3-Step Self Love Rituals - Valentines: 3 Ways to Love Yourself More Than Ever this Valentines Day
For those that are in a relationship, Valentine’s Day might just be one of the healthiest days of the year, with a growing body of science showing with love comes a set of solid health benefits. Dr. Helen Riess, director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, once told TIME how falling head over heels can help your health, both mentally and physically. Love busts stress, lowers anxiety, and overall just makes you happy!
But what about some of us who are by ourselves this Valentines? Don't fret, research shows that self-love is just as powerful in bestowing both mental and physical health benefits! But what is self-love? Self-love can be an elusive thing. When life is good, we love ourselves in abundance. But when things go wrong, we’re often the first to pile on and tear ourselves down.
Showing love, understanding, and acceptance to ourselves is not easy. But there are a few simple rituals we can do to help increase mindfulness, build a relationship with ourselves, and ultimately become more compassionate to our own body, mind, and spirit. I want to share these with you today.
Step 1: Deep breathing (Meditation)
Breathing is a basic human function. Deep breathing helps you concentrate on slow, deep breaths and helps you to disengage from distracting thoughts and sensations.
How to do it? Just find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. First, take a normal breath. Then try a deep breath: Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out slowly through your mouth (or your nose, whatever feels more natural). Do this for 2-5 minutes for beginners, and expanding to 10-20 minutes as you become more comfortable.
Our advice? Choose a special place where you can sit (or lie down) comfortably and quietly and don't try too hard. Work on it once or twice a day, and if you aim to do it at the same time every day, soon you'll establish a habit.
Step 2: Journaling (Recognize your own accomplishments)
Journals can be a safe space for our feelings, doubts, fears, as well as a reminder of our goals, achievements, and dreams. They can serve as a reminder of all we’ve weathered through and all we've accomplished. They offer a space for us to work out things that are troubling us, and a place to memorialize our wins.
How to do it? When it comes to what you want to write about, the possibilities are limitless. You can write about your day, your thoughts and emotions, or something that inspired you. You can journal with nothing more than a blank page, a pen, and the thoughts in your head, or you can look for journaling prompts.You can look to things like leaving bad relationships, quitting stressful jobs, or even something as simple as clearing the clutter out of your cabinets as inspiration.
Our advice? Each day after you wake up, open your journal and start writing three pages filled with any thoughts that come to your mind. Write things down from the past, your present, or your future. Creating a writing routine and scheduling journaling time can help you stay on track, even on days when you’re feeling uninspired.
Step 3: Home Spa (Treat yourself)
Making your body look better is an act of self-preservation that help us restore and nourish ourselves. Indulge yourself, do all the typical spa day activities — mani/pedi, facial, massage, deep condition your hair, etc. Don’t worry about the time. Don’t think about what you’ll need to do tomorrow or what you should have been doing today. Simply relax and indulge.
How to do it? Engage all your senses. Smell the fragrances of the soap, lotion, and conditioner. Close your eyes and immerse yourself. Feel your skin tingle, tighten, smooth or soften as it interacts with the gravity of water. Eat some juicy fruits (we love strawberries and oranges), taste the sweetness and the tanginess. Listen to some of your favorite music, the soundtrack of your life. Then when you finish, put on a soft robe, and relax in bed.
Our advice? This is your time, do whatever you like. Spend time reading, playing games, watch TikTok videos, or binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix. Make the time your own!
This Valentines day, give yourself the gift of self love. And it only gets better from here. Give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack. You’re not perfect and that's just fine. Let's all find little rituals, little ways, to build up our self-love each and every day. You're you, and you're wonderful.