Valentine’s Day is a holiday most people associate with romantic love. But have you ever considered loving yourself on Valentine’s Day? You may not be in a relationship or experiencing a break-up, or spending the holiday away from your significant other. Loneliness, especially in recovery, can be triggering and you may feel tempted to return to drug or alcohol use. However, spending Valentine’s Day alone is the perfect opportunity to take some time for you. Self-love isn’t found, it’s created and to love yourself is to experience happiness and security on a whole new level. So, why not take this Valentine’s Day to start the journey to loving yourself?
To start the journey to loving yourself, you have to spend time with yourself. Schedule time with yourself at least three hours per week. You can take a yoga class (there are online options available), soak in the tub, give yourself a facial, read a good book, or watch your favorite movie. You can start spending time with yourself this Valentine’s Day by cooking yourself a meal or ordering your favorite takeout, then watching your favorite rom-com (or action flick).
It can be easy to focus on where you fall short or what you dislike about yourself. However, making a list of what you love about yourself can help you start shifting your thoughts in a positive direction. You can focus on internal or external things. When you point out what you love about yourself and remind yourself of these things consistently, you will start to believe them.
You can even take it a step further and read this list in front of a mirror every morning. It might feel weird at first, but looking at yourself in the mirror and hearing what you love about yourself can be extremely powerful. It is easy to write something down on a piece of paper and not think about it again. However, staring yourself in the eyes and saying what you love about yourself is hard to ignore.
Find your inner voice. Ask yourself, “What makes me unique and special?” Learn to observe yourself as if you are a fly on the wall. Watch yourself as you live in the present moment and observe how you behave, what you believe, how you react under pressure, and how you respond to challenges. Practice noticing which of these responses feel authentic and which ones feel inauthentic. By identifying which responses feel like “you,” you can begin to see who you truly are. Explore your values. Integrity, ethics, and living our values are effective ways to live authentically. The trouble comes when we are so far from ourselves that we do not even know our values.
Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to your best friend. Think about how supportive and empathetic you are with your best friends. Take yourself out to lunch, buy yourself gifts, and speak encouraging words to yourself. When you do these things, you can boost your confidence and begin to treat yourself like you love yourself.
It can be challenging to reach a point of self-love when you do not forgive yourself for your past. If you try to forgive ourselves for something without releasing the underlying emotion or belief you’ve attached to it, the forgiveness just doesn’t take. Identify the limiting beliefs or negative emotions you’ve connected to what you’re trying to forgive in yourself. Release that first, and you’ll find that forgiving yourself is not that difficult.
It’s helpful to remember that we’re all doing the best we can at any moment. If you had known that your actions would cause pain to others or yourself, you probably wouldn’t have done it, right? And even if you knew that you were causing damage at the time, you had no idea how much you would regret it in the future. Retain what you learned from the event but release everything else.
Each day, decide to do something that will cheer you up, make you feel special, and is solely for you. This act can look like going for a walk or enjoying a sweet dessert without the guilt. It might look like getting a massage or a pedicure. It can be as small as making your bed or reading a magazine. Whatever it is, let go of all guilt and shame around rewarding yourself. Embrace what it feels like to fill your cup up so that you can help fill others.
It can be challenging to spend Valentine’s Day alone. You may see other couples having a nice dinner and spending time together and wonder why that can’t be you. You may even be tempted to return to drug or alcohol use to ease your feelings of loneliness. Instead of feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day, take the time to start the journey to loving yourself. Spend time with yourself, tell yourself what you love about yourself, give yourself love, become your own best friend, and learn to forgive yourself. When you love yourself, anything is possible. If you find yourself struggling to be on your own in recovery, contact Hired Power today. Hired Power is a dynamic group of recovery professionals that provide an empowering range of services in a compassionate and healing environment that gives people the best opportunity for long-term success and happiness. Our Personal Recovery Assistants encourage and motivate clients to become active participants in their own lives. Contact Hired Power today at (714) 559-3919.
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