That red and pink heart-filled holiday is here! Cupid is sharpening his arrows, my friends. Are you ready for it? Did you send out any homemade Valentine’s cards to a significant other? Did you wrap up a bag of fancy chocolates for your girlfriends?(Because YOU KNOW we believe in Galentine’s Day!) Whether you have a date tonight or not this Valentines holiday, we think it’s the perfect time to remember, to love and to celebrate one of the most important people in your life: You!
As you’re dishing out extra doses of love this holiday, stop and take moment to give yourself some much needed and deserved self love. Because let’s be real— you put yourself way down on that list of relationships that need caring after, right? And if we’re being honest, 95% of the time we’re extremely hard on ourselves— and it’s tough not to be! There are so many situations in this social media-heavy world we live in where we can either compare ourselves and feel small and insecure, or we can rise up and learn to love ourselves and others better. So join the Self Love Club and lets create a beautiful Valentine’s Day!
Need some inspo for how to practice better self love? Here are a few of my favorite methods:
Grab yourself a mirror, a beautiful mirror (because you deserve nice things!) and look straight in that mirror without any self-criticism. I mean it, too! Don’t even think about calling those eyebrows “too bushy.” Don’t even think about glancing at your reflection and inwardly thinking, “Oh GOSH, I hate my frizz-ball hairdo!” or “My acne is taking over my face, look at that MONSTER!” Just stop. Quit judging and hating your self-proclaimed imperfections. Just stop looking at yourself and thinking about things you dislike or would like to change— that whole routine is just hurtful.
Instead, you look in that mirror, smile at yourself and think the kindest thoughts you can. Call yourself perfect and whole. Seriously, talk to yourself out loud while looking in the mirror, if you’re up for that. Call yourself beautiful. Wink at yourself— whatever! Just be kind to YOU. I know it sounds embarrassingly corny, but try it out! We’re our own worst enemy, way too often.
Be kind to your mind.
Take care of yourself. Especially you mamas out there! Especially you full-time-working-class ladies. Especially you students! Especially all of you who ever feel stressed, tired, overworked, depleted— in essence, each and every one of us! Let’s take better care of ourselves.
A killer way of practicing this, is an at-home salon night. No plans this Valentine’s evening? Perfect. I’ve got an amazing lineup for you!
I love to start with a hot soak in the tub, then applying a moisture-rich deep conditioning hair mask from ends to roots, then piling it all on top of my head as I listen to music or watch a Netlifx series on my iPad (being extra careful not to drop it in the bathwater). It’s relaxing, it’s meditative, and it’s totally essential to my weekly self-care routine. After 30-60 minutes, I give myself a nice scalp massage and rinse the mask out with cool water. The cool water is totally invigorating and feels weirdly cleansing.
After I’m out of the bath, I apply a favorite leave-in conditioner to the length of my hair, smooth it out with a wide tooth comb— and leave it alone. I let that overworked hair air-dry. (If you missed our post on the benefits of air-drying your locks, read it here.) Once my hair is dry, I use a hydrating oil throughout the ends, massaging it gently through. And guys— you will not even belief how soft your hair will feel after the masking+air-drying+hair-serum-
**Note: Performing all of this hair care feels ULTRA luxurious is a florally silk bathrobe. Just sayin…
The key to an at-home self care evening, is to do things that you LOVE and that make you feel important and loved— because you are!
Practice meditation. Or start journaling. Or reading inspiring books. Do yoga. Just take time to slow down the mind, and move away from stress-inducing thoughts and emotions. Find peace at some point in your day.
If you’re stressed, overworked, and/or thinking negative and fearful thoughts, you’re not practicing self love. Slow down and relax. Breathe.
Buy yourself a Valentine gift!
I learned this important lesson the hard way, after one of my past boyfriends gave me a dollar store stuffed animal for Valentine’s Day, after I had just given him a hand-made, very heartfelt gift. I was crushed, as someone who loves the art of gift-giving. But I learned something very significant. It’s totally ok to get yourself gifts because you know yourself perfectly and you know exactly what you’d like best. Seriously, though— you are the BEST gift giver to yourself. It’s ok to give yourself a gift. And you deserve gifts.
Whether you gift yourself the gift of long hair, with a new set of Barefoot Blonde Extensions, whether it’s some extra fancy candy, a rad studded hat to compliment your edgy curls, or that Dry Texturizing Spray you keep hearing about, but haven’t take the plunge yet—get something that provides you with a sense of self-love. Because self love is anything makes you happy and aids in your well-being.
You do you, girl.
Take yourself on a date.
And I think this one is important, even if you already have a date lined up for the holiday. Learn how to date yourself, as bizarre as that sounds. I think it’s important to learn how to be comfortable being alone, and totally comfortable in that. Learn what you love. Learn what you don’t love. Learn more about yourself. And become a good friend to yourself.
Get dressed up— in whatever makes you feel bright and shiny. Learn how to do a fun hairstyle like this, or this, or this (tutorials provided). And go out on the town! Take yourself to a movie, if you love the movies. Go to the zoo, if you love that. Go to a fancy restaurant, all by yourself, AND order dessert. It’s empowering, I swear.
Practice self love this Valentines, and maybe you’ll learn to fall in love with yourself. It’s important, you know.
Article and images by Amy Hutchens.