During this time of year, love is in the air! During Valentine’s Day we often focus on the love we have for others by writing cards, gifting chocolates, and visiting our friends and family.
While it is great to celebrate the people that we love, it is also an important reminder to reflect on how we practice intentional self-love in our daily lives. In other words, doing something that brings you joy, helps you to rest or relax and is positive for your health. If you struggle with this, here are some easy steps you can take to get started:
Schedule your “Me Time”
Our days fill up quickly with responsibilities like school, work, and social activities. It is easy to get caught up in our “to dos” and forget to set aside time for ourselves.
As you begin practicing intentional self-love, make sure to schedule your “me time” into your calendar. Maybe it is 30 minutes at the start of your day that you don’t look at your phone. Or making sure that you take your lunchbreak. This time is important as it gives you a chance to check in with your feelings and your needs. .
Set Your Boundaries, and Honour Them
If you are new to setting boundaries, it might not come easily to you at first. Boundaries can be physical or emotional limits that you set in your relationships, and they can help you set a standard for how you want to be treated by others.[i] When it comes to the people or activities we love, we often want to be there as much as possible. However, healthy boundaries are important in maintaining strong relationships while fostering intentional self-love.
Boundaries can look like:
- When someone is talking to you and you are finding it difficult or stressful and you need a break: “I am finding this topic difficult to talk about at this moment, can we talk about something else?”
- When you are feeling tired and you have overcommitted yourself, “I cannot attend this event anymore, because I need some time to myself.”
- When someone goes in for a hug, but you do not feel okay with physical touch, “I do not feel comfortable with hugs, but I am very happy to see you!”
Celebrate the Little Things!
Celebrating the little things can be very powerful! It can entirely change our view of the tasks that make up our day. Whether you cleared out your overwhelming email inbox, finished a book, or encouraged yourself to go for a walk, these are all things that are worthy of celebration!
At the end of your day, write down three things that you did that day that you want to celebrate. Try to focus on things that support your health and well-being. The more that you do this, the more naturally you will be able to identify the little wins throughout your day-to-day.
Practicing intentional self-love may not come easily at first, but these three tips are a great way to make small changes that can make a big impact over time. When starting to practice intentional self-love, remember that there is no one-size-fit-all solution. It is okay if you need to try different things to find what is right for you. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you are checking in with yourself and making space to prioritize your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
[i] https://www.thecenterforgrowth.com/tips/what-are-boundariesTags: Boundaries, Self Care, Self Love, Strongest Families Institute, Valentine, Valentine's Day