By Hannah Lohnes
We blinked and January was done. Now here we are a few days into February. It may be cold and snowy outside, but February is the month of warm hearts full of love and passion! With Valentine’s Day being this week, store fronts are bursting with roses, hearts, chocolates and cards. Valentine’s Day has traditionally been a time to remind your partner, your friends, your family, just how much they mean to you. Which is awesome! And hopefully you share this appreciation for your loved ones more than just on February 14th!
Over the weekend I was blessed to be surrounded by many friends. I am at such a great time in my life. Many of my friends are recently married, have new babies, and it is so amazing to see so much love between people I care so much about. And then I started thinking a little more about love. Love is such a huge word and can mean so many things. I love my friends and family. I also love being an acupuncturist. I love coffee, traveling, comfy socks, and music. I love all of these people and things without ever thinking twice or questioning why I love them.
So shouldn’t I love myself just as confidently?
I would be lying if I said I did. I am human, and just like any other human, I can be quite hard on myself sometimes. Most days, I think I am a pretty cool gal! But there are days I have self-doubt and beat myself up. Often for the silliest things that aren’t even in my control.
Recently it seems that ‘self-love’ books are making it to the top of the list for best sellers. Ads on social media are becoming more and more targeted towards reminding people to take time for self-care. Maybe this is such a popular topic because it is becoming harder and harder to fully love and accept ourselves for the amazing humans we truly are.
Here are a few things to remember if you find yourself struggling to love yourself:
- Remember that you are a constant work in progress. There will always be something that you are not 100% happy with about yourself, but that doesn’t make you any less than perfect. It is good to challenge yourself to be better. Become healthier, stronger, or learn something new. But do it because you want to, not because others tell you that’s how you have to be.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. This can be so hard when we are constantly exposed to social media and advertisements telling us we need to look a certain way, have certain things and want certain things. It really isn’t fair! It is important to remember that everybody is different, and we can all want different things in life. Embrace being unique!
- Get to know yourself, spend time alone. When we are with other people we can easily fall into patterns because that is what the group is doing. But when you spend time alone you get a chance to see what it is you truly enjoy doing.
- Laugh at yourself. I think this is the hardest one for me personally. It is ok to mess up. That is how we get better! Stumbling and stuttering do not have to be negative. We all get nervous, and chances are no one else even noticed if you slipped up on something.
- Other people love you! And they love you for being just who you are. If you don’t believe it, ask them why they love you. Sometimes it is good to be reminded of what makes you so great to other people.
Leading up to Valentine’s Day I challenge you to love yourself! Keep this paper. Each day between reading this article and February 14th, write down one thing you love about yourself. On Valentine’s Day, when you tell all of your loved ones how great they are and how much they mean to you, remember you too are great and deserve love!