February is pretty much the lovey-doviest of all the months. Yes, love is in the air.
Whether you’re single or attached, a big fan of Valentine’s Day or kind of a hater, there’s one very important person you should be loving this month: Y-O-U!
In the midst of all the chocolate and roses, you need to take time to practice self-love… in this season and beyond.
Not sure how to start? No worries.
Here are 14 great ways to show yourself a little extra love.
Try one, try them all! (We highly recommend trying them all.)
1) Treat yourself!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably seeing messages all over the place about the kinds of gifts you should buy the people you love. We’re all about generosity, but why isn’t anyone talking about the kinds of gifts you should be buying for yourself?
No one’s saying you should go out and buy yourself a fancy car or a diamond necklace, but there’s no shame in treating yourself to flowers, a favorite snack, a new pair of cozy socks, or a book you’ve been wanting to read.
Even science supports you practicing self-love this way. No, really.
According to an article by Gretchen Rubin in PsychCentral:
“Giving yourself treats helps you feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts self-command and keeps you motivated.”
So go for it!
2) Eat your favorite food… and actually enjoy the meal.
Now that you’ve treated yourself to your fave snack or meal, it’s time to actually enjoy it. This means that you turn the TV off, put the phone down, and savor the experience of eating something you really love. We can guarantee that this will feel very different than wolfing down a candy bar on the go or gobbling down a yummy dinner while simultaneously watching Netflix.
Remember: you can stick to wellness tips for good nutrition most of the time and still enjoy treats!
3) Celebrate some small wins.
According to research published in the Harvard Business Review:
Celebrating small wins can be way more powerful than we give it credit for.
Many of the participants in the HBR study reported small accomplishments that realistically represented only minor progress, but still “evoked outsize positive reactions.” To put it more simply, even little wins can inspire big feelings and celebrations… and you should own that!
Practice self-love this month by paying close attention to all of your successes — big and small — and letting yourself enjoy them as victories.
Get them out into the world by keeping a list of all of your small wins or sharing them with a trusted friend. This will help you feel more motivated to celebrate!
4) Reach out to people who love you right back.
If you’re feeling a little lacking in the self-love department, it might be time to look to your loved ones. Ultimately, of course, it would be great for all of your confidence and happiness to come from within, but in the meantime, it’s totally okay to look externally.
Call a friend or family member who has a good track record for making you feel special. You don’t have to ask outright for validation — instead, see if they have time to chat for a bit or invite them to grab coffee or a drink. Chances are that within a few minutes you’ll be feeling the self-love!
5) Spend time in your happy place.
There’s no better place for self-love than your happy place… wherever that might be.
This month, make it a priority to hang out just a little more often in whatever location makes you feel happiest and most like yourself.
Whether that location is your bed, your best friend’s house, the mall, or in your TV room doing yoga at home, time spent there will be time well spent.
6) Tidy up your home or workspace.
We can practically hear you saying, “Seriously? Tidying? How is that self-love?”
We get it. It doesn’t sound particularly relaxing or indulgent.
Here’s the thing, though: if you spend just a few minutes tidying up the areas in your home or office where you spend the most time, it will absolutely pay off in the long run. If, for example, your desk at work was a bit less cluttered, wouldn’t your days feel happier and more open? If your kitchen cabinets weren’t constantly overflowing with stuff, wouldn’t you feel less stressed when it’s time to cook?
Consider the spaces in your life that have the most potential to cause you stress and tidy them up. It’s a great way to show yourself extra love in the long run.
7) Practice saying “no.”
It’s great to be invited to spend time with friends, get drinks with a coworker, or bring your kids to a playdate… but it’s also great to say “no” to those invitations when you’re feeling overwhelmed or short on time.
Challenge yourself to practice self-love in February by thoughtfully considering every invitation you receive. Resist the urge to say “yes” right away out of gratitude! Instead, think seriously about whether or not you actually have the bandwidth to accept and don’t be afraid to respectfully decline. It’s totally okay to take that time for yourself, instead.
8) Write down everything you like about yourself.
Grab a pen and paper — no, seriously, grab a pen and paper — and just go for it! Set a timer for five minutes and list all of the things you love best about yourself. This exercise is enough to inspire some extra self-love in the moment, but it will have an even longer shelf life if you put the list somewhere that you can see it frequently.
Post your list on the refrigerator, stick it to your bathroom mirror, or tuck it in your car so it can serve as a gentle reminder next time you’re short on self-love.
9) Plan a staycation.
Big vacations and fun road trips are amazing, but we all know that it’s not always realistic to get one on the calendar.
You can cultivate self-love a little more immediately by going the staycation route. A staycation will fit more easily into your budget and may not even require you to take time off from work or other commitments — weekend staycations count, too!
The perfect staycation is all about enjoying your home and neighborhood while backing off on the stresses and responsibilities that can make day-to-day life a drag.
The most important rule? Chores are off-limits!
Plan your staycation by making a reservation at a local restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, inviting loved ones over for movie night or wine and cheese, setting up an at-home spa day with online yoga classes and face masks, or simply giving yourself time to nap!
It can be that simple.
10) Throw yourself a dance party.
Crank up the volume on your favorite music and just get moving!
A casual dance party gives you the chance to enjoy songs you love and to get in touch with your body. After all, it’s hard not to love yourself when you’re dancing.
11) Do something other than look at your phone when the alarm rings.
It’s easy to start scrolling through your phone notifications the minute the alarm rings in the morning, especially if your alarm is on your phone and you store it overnight on your nightstand.
It’s convenient… plus, let’s be real — Instagram is fun.
You can start your day from a place of more self-love by changing up the routine.
Use the time you would have spent scrolling on your phone to stretch, journal, talk to a loved one face-to-face, or read a book. There will be time to check your phone later.
12) Try something new.
Maybe the reason you’re feeling short on self-love is that you’re just a little bored. If that’s the case, it’s probably time to shake things up.
Taking a new art, trying a new workout, and other fun ideas are great ways to explore potential new talents and hobbies which will give you a nice confidence boost.
Simply making the effort to do something out of the norm is a nice way to remind yourself that you deserve attention and TLC as much as everyone else does.
13) Practice daily gratitude.
According to Harvard Health, many studies on gratitude support a connection between gratefulness and happiness. That sounds to us like a recipe for self-love, too, of course.
Spend time every night making a list of all of the things that you’re grateful for, or make it a priority to share it with your partner or other loved one. This is a great routine to practice with your whole family! Why shouldn’t your whole crew get in on the self-love?
14) Love your body!
There are plenty of benefits to exercise. By now, you’ve probably heard them a thousand times, but allow us to jog your memory.
Per the Mayo Clinic:
“Regular physical helps control weight, combat disease, improve mood, boost energy, promote better sleep, and more.”
And don’t all of those things make it a little easier to love on yourself?
We’d say so.
Find more ways to make time for exercise in February. Whether it means bundling up for walks with your family after dinner, trying new core exercises, or grabbing a friend and doing workouts to tone your arms, moving your body will help support you as you practice more self-love this month and beyond.