It’s Valentine’s Day! Attending an all-girls’ high school meant that this day was absolutely amazing – it was like Christmas (but better; more chocolate), in the form of an explosion of candy and gifts and girls going around leaving treats on your desk like wonderful candy fairies on a sugar high. There was a lot of squealing and hugging. It was great. Till this day, I associate vday with an outpouring of love from my girlfriends.
But now that those days are firmly in the rear view mirror, vday as a, ahem, grown-up is all about romantic love and somehow it’s full of weird pressure about performing or showing some kind of affection to this one person in your life – and it seems like either doing something or NOT doing something is some kind of statement either way! As well as a giant spotlight on your relationship status. And since I am a fan of non-pressurizing holidays, I want to dedicate today’s post to a pressure-free how-to on falling in love with that one person you can never escape from having a relationship with: yourself. Yes, your glorious self – I mean, you’re bonded for life, so you might as well start romancing her right away.
Fall in love, from your thoughts to your toes:
1. Say hi to yourself in the morning. So today is the day you’re going to fall in love with yourself (if you haven’t already!) So how you start is important. First, look in the mirror. Smile and say, hey there, good morning you, it’s another day. Yesterday is over and done with, and you’re here – it’s an accomplishment! Is it your default to frown or zoom in on that zit or wrinkle or blemish that absolutely no one would else ever notice? Take note of that – and turn it around; compliment those features you love best. Turn on that charm, only towards yourself, you witty, vibrant animal.
2. Bring yourself on a date. What do you wish your boyfriend/girlfriend would do for you? Go, do it for yourself. My idea of a perfect date is to hang out at a bookstore, look at magazines together, drink an overpriced beverage and just chill. With absolutely no pressure to go anywhere or to do anything, but to enjoy his company and spend time. So whenever I need a pick me up, I do this by myself. And it’s always supremely therapeutic every time! Spending that time and attention and lavishing it on yourself feels surprisingly luxurious, always.
3. Feel pretty. I do my nails in red when I want to feel glamourous. I wear bold lipstick just because. For no special reason or occasion, except for the fact that it’s pink. Pink is the colour of LIFE itself. Have you seen a flamingo? That thing knows what colour can do for you. Flamingos know how to live.
4. Make yourself your favourite meal. Something comforting, or decadent, or just plain over the top, just because. Feeding and nourishing yourself is a very satisfying act.
5. Check in on your thoughts. We all talk to ourselves in our heads. When I’m especially hungry/tired, that voice becomes a crazy, shrewish and especially shrill monster. (I’m a Virgo, that critical nature is pretty much de facto. I come down hard on myself. I still remember that one mistake I made when I was 5 in Kindergarten, I misspelled ‘market’ and it was a tragedy.) It also comes out IRL to others and it’s not so great. I’ve learnt to gently tell her to shush up. Sometimes that voice is there to help check us – to keep us out of perceived danger, and to keep us safe. But when we listen to it too much and it turns us into fearful creatures, it’s time to stop! So I’ve learnt to catch myself in the act, breathe, and say something positive to myself instead. So, instead of ‘Oh my god, you just screwed that up. It’s so lame.’ – I say, ‘It’s alright. You tried your best. Take a break and come back again, maybe you’ll know what to do then.’ The trick is to say to yourself what you’ll say to your best friend, your lover – anyone you love. And then just watch as you decompress and breathe easier. Everything becomes better instantly.
6. Create something. Anything. Paint a picture. Write a poem. Doodle. And then don’t judge it – just revel in how good it feels to make something like a kid, sans inhibitions. To me, this is the ultimate love letter to life, and to yourself, because our ability to create is what makes us amazing as humans. And when I find myself getting listless and bored I know it’s because I’ve been consuming all day (super easy with our addictive social media feeds and endless media! And Netflix… best and worst thing in my life) and not putting something out there. (So I wrote this blog post.)
7. Know you’re loved. Because you are.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! xo