6 Steps to Self-Love this Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day is upon us and for many people this holiday, so filled with loving intentions, can actually fill many of us with a sense of dread. It might be the fact that you don’t have a sweetheart at the moment, or that you have longings or expectations that are never quite met. Or maybe you just want love to be expressed all year long and a “one day” holiday seems superficial and silly.

If you’re in a “holiday funk” this Valentine’s Day I invite you to shake things up a bit and create a Do It Yourself Love Fest. You know the old adage “you can’t feel loved by anyone else until you love yourself first”– the problem is- no one tells us exactly how to do that.

Self-Love is not a feeling so much as a set of actions that support our own physical, emotional and spiritual growth.

Let’s Explore the actions that can lead us to more Self Love.

In order to “be your own cupid” you’ve got to start by setting aside some time just for you.

I know that’s hard when you are used to “being there” for every single person in your tribe.

But if you don’t start by prioritizing your own needs, no one else will either.

I work with so many women who have low self-esteem which starts by not feeling worthy of love and respect, and ends with making choices that are not in their best interests which reinforces the experience.

According to Dr. Brené Brown who studies worthiness and living whole-heartedly, cultivating practices of worthiness begin by:

1. Learning to ask for what you need– the expectation that if people loved us they would know what we need is a completely false expectation. It’s your job to identify those needs and be specific in how you ask for them. People who have more self-love know what they think, feel and want, and they make choices based on that knowledge.

2. Setting Boundaries– that is deciding what’s OK with you and what’s not Ok- communicating that in a respectful way is the key to healthy boundaries.

3. Developing everyday rituals that calm and soothe– taking time everyday just for you- that could be a daily meditation practice, a gratitude journal or a nightly prayer.

4. Taking Care of your physical body– it is your temple and your gift and caring for it is your job. Get enough sleep, do something outside every day, feed yourself nourishing food, don’t over-work.

5. Offering Yourself Compassion and Forgiveness- accepting that we are all human, and imperfect. We all make mistakes and we are not alone. Remember there are no failures, when we take responsibility and learn from our stumbles and disappointment’s, they become the seeds for future growth

6. Living Mindfully: When we are aware of our core values and make choices aligned with those values, our lives have more meaning and purpose. When our lived experience matches our intentions, we feel a sense of self-worth and authenticity.

It turns out feeling loved doesn’t always come from an outside source. We have the power to create that all on our own. What will you commit to this Valentine’s Day to begin the PRACTICES OF SELF LOVE that can translate into a year full of loving self-kindness?

I’d love to hear from you- you can share your ideas- here on our Living Brave Facebook page »

Meet Cynthia Benge

A therapist for over 20 years, I guide people from their own “stuck” places to a life full of adventure, meaning and satisfying relationships.

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