Love the one you're with; five acts of self-love that will transform you.

 

With Valentine's day on everyone's radar, now is a great time to look at ways to do loving things for ourselves. 

Of course, it's beautiful to celebrate love for others, but the celebration of self-love is even more divine.  

Sometimes, everyday life's routine consumes us to the point that we forget about taking care of ourselves. 

Have you found that perhaps you have been neglecting yourself in this last year? If so, you're not alone. 

2020 was a tough one for many, but we can re-write that story. 

Writing a love story for yourself.  

I have compiled a shortlist of self-love acts that never fail to bring joy and wholeness to my heart. 

After any one of these acts, I find that I not only feel a more profound sense of love for myself, but I also feel further empowered to give love to and receive love from others. 

Isn't that beautiful? By loving ourselves, we empower ourselves to pour love back into the universe in more significant quantities. 

These acts of self-love are suggestions based on my own experience and that which brings joy to my heart. 

Do tailor them to fit your own needs and joy.

Dress up for bed. 

What? Get dressed up for bed? You bet. 

It’s as simple as matching your pajamas or wearing a luxurious silk robe as you're applying your nightly face cream. In my experience, I feel good when I look good.  

We can apply the same idea to nightwear as we do with daywear. 

Once you've washed away the stresses of the day and are preparing yourself to rest, take an extra couple of minutes to pick a beautiful nightgown or matching PJ set. See how your confidence is lifted - especially when you wake up in the morning. 

Like with any other act of self-love, it's all about mindset. 

That you've taken the extra step to 'dress up' for bed is precisely the point, regardless of who may or may not see you. 

Send yourself a bouquet.

I don't mean you should passively pick up flowers while doing your weekly grocery run- although that's a habit that's not a bad idea either. I mean, take the time to go online, pick a specific arrangement, choose a date (how does February 14th sound?), and have them delivered to your home or office. 

One of two things will happen. You will anticipate your beautiful bouquet in the days leading to the delivery date, or you will forget about having placed the order until the day of, making for a pleasant surprise. 

Be sure to pick an arrangement that is all you - one that will brighten up your day the moment you receive it. 

Similar to the excitement most of us feel upon receiving a package after buying something special online, you'll feel delighted seeing the delivery person arrive with your flowers.

If flowers aren't your thing, try a fruit arrangement or pamper box filled with delicious smelling treats for your body.

Treat yourself to a special delivery and celebrate the love you have for yourself. 

Do a selfless good deed without expecting anything in return. 

This may seem counter-intuitive since I’ve been talking about acts of self-love, but doing something good for others is like a cheat code to an instant dopamine release in our brains- it’s known as a "helper's high.” 

Who can deny that being charitable feels incredibly rewarding? 

Start closest to home; if there is anyone in your immediate family that you know could use a hand with something, be that hand! 

Extend a phone call to someone who may need assistance with something.

Perhaps call a friend you haven't spoken to in a while to say hello; we can sometimes underestimate how much people appreciate such gestures. 

At the end of the day, whatever selfless act you choose, I can almost guarantee you will feel a sense of joy and satisfaction. 

Because of this, it is clear that loving others is ultimately also an act of self-love. Give it a shot. You will feel fantastic about it in the end. 

Subscribe to a subscription box service - or two! 

If you're not familiar with subscription box services, imagine a box containing a curated spread of whatever your guilty - or not so guilty- pleasures are. 

Do you love makeup? Companies like IPSY will send you a package of (often full-sized) cosmetic items, hand-picked and tailored to your preferences. 

If you love working up a sweat, consider a subscription to Fabletics, who specialize in all thing fitness. 

Maybe you fancy a brilliant assortment of charcuterie et fromage to arrive on your doorstep once a month. Trust me; there is a subscription box service for it.  

Considering the popularity that subscription boxes have gained recently, I think it's safe to say there is a subscription box to fit just about every desire. 

Most services begin with minimum subscription requirements (often three months), and prices vary, with many budget-friendly options. 

It is exciting to simultaneously know what to expect yet still be surprised every month. 

As a bonus, every time it arrives, you'll be reminded to stop, take some time for yourself, and explore the contents of your self-love subscription box. 

If possible, pay someone to complete a task you have been putting off; or, one that just feels like a chore.

I'm sure we all have chores we are less than excited about completing. I know I do.

So why not, just once, intentionally set aside some money in your budget to pay someone else to complete whatever tedious task you have been putting off? 

According to one study, having the means to buy more time makes us happy. We have more time to accomplish things we are passionate about doing instead of chores we feel obligated to do. 

Even if you don't make a habit of this, consider how self-loving it would be-and how much stress you could alleviate- if you hired someone to:

  • Clean the house.
  • Clean out the garage.
  • Declutter and organize your world.
  • Wash your car.
  • Sort that box of family pictures you've meant to get around to for years.
  • Cook a meal (or prepare several to freeze) once a week.
  • Tutor the kids or help out with homework. Maybe take this time for yourself to read or relax - or, go get your nails done!
  • Walk the dog or take the cat to the vet for her checkup.
  • Do the laundry.
  • Run your errands or do the grocery shopping.

Social distancing or just don’t want someone in your house? Maybe order in food one night instead of cooking, have your groceries delivered by ordering online; or, hire a virtual assistant for yourself or a virtual tutor for the kids. 

Whatever the task is, give yourself a break, even if just once in a while. It will be worth it. 

Time is not only money (as they say), time is also serenity and freedom. Gifting yourself with time is an act of self-love. 

A hopeless romantic, I am one who loves love. 

One thing I’ve come to learn over the years is that you’ve got to love the one you’re with (you!) before you can really love anyone else. And, to love yourself, you have to be in love with life and the world around you. 

It’s all deliciously cyclical and it’s a cliche, I know, but love does indeed makes the world go ‘round.

 

 

 

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