When we learn to love ourselves, we open up to accepting love from others. So this Valentine’s Day, rather than waiting for someone else to spoil you, take charge and show yourself a whole lot of love using one or more of these self-love practices because you deserve all the love in the Universe!

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1. Stop

Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop taking on more responsibilities. Stop being “busy.” Give yourself permission to stop. To slow down and enjoy doing absolutely nothing.

2. Breathe

Start off your day with a few rounds of deep breathing. Breathing deeply relieves anxiety and fatigue, clearing the mind and energising the body ready step into the day.

3. Laugh

You know the saying “laughter is the best medicine,” well it’s true! Laughter lifts your mood, improves your immune system function, relaxes the whole body and triggers a release of endorphins (which not only make you feel good but can temporarily relieve pain). Laughter is good for your heart and burns calories. So pop on a funny movie or meet up with a friend and have yourself a good old belly laugh to lift your spirit and love yourself.

4. Forgive

Forgive yourself. Forgive others for past hurts, pain and harsh words. Write a forgiveness letter to yourself or someone else in your life. You don’t have to deliver the letter to the person you’ve written it to. This is about you, about you’re mind and body having the opportunity to release built up resentment, hurt and anger. Write out your feelings and forgive the situation that took place in your past. Then tear up or burn the letter releasing the feelings with it from your mind and body.

5. Show Compassion

Be kind to yourself. Let go of judgements, or at least stop judging yourself if you find yourself judging yourself or others. Write yourself a love letter acknowledging your strengths, things you love about your body and your mind, and kind words/affirmations you can speak to yourself.

Take a moment before reacting and ask yourself if your immediate reaction is really worth the energy expenditure. Compassion to yourself will begin to expand and you’ll feel yourself show compassion to others and the environment around you.

6. Play

Let your inner child out to play. Head to the beach and frolic in the waves, skip along the sand or build sandcastles on the beach. Dance in your lounge room, singing along to the lyrics of your favourite upbeat songs. Climb a tree, do handstands in the park/your backyard, chase butterflies. Paint, create, have fun letting your imagination run wild and free.

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7. Nourish

Create a beautiful meal of your favourite foods or take yourself out for dinner and let someone else do the cooking! Nourish your mind, body and soul with the things you love, but never make time for. Run a bath and add some Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils (Rose, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium or Sandalwood essential oils are a few that are wonderful for lifting self-esteem). Give yourself a foot massage or foot soak, indulge in some quiet time reading a book, or just walk barefoot on the grass in a park to connect with the energy of the earth.

8. Rest

Honour your body when it needs to rest. Have a nap, meditate, or attend a restorative or yin yoga class. Support your nervous system to switch off from the “fight or flight” stress response we get stuck in and the “rest and digest” nervous system to kick in, beginning to heal and repair the body, mind and soul.

9. Set Boundaries

Say “No” to things that you don’t want to do. Setting boundaries is an important aspect of loving yourself. When you know what your core values are in life, you can set priorities and boundaries that feel loving to yourself and help you stay in alignment with your true path and purpose.

10. Connect

Attend a group class or workshop on a topic you are interested in, join a local sports team, or create your own social gathering around an interest that brings you joy. When you connect with other like-minded people you raise your energetic vibration, feel happier, and begin to connect with yourself as you are doing what you love, surrounded by people who support and encourage you in your passion!

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11. Celebrate Yourself

Enough of the “that’s too expensive” mindset or always putting everyone else’s needs first. When you dedicate time to work, whether that is running your own business, working for someone else, or unpaid work staying at home to run a household, it’s important to celebrate yourself.

Replace all your old, falling apart, underwear with some new underwear that makes you feel lovely, supported, or worthy of having something new or nice for you. Buy yourself or pick a bunch of flowers just for you. Book in for that massage or healing session you’ve been putting off. You contribute so much to the world, now it’s time to honour yourself for your contribution!

So what will you do for yourself this Valentine’s Day?

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