Valentine’s day is a day where you can shower love on another person. But today we want to encourage you to shower love upon yourself!
We often fall into the trap of looking outside of ourselves for love, this often originates from how we found stability and love as kids. However, the truth is that looking for love from other people is the wrong way to go about it. The love you’re looking for can only come from within.
Here are 17 ways you can practise self love this Valentine’s Day
- Stop comparing yourself to others
Constantly comparing ourselves to others is toxic as it often leads to negative thoughts about ourselves. Too much comparison leads to unhappiness and low self esteem. We become frustrated with ourselves for “not being good enough,” or angry with others.
1. Be aware of your triggers and avoid them
2. Limit your time on social media
3. Avoid comparing other peoples’ “outsides” to your own “insides”
4. Remind yourself that “money doesn’t buy happiness”
5. Count your blessings
6. Remember that everybody has insecurities.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. Focus on yourself and your own journey.
2. Don’t worry about others’ opinions
In that same vein, don’t worry about what society thinks or expects of you. This is especially relevant when it comes to a sobriety journey! If the choices you make are ones which are healthy, the ones that offer growth, for your health, for your happiness then stand by them! You can’t make everyone happy, so this is a waste of time and will only slow you down on your journey to being the best you.
3. Don’t be afraid to let go of toxic people
Holding onto toxic people will just bring toxicity into your life. Not everybody takes responsibility for the energy they put out into the world. When you’re on a sober journey, these toxic people become even more apparent. Maybe you have maintained friendships with people that were built on toxicity, like the drinking buddies you would only hear from when they wanted to party but were never there for you in times of need.
If there’s someone who is bringing toxicity into your life and they won’t take responsibility for it, that might mean you need to step away from them. Don’t be afraid to do this. It’s liberating and important, even though it may be painful.
Remember: Protect your energy. It’s not rude or wrong to remove yourself from situations or the company of people who are draining you.
4. Daily Gratitude
Daily gratitude is the key to happiness and loving yourself.
Start a gratitude journal or blog about your sobriety on instagram. Take time each day to think about all the things you are grateful for, the things you have to be thankful for such as your health, your life, your friends, your sobriety, the small acts of kindness you received or the sun shining through your window. There’s so much to be grateful for yet we often focus on the negatives which is why practising gratitude is so important. Practising gratitude is a proven way to boost your wellbeing. We provide a gratitude journal with the Totiuss programme for you to try, but if you want to buy one then we recommend the Six Minute Diary
5. Trust yourself to make good decisions for yourself
We so often doubt ourselves and our ability to do what’s right, when most of the time we do know in our hearts what’s best. Remember that your feelings are valid. You know yourself better than anyone else, so be true to yourself.
6. Take every opportunity life presents or create your own
The timing is never going to be perfect for that next big step in your life. The set up may not be ideal, but that shouldn’t hold you back from reaching to meet your goals and dreams. Instead, seize the moment because it may never come back.
7. Get Moving!
Don’t simply join a gym and never visit. Try out a new sport or physical activity, then discover one that you like that makes you laugh and is enjoyable for you. Do that then!
Yoga, running, wild swimming… there are a virtually infinite number of different sports. Try them out and see how happy you become! There are many ways to keep fit, even if you are busy. Why not try one of Calum’s workouts or Christine’s flows in the Totiuss programme?
8. Forgive Yourself
Do you recall the one (or maybe a few) times you did something that left you feeling regrettable, humiliated, or ashamed? We all go through this as part of our sobriety journey. It’s time to let go of that. Although you can’t change the things you’ve done in the past, you can influence what happens in the future. You’re making changes in your life; you’re making steps not to repeat the same behaviours which brought shame and regret.
Consider it a teaching moment and believe in your capacity for change. Give yourself the same grace that you would extend to someone else if they were imperfect.
9. Put yourself first
Don’t feel bad about doing this. Women, especially, can grow accustomed to putting others first. Although there’s a time and a place for this, it shouldn’t be a habit that costs you your mental or emotional well-being.
We all have wants and needs, hopes and dreams. Failure to acknowledge what you need and always filling other people’s cups up before your own puts serious strain on yourself. Take time for yourself, whether it’s spending the day in bed or outdoors in nature, find what helps you decompress and fills your cup.
10. List Positive Things About Yourself
Make a list of your best traits and accomplishments the next time you feel joyous and in control of the universe. While it might sound a little cheesy, it can be a great reminder when you are having a less-than-stellar day. Although it may be challenging initially, developing this habit can help you learn to accept yourself.
11. Feel pain and joy as fully as you can
Allow yourself to feel things fully. Lean into pain, revel in your joy, and don’t put limitations on your feelings. We’ve spent so much time masking out feelings behind booze. Like fear, pain and joy are emotions that will help you understand yourself and ultimately realise that you are not your feelings and they do pass.
12. See beauty in the simple things
Having gratitude for the things in your life is so important in order to feel joy. Just the smallest of things we can so easily overlook but would suffer without should be recognised and acknowledged. Look at the beauty around you each day, the small gestures of others and be grateful for it.
13. Manage Stress
Stress is a major barrier when looking to work on ourselves. It affects us mentally and physically and many of us don’t practise ways to combat stress. Using stress prevention techniques can help us to feel and perform better and has been proven in managing health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and depression.
14. Celebrate Milestones
Celebrate your achievements! Allow yourself to be pleased with yourself! Be happy with your accomplishments and pat yourself on the back!
We don’t do this enough and it’s an amazing and proven way to stay motivated!
15. Be kind to yourself
We often speak unkindly to ourselves. The world is already full of negativity and criticism — we don’t need to add to that, especially not about ourselves. Speaking kindly to and celebrating ourselves will help us to succeed and grow.
16. Follow Your Passion
Self love is a changing perception and can take time to perfect. It requires practice but is worth the perseverance to overcome the challenges and be on the road to fulfilling your passion.
Following your passion can be both exciting and scary but don’t wait, get moving on working towards it!
17. Find Your Happy Place
It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation and improve confidence.
Taking time to visualise your happy place, the location, how things look, feel and even smell can help significantly when going through a difficult period in our lives. Make your happy place your go to where you feel happy and content and at peace.