Be Your Own Reason to Smile

February is upon us and many single people worldwide groan at the impending Valentine’s shun.  I think it’s still a hangover from my school giving carnations out and watching all the popular kids looking like a Florabunda campaign while I nursed my one card, from my parents, to make me feel better. It weirdly did, but that’s not my point. Over the years me and my pals did the ultimate switcheroo, and took it upon ourselves to change the day’s meaning. We decided that if you are in a relationship and fancy a smooch and a date that’s cool, but let’s not give the day to Romantic Love alone. Let’s make that dreaded day one to celebrate for everyone. Let’s purely make it one of love.  

That could be self-love, platonic love, parental love or animal love for all I care, but let us celebrate a world in which we are free to love, something that hasn’t always been the case. And still isn’t the case for many.  

This year I am going to particularly focus on self-love, a term I once thought solely referred to eating really good chocolate cake but I now see as a form of acceptance: one that I have learned to work for, and to fight when I see it slipping.  

Self-love can mean so many things to so many people, but today I will focus on little things I will do this Valentine’s day.  

Set Boundaries 

If you are a people-pleaser, this one will really resonate as it takes a long time to perfect. But doing everything for everyone else and putting yourself at the bottom won’t actually achieve much, long-term. So next time someone asks you to do something you don’t want to, say no. If someone says something you find offensive, educate them about why it made you feel bad. Confidently put yourself first from time to time. I promise, this benefits everyone long term.  

Pamper 

The most obvious one, yet sometimes one we forget to make time for. If you are eating for fuel and not for joy, then allow yourself your favourite treats once in a while. If you are jumping in the shower before work and washing purely for hygiene, run yourself a bath, relax those tired muscles. Basically, do those little things that make you feel good. If sitting reading trash with a hair mask on is your bag, then find time to do that. Self-love doesn’t always have to be existential: it could be lighting one of our Serenity Candles and curling up with a podcast. Whatever it is, I can’t stress this enough, just make time to do it. It can feel so self-indulgent and make us feel guilty recognising it as a need. But ask yourself why? And if you are really struggling with the guilt, do it for your body. Your body works hard to keep things running smoothly (or not for some), so give it a little thank you.  

Recognise your own Value 

Sometimes we are so busy we beat ourselves up, a lot. We listen to the bad parts and constantly recognise places we could improve. However, talk to a friend in the way you talk to yourself and you would be one lonely person. That’s because we simply don’t judge those we love on a daily achievement basis. We see them as a whole person. So next time you’re trash-talking yourself, step back: see what your friends see in you and remind yourself not to always listen to what those inner demons are telling us.  

Basically, self-love is something we should all find time to do. And if you can see a friend or loved one struggling to find their own value, then think of ways you can show them.  

Let that be Valentine’s Day.  

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