With February being the month of love, it can be easy to get discouraged about our love life if there is not one to celebrate in the first place. With Valentine’s day right around the corner, you have most likely noticed the stores filling their shelves with items to buy for a significant other. It’s not uncommon for feelings of loneliness and depression to spring up this time of year. Because of that, I think it’s necessary for us to discuss and practice self-love.

Whether you are in a relationship or not, self-love is critical when it comes to becoming the best version of who we are. For those of us that will be spending the holiday alone, there are a handful of effective ways to love ourselves this Valentine’s Day.

Be at Peace With Being Alone!

First and foremost, we must instill the belief within ourselves that our purpose in life is not to find someone else to love us. If we skip the part of our journey that involves being able to live with who we are, how will we ever know exactly what we deserve? It is through the understanding of ourselves that we can learn what makes us happy, what will hold us back, and what will allow us to grow.

When we are at peace with being alone, we will never have to suffer with feelings of loneliness. Remember, we cannot fill a void with other people. We must recognize that we are whole on our own, and because of that, anyone we allow into our lives should only complement the things that we love about ourselves.

So, What Can We Do to Practice Self-Love?

Although practicing self-love is important on Valentine’s Day, we should practice self-love in our everyday lives, for any occasion, and just because.

  • Date Yourself: You have probably heard this before, but how many times have you actually done just that? Maybe this year is a good time to get out of your comfort zone and celebrate the fact that you can do things on your own. There is something to be said about those who know that their existence is not based on whether you have someone else in your life. Be happy knowing that you have the freedom to make choices for yourself!
  • Visit or Volunteer at an Animal Shelter: I’m not saying that you need to adopt a furry creature, but my life has been filled with such emotional support from having a dog to remind me of the important things in life. If you do not have a pet of your own, entertain the idea of doing some volunteering. Animals have a special way of making us feel loved in every way possible.
  • Create a List of What You Love about Yourself: They do not have to be big, monumental things either. Sometimes, just reminding ourselves that we have something to offer to the world is enough to lift our spirits. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down everything that comes to mind when thinking about what makes you special, important, and even quirky. Get creative. There are most likely a TON of things that you are forgetting that you love about yourself.
  • Call Up a Single Friend: Too worried about being by your lonesome on Valentine’s Day? Never fear. Call up a friend and ask them if they have any plans. What about a long-distance friend? Set up a facetime date, and catch up with an old friend of yours. This can be an awesome way to remind yourself that you are loved by others. Valentine’s Day does NOT have to be all about romance! It can also be about friendship and just knowing that someone else cares for you.
  • Listen to Positive Music: For some reason, when we feel down about ourselves, we tend to gravitate towards sadder music. This Valentine’s Day, build a playlist of your favorite songs that always seem to be able to pull you out of a funk. Don’t make your mood worse by seeking out music that will keep you feeling sad. We may not realize the impact that music can have on us, but listening to positive songs has proven to increase feelings of happiness. Don’t be afraid to put on some of your favorite jams, and dance away your negative feelings.

Regardless of your situation, relationship status, or plans for this Valentine’s Day, do not give in to the self-hate thoughts that may come up. Using some of the ideas above, or creating some of your own, practicing self-love is the only thing you should be spending your energy on this Valentine’s Day and beyond. When we can rewire the way we look at ourselves, and the predicament we are in, we can slowly but surely take steps in the direction that we deserve. You are not unlovable just because you may be alone right now. Only you have the final say in how much love you’re worth, and it begins with you.