Since February is unequivocally the month of love, it is a perfect time to focus on the person in your life who needs love the most: yourself. Self-love is the basis for healthy, happy relationships, a more positive outlook and compassion. So grab your favorite feel-good snack or sip and get ready to feel the love!
Gratitude journal jotting
With all of the day-to-day issues that bog you down, it can be a struggle to realize that yes, there are some incredible things in your life. A gratitude journal can help you love what you have, not lust for what you don’t. Here are a few prompts to get you started: What is one relationship that has helped you learn something about yourself? What are you better at now than you were previously? What did you see/smell/touch/hear/feel that was good? What routines are you grateful for?
Snooze social media
Social media can have many benefits—connecting with those who you might not otherwise meet, sharing experiences and receiving support from like-minded people. On the other hand, social media can create inner turmoil with FOMO, filters and a false sense of fulfillment. All of these issues interfere with our ability to truly love who we are and how we connect with others. How do we combat this?
Step off social media and into true human connection. Make a lunch date with someone you find fascinating. Grab coffee with a confidante to hash out a particular problem. Go for cocktails with that friend you lost touch with. Don’t do it simply for the ‘gram—shut all notifications off, don’t feel the need to snap a selfie, just revel in real life for a bit.
THIS is the toughest one of them all, but not attempting to forgive others or yourself can interfere with that self-love thing you are trying to accomplish. Although some transgressions by others can seem unforgivable, the simple act of being open to forgiving them is a huge step. Simply saying, “I don’t know how I can forgive, but I want to try” is a step in the right direction. One of the biggest a-ha moments I had recently was this: Hurt people hurt people. Once I understood that, it was easier for me to see that their actions stemmed from an internal struggle. As for forgiving yourself (all of those shoulda, woulda, coulda moments), try to see what occurred through your best friend’s eyes. What would you tell them? Also, what can you learn from your mistake? Every mistake we make can be a learning experience, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it may be. Own up to your mistake, but don’t let it define you or label you for life.
This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of Chicago Parent. Read the rest of the issue.