post that went a little deeper than that and actual had some good thoughts on being nice to yourself mentally and emotionally, because that’s the harder, most important way to love yourself. Very nice post Haley 🙂
Wow I don’t know how I missed this last year, but just clicked the link on the Ask Alyson Haley newsletter. I needed to read this. It is SUCH a good reminder that we are always going to be our #1 supporter, and even if there isn’t a really good #2 to help us realize it, we really are great and it’s ok to reassure ourselves of that! Thank you! 🙂