5 Ways To Discover Self-Love This Season

the-season-of-self-love

By Jillian Leslie

In case the grocery store displays and persistent jewelry commercials haven’t tipped you off yet, it’s that time again–the joyous season that divides us between the cynical and the lovebirds. For some, Valentine’s Day is a beautiful celebration of life with the one they love. For others, it is a reminder of past failed relationships and yet another day spent alone, of course followed by discount chocolate at the local drugstore. No matter which of these two camps you fall into, there is one important thing that’s often overlooked this time of year and is hidden somewhere between the obnoxiously oversized teddy bears and candy hearts in aisle three, it’s self-love.

The nature of Valentine’s Day forces us to look outside of ourselves; to become consumers of chocolate, flowers and many other special sentiments. The irony of this is that it promotes a sort of sick energy suck – a downward spiral that we convince ourselves is some kind of testament to love. So many of us partake in all the lovey dovey hoopla as a desperate attempt to be filled.

The reality is that love is not external and as much as we wish it were this easy, it cannot be discovered in a box of Lindt chocolates either. This is because love lives within us and in order to receive it from others, we must already possess it. So, as we approach this season of love, I encourage you to ditch the your plans of watching The Notebook while drowning your sorrows in chocolate and pinot grigio and instead look at your relationship with number one, YOU. Here are a few tips on how:


Envision Your Best Self and Then Become Her:

Start by closing your eyes and picturing an image of yourself that you consider to be ideal. Look at you! What are the qualities you see that make you say “I would love to be more like that person” or “I would totally be friends with them.” Next, write those awesome qualities down and carry them with you; post them on the mirror you do your makeup in every morning or on your car dashboard. The key is to not only want these characteristics, but to embody them, and the only way to do so is to have a constant visual reminder of what it takes to become your coolest, best self.


Live In The Present:

After you’ve posted nearly a billion sticky notes in every crevice of your place, to the eternal dismay of your roommates, family, pets, etc.–it’s time to live in the present. This may seem like just another cliché or savasana pep talk from your ultra positive yoga instructor, but it is absolutely crucial to self-love. Living in the present allows you to accept where you are, what you have, and how you feel right here and now. Getting distracted by the past and the future gets the best of all of us. Making a conscious decision to be present with family, roommates, or your dog is just the stuff you heart needs right now. Not to mention, endless puppy kisses cure just about everything, right?


Respect Yourself:

You know the age old adage of “what you give you receive?” Well, it also applies to self-love. When we take care of ourselves and treat ourselves well, mentally and physically, others enjoy the prospect of taking care of us and treating us well too. Take time for yourself, get to bed an hour earlier, make some time for exercise and eat a healthy breakfast, or try that new class at the gym you’ve been dying to get to. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but you have to become the person you want to eventually attract and this means putting in a healthy amount of effort. More importantly, there is almost nothing more gratifying than looking in the mirror and thinking, “Damn, I am really proud of the person looking back at me!”


Practice Positive Self Talk:

We’ve all been there, you’re trying on an outfit that you know full well is at least two sizes too small, but you still want to give it a shot. Just seconds after putting it on, that mean little demon in your head takes over and rips you to shreds. There you are, standing in front of the dressing room mirror, all wrapped up in self-directed negativity. The key is to redirect negative self talk. Rather than rolling around in negativity, try thinking of three positive things you see when you step into that dressing room. The more you focus on and practice affirming your positive qualities, the stronger your foundation for unconditional self-love becomes.


Look For Simple Acts of Love:

Love exists in various forms all around us. If you focus on the love you find in the present moment, you will begin to see love in each and every one of your experiences. Whether it’s witnessing an exchange of hugs between a couple at the airport or watching a mother care for her child at the grocery store, tuning into the simple acts of love happening around you helps increase the amount of love you experience in your own life. Your life will slowly morph into a sappy, love-filled Hallmark movie that you never want to end! (Just kidding.) But really, love is all around us, it’s simply a matter of keeping an eye out for it, and you don’t need a significant other or a hot Valentine’s Day date to show you that.


Jillian is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

{featured image via pexels}

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