If you're not into Valentine's Day or you happen to find yourself single this time of year, practicing self-love offers a refreshing and healthy alternative to commercial celebrations.
Self-love is a mindset, a commitment to extending to ourselves the same kind of respect, compassion, and kindness that we gladly extend towards others. Self-love means loving ourselves unconditionally, regardless of accomplishments, size, or stature.
It's not about loving ourselves more when we lose that last five pounds, but about setting the intention to love ourselves now, in this moment.
Practicing self-love means loving ourselves through our tears and laughter, our wins and our losses. Self-love says we are worthy and lovable and whole. External factors do not define us, we are deserving of love just as we are.
When it comes to self-improvement and internal change, things can be easier said than done. Waking up one morning and deciding to love ourselves is the first step, but the action itself, the loving, can be challenging. But like any habit-forming action, the more we repeat actions of self-love, the more this mindset becomes part of our routine.
So what better way to form a good habit than by celebrating yourself with acts of self-love? Check out our list below of our top 10 ways to practice some self-care, not only on Valentine's Day but throughout the year.
Learn how to DIY
Giving yourself the skill set to practice self-care at home is a pretty sweet and practical gift, if you ask us.
Check out your local wellness centre, yoga bar, or event space that's hosting self-massage, stretch or yoga classes. Not only will you feel rejuvenated after you try just one class, but you'll be able to carry on these lessons at home too.
Let your natural beauty shine
Feeling inspired from your self-massage session and want to highlight your healthy glow? Try a good old-fashioned makeover. Whether it's at your local drug store or favourite makeup counter, having a professional make you look your best can be super rejuvenating. Plus, it's fun!
If you're in Toronto on Feb. 14, The Detox Market has enlisted the help of a makeup artist to give guests mini-makeovers. No criticism, no chemicals, no fee, just some fun, healthy ways to show yourself some love, and look and feel your best.
Engage in wellness rituals
Engaging in mindful wellness rituals as part of our daily beauty routine is an easy and instantly rewarding way to practice self-love.
Whether it be in the form of a spa day, a couple hours spent in sea salt pools, or getting a facial, indulging in a wellness treatment that soothes body and soul will instantly uplift you.
Treat yo self
You know who deserves a little something special? You do!
Who says we have to hinge our happiness on someone else deciding to send us gifts? With some of our fave subscription boxes like Petit Vour's vegan beauty box, Fab Fit Fun's curated lifestyle box, and Buddhi Box, a yoga lifestyle box, you can treat yourself with a subscription and then enjoy the gift of both giving and receiving good-for-you goodies for months to come!
Practicing self-love is an invitation to prioritize your own needs. So, why not sign up for something with only yourself in mind: an inspiring art class at the Art Gallery of Ontario, a balancing heart chakra grid session at Toronto's The Rock Store, a mindful walking meditation, or download some audio books (we love Audible and ITunes) and carve out some you time to enjoy them.
Invest in your health
Choosing to practice self-love is an investment in your health and a sure-fire way to enjoy long-term benefits.
We'd suggest subscribing to a wellness podcast like Well Now from Saje, health coach Kelsey Reidl's online course for natural health & empowered living, an online workout regime from personal trainer Kayla Itsines, or a meditation app like Headspace, and carry the ability to clear your mind with you at all times.
Make a list
Self-love gives us the opportunity to celebrate ourselves, and one of the best ways to do this is by making a list of everything you love about you.
Grab a cute journal or notebook and begin scribbling. Include your dreams, your goals, your accomplishments, your intelligence, your kindness, your strength — anything you would compliment a friend with, try extending a similar compliment towards yourself. It might feel awkward at first to focus on your own awesomeness, but with practice it gets easy to aim your love inward.
Send yourself flowers
Stop wishing for Prince Charming to send you the floral bouquet of your dreams; girl, own that sh*t and send an earthy token of your affection to yourself.
We love connecting to nature as a way to feel grounded and present, and while the winter landscape can make outdoor excursions a little less inviting, filling our homes with greenery is always an option. We suggest visiting a florist that offers an inspired collection of bouquets, terrariums and potted plants to choose from.
Surround yourself with people that lift you up
Your self-love practice is reflected in the people you decide to surround yourself with. Spend time with those who inspire and elevate you, and put time and energy into mutually beneficial relationships.
This month, invite someone whose energy you enjoy to join you at a yoga class, meditation session, book or poetry reading, or any other activity you enjoy doing with friends.
Find a mentor
Forget waiting for someone to "choo choo choose you" this Valentine's Day. Instead, celebrate on your own terms and choose a mentor to connect with.
Wellness-motivated individuals like life coach Gabby Bernstein, holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy, Elephant Journal founder Waylon Lewis, spiritual author Eckhart Tolle, Gracious Living Lifestyle founder and holistic nutritionist Grace Van Berkum, and YouTube phenom and vegan cookbook author Lauren Toyota (to name a few!), help us practice self-love by enabling us to make healthier, more loving choices.
And while meeting our mentors in person is always inspiring, we can connect through various platforms: sign up for a newsletter, download a podcast, follow on social media, or simply do it the old fashioned way and buy a book!
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