“Don’t forget to love yourself.” This advice comes from the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. It sounds so simple, but, in reality, loving yourself is not always easy.
As women, we may have an especially difficult time finding things to love in ourselves. We are inundated with messages in popular media telling us what needs fixing—our wrinkles, our weight, our cooking, decorating, and fashion sense. We are told how to be better friends, spouses, and supportive caregivers to our parents and children. And we feel pressure to be and do everything for everyone else, while feeling guilty for taking time to ourselves.
This Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, a day that celebrates love between two people, but why not send a Valentine to yourself, in the form of time to reflect on and celebrate what a wonderful person you are?
Banish the negative thoughts and the “shoulds.” Focus instead on who you are right now and the many good things about you. Remember that everyone has a unique set of gifts that make them worthy of love, and take an inventory of yours. If it helps, write a list of all of your good points and keep it as a positive reminder for times when life gets challenging.
Take some time to do something for yourself that brings you joy, whether that be listening to your favourite music full blast, reading a book, going to a movie, or sitting in quiet meditation.
And remember to acknowledge your love for yourself, not just on Valentine’s Day, but throughout the year.
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