Let’s face it – Valentine’s Day has become way too commercial. In the last week alone, I have received over 40 emails from various businesses, urging me to ‘treat’ my valentine to a number of products, including designer chocolates, spa breaks, 3 course meals or jewellery (even though my other half wouldn’t be caught dead in any sort of bling). Each year I get exasperated by these feeble attempts to get people spending and also wonder how those without a partner must feel whilst being bombarded with such propaganda.
So, this Valentine’s Day (and each subsequent day of the year) I’d like to suggest practicing some self love, whether or not you are in a romantic relationship. And here are 6 easy ways to do so:
- Say “hello” to yourself and tell yourself “I love you.“ Then notice how that feels in your body. This seems like an easy enough task, but the first time I said “Hello Gianna. I love you,” I felt quite emotional. I think it’s because those three simple words alerted me to the fact that I don’t always treat myself so kindly and can sometimes get caught up in the critical voice in my head. Once I noticed the feelings of guilt about that in my body, I felt my heart soften and I allowed compassion to flow in.
- Say “hello” to your body, tell it “I love you,” and then silently thank it for all it does for you each day. Then notice any emotions that might come up. It helps to have your hand on your heart while saying those words to show your body you are there for it and that you are grateful for all that it does for you. Know that every cell in your body is listening out to your every thought, so even if your body is feeling sick, the positivity of your words can help to promote healing.
- Send a big ‘thank you’ out to the universe. Imagine your ‘thank you’ going out beyond the Earth, expressing your universal gratitude for all that you have and all that you have learned. Realise in that moment that even the tough moments you have experienced in life had some deeper learning attached to them, and for that you can feel grateful. And when we feel gratitude, we are activating the pleasure centres in our brains, which is another kindness you can do for yourself.
- Imagine looking down upon yourself, from the universe, seeing yourself with unconditional love and compassion. See yourself as a valuable and gifted human being. It doesn’t matter if you are bald, or your thighs are too big, or any other silly judgement you might put on yourself. You are a child of the universe. On the entire planet there is no one else exactly like you. Celebrate your uniqueness and yourself.
- Bring that ‘seed’ of unconditional love and compassion for yourself into your body. ‘Plant’ it in your body somewhere, perhaps in your lower abdomen or heart or wherever it feels right.
- ‘Water’ that ‘seed’ each and every day. Get into a routine of waking up in the morning and saying “hello” to yourself and your body. Do the same thing again before going to sleep. Regularly thank the universe and feel grateful for what you have. See yourself with love and compassion and try not to judge yourself or others.
You owe it to yourself to practice everyday acts of self love and to cultivate compassion for yourself, which will ultimately lead to feeling compassion towards others. Remember, happiness is an inside job.
Happy Valentine’s Day.