“Mirror, mirror on the wall, I do love what I see after all…” How many times have you said this to yourself?
“I love you _____.” Now, how many times have you said these three words to someone else?
Some might think it’s downright stupid to look in a mirror and talk with love and affection to oneself or may even consider it borderline narcissism, too. For me, it is a simple affirmation by your brain to your heart and soul. Even Jesus told his followers to love thy neighbour as thyself. He simply meant regard the needs and hopes and dreams of others as you’d want for yourself. So the starting point here, would be to love, respect, and have high regard for oneself, which brings me back to my opening line – how many times have you said “I love you” to yourself?
I raise this question today because in a few days many of us will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with our loved ones. Mums, wives, girlfriends, potential partners, too will have their hands full planning a special day for those they love. Not everyone has to have fancy plans, some may just drop a sticky love note in their spouse’s bag or whisper sweet nothings in their lover’s ears, others may make a special treat for their littles. All this is just wonderful. But did you buy or plan anything for yourself? You love yourself, too, don’t you?
Now if you find saying “I love you” to yourself weird, then let your actions speak louder than your words. Show yourself some TLC (tender loving care) this Valentine’s Day. Here are some ways you can do so:
Table For One: To begin with, spend time with yourself. Be at ease with your own company and reserve a ‘table for one.’ It is not strange to eat a meal alone. In fact, as a toddler mom, I rarely get an opportunity to eat at my own pace. Hence I relish the moments I get to sit at a table like a normal human being and use the cutlery that’s been provided with my meal. If for whatever reason you don’t want to eat out by yourself, switch the menu at your home and make/order takeaway food that you’d like to eat. We’re so busy fussing over our kids and spouses/partners that we readily forget about our own tastes.
Rest: Take that afternoon nap, stay in your pyjamas all day, or visit that massage salon you’ve been putting off for later. Working moms do consider taking a mental day off. Leaves are not just to take care of sick kids or vacations. If you won’t get the 14th off, take it any other day that week. Pack the kids and partners off to school, daycare, work, wherever and take a snooze. And if you really can’t manage to do any of the above, then simply buy yourself a tiny bottle of lavender scented essential oil and use a drop or two of it while showering. The trick here is to stay in the shower for as long as possible.
Digital Detox: Do yourself a favour and don’t look at anyone else’s Instafeed or FB posts today. If you want to genuinely be appreciative and feel happy for others by liking their posts, do it the next day. It doesn’t matter if some people are enjoying drinks at a rooftop bar or are gorging on gourmet chocolates. You just focus on YOU and your efforts for yourself!
Do Something You Love: Movies? Plays? Kickboxing? Painting? Binge watching TV shows with a bowl of potato chips? Just do it! Now is the only moment you are guaranteed. Seize that moment.
Affirmation Cards: Get creative and make an affirmation card for yourself and read it aloud three times. These cards work like magic at building your self-esteem. Go one step further and then paste it on the inside of your cupboard so that you can read it aloud daily.
I’ve personally tried and tested all of the above and I know it works. Remember just because you take care of yourself it doesn’t make you selfish. It just means you’re not taking ‘you’ for granted. In time, others will learn to respect that too.
It doesn’t matter if your single, coupled, recently divorced, widowed or on the lookout, V-Day is about love. So let’s begin by truly loving ourselves first. It is very easy to run dry if we keep giving of ourselves to others. Take time for a refill. Self-care is important for your wellbeing.
Let this Valentine’s Day be the beginning of many days this year that you show yourself some TLC. So don’t forget to send yourself a care package, even if you know the contents of the box it will still be fun unwrapping.