14 Ways to Practice Self-Love this February

By Audrey Oliver

Summit Veterinary Referral Center, Social Work Intern

blog post 2-19

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,

deserve your love and affection.”

~ Buddha

True self-love is an unconditional feeling of love, appreciation and acceptance of yourself; it is being committed to inner peace, expansion and gratitude. With every act of self-care, or self-love, your authentic self grows stronger, and the critical, fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care, or self-love, is a powerful declaration that you are more and more on your own side.

Self-love is something we may put on the back burner when we become too busy with work, family, and other responsibilities – this is understandable. However, it is essential that we recenter, refocus, and reground ourselves on a regular basis. It is our responsibility to confront ourselves over and over again until we are the clearest, stillest channels for our spirits to exist within – otherwise, we cannot grow and thrive. After all, we are stuck with ourselves forever – so the relationship we have with ourselves must be cultivated mindfully.

Here are 14 self-love ideas you can incorporate into February (and any other month!) that may help you feel more at peace with, and more loving toward, yourself:

  1. Take yourself out for a nice dinner and/or movie
  2. Paint, or do any type of art that allows you to express creatively
  3. Write it down! (you can write poems, a book, or keep a daily journal)
  4. Spend time with animals – there is no connection like the inter-species connection!
  5. Spend time in nature, go for a walk/hike, have a picnic, relax at the beach
  6. Unplug from social media, or all technology. And yes, that means no Netflix or Hulu!
  7. Practice breathing exercises and/or meditate; practice mindfulness
  8. Write down your goals for the week, month, year – include steps to accomplish these goals
  9. Listen to your favorite music and DANCE!
  10. Start a gratitude journal; write down things you are grateful for
  11. Write a letter to your younger self
  12. Stretch or do yoga for 30 minutes
  13. Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive
  14. Use soothing or invigorating essential oils to reduce stress and anxiety, like lavender, vanilla, and lemon

Remember: By practicing self-care, we give ourselves a chance to step away and breathe, thus avoiding burnout – because it is not just physical energy and strength that are threatened by doing too much for too long, it is also focus and mental health and well-being.

The more we practice acts of self-care, or self-love, the stronger, and healthier, we become. So take the time to love yourself today. And tomorrow. And always. Because you deserve it.

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