All by yourself and stuck in self-pity on February 14th? Like a hole in your heart, the feeling of love is absent. Everyone else seems to have that special someone on TV, but not you. Everywhere you turn, the world appears to be filled with tales of love and expectations (and chocolate). It’s that time of year: some people can’t wait for it to come, and others can’t wait for it to be over. Some have beautiful memories, never to be lived again because of a death or divorce. Others wish that all-encompassing feeling had happened to them, but it never arrived. Downcast. Down in the dumps. Dragging through the day.

Why not love yourself and be your own Valentine this year? Instead of cynically labeling the day “a giant Hallmark commercial,” consider carving out some intentional “you” time throughout the month. You might even find it so much fun you could extend it throughout the year.

Here are nine ways to begin to love yourself:

  • Tell yourself how great you are. Yes, compliments feel pretty good coming from other people, but even more so from yourself. Your mind believes everything you say. Make it a positive.
  • Put some “me time” on your calendar. When everything gets busy, doing things for yourself is the first thing to go. Actually block out time. Call it “staff meeting.” After all, you’re meeting with yourself to plan your day, or your life, aren’t you?
  • Send yourself a special gift. Getting a gift from someone is nice, but there’s no reason why you can’t treat yourself to “something wonderful.” How about something that makes you feel really good, something that you would be wowed by if someone else did that for you?
  • Give back to what matters to you. Strangely enough, one of the best ways to feel loved is to share your love with the world. Spend Zoom time with a friend, a grandparent, or another who means a lot to you. Volunteer at an animal shelter for a day. Playing with our four-legged furry friends will spark the happiness gene. You will validate yourself and feel that delightful love vibe.
  • Learn a new skill. Calligraphy, cooking, photography….the list is endless. You can find videos or tutorials online that’ll help you get started. Or find a class in a spacious place and go for it!
  • Eat exactly what you want. No apologies for health, or calories, or lame “I really shouldn’t.” Just eat what you want and savor every bite.
  • Sleep in. Way in. Use a blanket or blackout shades if you think persistent sunlight will try to wreck your fun. Wake up. Roll over, and go back to sleep. Luxurious!
  • Make a gratitude list. A list of things you’re grateful for builds up your attitude of gratitude. Your health will improve, your heart will sing, and you will love yourself more and more.
  • Ask for a hug. We all need one so just go get one. (Masks and leaning far to the side required these days.) The person you ask probably needs a hug too.

So there you have it. Fun and easy ways to begin to love yourself. And it’s time to start. Today, not tomorrow. You’re worth it. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

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