Happy Love Yourself Day!

Valentine’s Day is here, and this specific day can evoke a wide range of emotions. Maybe you’re overcome with joy and excitement. Or, maybe you feel sheer annoyance and disdain.

Maybe you’re in a wonderful relationship, and are over-the-moon giddy at the thought of showering your significant other with homemade cards, teddy bears, flowers, and treats.  It makes you so happy to let your feelings be known on this day, and it feels extra-special to participate in the joy of it all.

Similarly, maybe you’re in a wonderful relationship, but don’t feel the need to commemorate your love for your significant other on a day that is marketed to “make” you feel a certain way.  Commercialism on a day like Valentine’s Day is often loaded with societal expectations and pressure. Maybe you would rather express and show love when you wholeheartedly feel it…not because Hallmark and Godiva tells you it’s time to do so!

Perhaps neither of the above scenarios applies to you, though. Maybe you are in a relationship, but recognize it may be an unhealthy one, and you’re feeling sad, angry, and unfulfilled by your partner these days.

Or, maybe you are single and dating your tail off and are longing to be in a romantic, healthy relationship, but haven’t found the right person yet.

Or, maybe you are single and loving it and…aren’t looking for a partner at all!

Regardless of your situation, occasions like Valentine’s Day can leave some of us dealing with a mixed bag of emotions…

Whatever your perspective or situation, I do see hope in it all.  I tend to think that days like Valentine’s Day serve as a reminder that we can benefit by stepping back to think about the people we love and care about the most: it could be our friends, our families, and yes … the most important person of all … the person reading this!

The most important relationship any of us can have is the one we have with ourselves.  We need to look out for, and be kind to, ourselves.  Without being able to nurture this primary relationship, how can we care for others?  Learn to love yourself.  Taking it one step further, tapping into the unique things that make you happy will also translate into how you form and sustain relationships with others.  For example, if you love pursuing a certain activity or hobby, you will simply feel it and experience it and know it for yourself.  You might revel in satisfaction, pride, a sense of accomplishment, serenity, or a host of other positive feelings.  And this usually extends to the people you care about.  You’re in a better mood and in a more positive frame of mind when you feel good about yourself, and I’d like to think you’re more likely to pay it forward to the people you care about in your life.  Having an appreciation of yourself, and learning to care for yourself first is so important…because oftentimes, no one else knows you better than you.  You deserve to be a good friend to yourself!

Whether you’re navigating single, married, or dating life, try your best to remember this message: love yourself.  And not just on Valentine’s Day … self-love can happen every day!

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