It’s the second week of the love month, and today is Valentine’s Day! As has been the standard for the past 15 years, I have no Valentine outside of myself and my sons. And good news – once they are out of elementary school you don’t have to cough up almost $30 for cards for the class. Everyone wins! Especially your wallet. Anyway, as I mentally prepare myself for the never-ending public declarations of love I thought I’d share how I move with self-love.
Let me give a disclaimer: this self-love swag is still fairly recent. It has only been 2-3 years since I’ve embraced the self-love portion of my single life equation. I like being single, but there are still some days I don’t like myself very much. I have moments where I get on my own nerves and I’m sure that’s true of everyone.
There wasn’t a big moment where I decided I needed to love myself first. It was little things. I wanted to help single moms like me, and moms that are single adjacent (read: married, partnered up, what have you), to love themselves too. In order to do that, I had to walk the walk. I also wanted to emulate self-love for my sons, particularly my youngest as he moved into high school. So here we are. The first thing I did was:
Acknowledge – Self-love first starts with acknowledging that you need more of you loving you. If you don’t think you need it, there would be no point in bothering. And trust me, you do need it. Self-love is about making yourself a priority. In order to give all you have, you must give to yourself first. As women, moms especially, we tend to lose ourselves in the roles we’ve acquired along the way: wife, mother, sister, daughter, partner, employee, boss.
With each role, we give a piece of ourselves, forgetting to keep a piece for ourselves. If you are concerned you’ve given too much of yourself away, no worries. Now is the time to get pieces of you back. The next thing you want to do is:
Breathe – Give yourself permission. Journeys in self-love can be chaotic and overwhelming. Remember to take moments to pause. The world will continue and the people who care for you will appreciate it.
Reflect – Once you have built pausing for breath into your life, reflect on what self-love means for you. What does more it look like? Does it look like affirmations every morning? Does it look like date night with yourself? Reflect on how you give and receive love. You can take those things you do for others and turn it towards you. Schedule in time to do those things that are just for you. Take 5 minutes. Take 35 minutes. Make sure that time is just for you to be just yourself. This brings me to an important point:
You have permission to say no – No, really. If it imposes more time than you’re willing to give say no. If it will not add to your life say no. No is a complete sentence and it’s okay to use it. On the flip side:
Ask for help – Let. Super. Woman. Die. Humans are social creatures. We were not created to do everything for everyone all of the time. You will not be judged if you ask for help. No one will think you are a lesser woman because you asked for assistance. It took my ex going to jail for me to start asking for help. Occasionally, I try to do it all myself. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
As you practice self-love, you will start to feel differently about the world. You will make more room for yourself. You will send out more love and receive it in return. I can’t wait to see how you move in love. Let me know how you plan to practice self-love. Happy Valentine’s Day! Love and light.