This is a sneak peek to an article I wrote for our company newsletter that is coming out later this month but it was very appropriate for today, so here you go:
I remember a few years ago opening one of those yummy Dove chocolates during the Valentine’s season and seeing the phrase “Be Your Own Valentine” inside the shiny, silver wrapper. Expecting to see some other phrase encouraging love and romance I was a bit put off. “Be my own Valentine?!”, I thought, sure that my single state was being mocked by the chocolate industry. What I’ve come to realize with a little aging and maturity is how profound that statement actually is.
Having a strong sense of self worth and truly loving who you are has a lasting impact on many aspects of life. When you’re confident and comfortable with who you are, it shines through and others can see it. It will have a positive impact on your work, spiritual, emotional and yes, even your social or romantic life! Here are a few simple things you can do to learn to be your own Valentine year-round:
Make a list of your good qualities and review it often: Sometimes we focus on our negative qualities (or just the qualities we don’t like as much) so often that we forget that we have a lot going for us. So throw humility aside for a few minutes, jot down a list of your talents, positive attributes and things you genuinely like about yourself. Then put it somewhere where you will see it often!
Learn to accept compliments!: This one is tough, no question about it. But when someone takes the time to give us a genuine compliment, it’s a little bit of a slap in the face when we disagree with them. Start by just saying “thank you” and then work on believing them. You can even add these compliments to your list of good qualities!
Take at least 15 minutes a day just for you: Life is busy for all of us. Between work, family, and anything else life might be throwing at you, it’s so easy to get caught up and forget about the one thing you cannot let fall apart: you! Even if it means waking up a little bit earlier or finding time to lock yourself in a room by yourself, take those 10-15 minutes to do something you enjoy or just to sit and meditate. You’ll find yourself able to handle life’s challenges just a little bit better.
Treat your body well – eat right and exercise: We can’t talk about learning to love yourself without mentioning treating your body well. Follow the national recommendation of 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise per week and the nutrition guidelines found at MyPlate.gov. Your body will feel better, stronger and you’ll exude more confidence and pride in yourself. Who wouldn’t want that?!
Look in the mirror and compliment yourself, every day: They say actions speak louder than words, but in this case, you’re going to use your words as a source of power. If you find yourself in slump or needing a little extra encouragement, take the time to look yourself in the mirror and genuinely compliment yourself! “I am a great cook. I am a strong, disciplined person. I like the way this shirt brings out my eyes.”
We are our own worst critics but we can turn this around to be our own biggest cheerleaders! So try one, two or all of these exercises and you’ll find life is a little sweeter.
I wish you all, whether you’re single, taken or somewhere in between, a lovely Valentine’s Day!
What do you do to be your own Valentine?