From now until the rest of your life, the most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself. Valentine’s Day can be a depressing holiday for single folks, but we say that it is the chance to begin finding your true love: You.
According to the law of attraction, the energy you keep around you is the type of energy you will attract. This means that a positive, happy person will attract positive, happy people. Whether you want to be alone or in a relationship, loving yourself is a critical first step.
But self-love isn’t something that will happen overnight, nor is it necessarily a destination. Through daily practice, you can begin inching along the spectrum and find that as time goes on, you are more content with being by yourself. Consider that the difference between being alone and being lonely has a lot to do with how much you enjoy your own company.
If you knew that loving yourself was the answer to promoting overall wellbeing, wouldn’t your next question be “how?” Here are a few concepts to practice along your journey:
Make time to do things you that make you happy. Paint if you’re an artist, go to a football game, practice an instrument, walk a nature trail, or give yourself a spa day when you can afford it. Travel is also an important piece of this. Expand your mind and your world by exploring new places and experiencing new things.
Take Care of Your Body
Happy inside, happy outside. Feel good about the decisions you make everyday. Try to stay active and eat happy foods like green vegetables. Not only will this affect you chemically, you will also be proud of yourself for making better choices.
Do For You
Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it. By that we mean it’s okay if doing for you doesn’t feel natural at first. For example, if you only light candles when other people are at the apartment, try burning one when you’re the only one around. This might seem odd at first, but you’re conditioning your brain to recognize that you are worthy of the good smell and calming atmosphere just as much as anyone else. Shave your legs because you like the smoothness, even if it’s pants season and no one else will see. Keep your apartment clean even when there’s no one around to impress. Clutter is stressful and keeping things tidy is a good way to show yourself that you care.
Do For Others
This one is, in many ways, just as important. Volunteering your time and energy results in feelings of purpose, usefulness, and ultimately, worthiness. As social creatures, human beings are inherently positively affected when they feel as though they have altruistically contributed to a beneficial cause or greater purpose. Whether you ascribe to the belief or not, community service makes us feel better about ourselves and puts us one step further along the self-love spectrum.
Make a list of things for which you are grateful and make a list of your accomplishments. The first one will help with general happiness and the second one will increase your happiness with yourself. Try to keep up with these lists as you would a journal, adding more to each one daily to help you reflect on positive aspects of your life.
Try New Things
The ability to get outside your comfort zone in pursuit of new interests has a few different effects: not only does it have the potential to introduce you to your new favorite thing, it will also stimulate feelings of pride from overcoming discomfort. This is part of the personal growth prong of happiness, or rather, the unavoidable contentment felt by those who actively build upon themselves as people.
If you’re someone who is consistently full of doubt, you might practice having faith in yourself. Reinforce that you are worthy of trusting in your own instincts and that such value can be given to yourself if it can be given to anyone else. Believe that you’re usually the best source for understanding how you feel and what you need.
We understand that people aren’t perfect, yet seem to expect such perfection from ourselves. We may have a hard time letting go of our own faults, flaws, past actions, or idiosyncrasies, but dwelling on such things charts a path to resentment and self-loathing. Practice compassion and understanding for yourself. Realize that no one is perfect and we’re all just trying to make life work for us. Meditate to take breaks from negativity and allow yourself that time to be present and get in tune with your needs. Your body and your mind will thank you.
The point is that if you have a good relationship with yourself, it’s much easier to be without a partner, even on Valentine’s Day. Take the time you are single as an opportunity to grow and build plenty of positive energy around you.