There’s a holiday this week.
“Yeah, I know,” you are thinking.
Except we are probably talking about different holidays.
While Valentine’s Day is indeed tomorrow, today may be an even more important holiday.
It’s International Day of Self-Love. And to poorly paraphrase Whitney, I think that self-love really might be the greatest love of all (Fun fact: Whitney Houston was my first concert). But I didn’t always have this belief. When I was young, paying attention to everything and anyone else was my first priority. It was the ultimate in unselfishness, I felt, and I wanted desperately to be unselfish, to give, to have an impact.
Once, one of my high school students wrote me a note that said, “I fear that you might give until you give out.” Sadly, he was both wise and prescient. I did give out, essentially “breaking” my body so badly that I could not return to teaching for weeks. I had refused to go to the doctor to get an antibiotic early in an illness because it meant my students would have a substitute for one class period. When the emergency room doctor who saw me spitting up blood told me I could not return to my classroom for weeks, something clicked. I realized that giving until you give out is not the ultimate act of unselfishness. Self-love is actually the ultimate act of unselfishness because it sustains you.
And so on International Day of Self-Love, I want to encourage you to begin, develop, or just sustain your own self-love practice with this list of 75 things you can do to show yourself love (My challenge to you: do at least 7 of them today).
Take a vitamin.
Put on lotion and give yourself a little massage while you do it.
Eat nourishing meals.
Take a bath.Read for pleasure.
Enjoy some aromatherapy.
Sit outside for five minutes and just feel the sunshine on your face.
Enjoy an amazing piece of fruit.
Schedule some goodness: a massage, a pedicure, a manicure, acupuncture, or whatever else feels like goodness to you.
Call a friend.
Drop a note in the mail to a friend.
Write yourself a note, put it in a stamped, self-addressed envelope, and give it to a friend to mail to you as a surprise.
Listen to a song that makes your heart happy.
Sit quietly for 1 minute and listen to your heart beat.
Tenderly massage a scrub onto your body.
Make yourself some green juice or a smoothie.
Use terms of endearment when talking to yourself.
Drop all negative self-talk. When a negative thought enters your mind, instantly rephrase it to a neutral or positive thought.
Take a nap.
Go to bed earlier.
Wake up right when you wanted to wake up.
Stand up every hour.
Use Google or the search engine of your choice to find the answer to something that is on your mind.
Light a candle.
Listen to music.
Take a mid-day Shavasana.
Make that shavasana fancy by putting your legs up the wall.
Breathe.Buy yourself flowers.
Sit still and notice something about your body. Respond to that observation.Write in a journal.
Take a break from technology. Even 10 minutes can feel luxurious.
Love on a pet.
Sip some hot tea or wine or both.
Color. Yep with markers or crayons.
Make some noise.
Give thanks to your body.Write a gratitude list offering thanks for five things from your day. Book an appointment with your doctor, a therapist or with whomever else you might need to have a greater sense of wellbeing.
Give yourself a hug. Yep, put your arms around yourself and give yourself a squeeze.Feel your feelings. Practice yoga. Don’t engage crazy.
Take yourself out on a date.
Say no to whatever you don’t want to be doing.
Have a silent period. Even 10 minutes is expansive.
Don’t compare. When your little comparison voice rears its head, send it on its way.Teach people how to treat you.
Laugh.Use something you have been saving for a special occasion.
Walk a labyrinth.Look people in the eyes. Write a personal mission statement. Choose a word. Write a wellness prescription. Make a vision board.
Get rid of clothes that don’t fit you.
Make a happy box. This is simply a box of goodness- notes, photos, mementos- that make you smile.
Do something you love.
Check your posture.
Try something new.Offer a compliment. Graciously receive a compliment.
Greet people.Frame a picture of yourself that brings a smile to your face.
How will you show yourself some love today?