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This Valentine’s Day, it shouldn’t matter who you are dating or what your love life looks like. Everyone deserves to be loved, and that starts with yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You have to love yourself before you can love someone else.” At first, when I heard that, I thought it was another stupid cliché. Love yourself? What does that even mean? But it’s true. In order to receive love, you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and love the person staring back at you. 

We all have that little voice inside our heads that tells us we’re not good enough, and it keeps us from loving ourselves. It is even harder if you have anxiety or self-doubt or find yourself feeling self-conscious. It is even harder to love yourself in today’s society when social media forces us to compare ourselves to others. It feels like a competition of who has the most glamorous life when in reality, everyone is dealing with something. 

The first step to loving yourself is to accept that you have flaws. Everyone has flaws; it’s what makes us human. Next, you have to remind yourself that even though you have flaws, there are things that you are good at and embrace them. Be confident in who you are because you have worked really hard to get to where you are in your life. 

Once you have accepted your flaws and embraced your strengths, it’s time for some self-care. Start doing things that make YOU happy, not someone else. Take a bath, write down your thoughts, or go for a drive and listen to your favorite music. You should not feel guilty for doing self-care, even if it is not the most “productive” thing to do, you are taking care of yourself and that is what really matters. I was on TikTok this week, and I came across a post that said, “Imagine you are a little child you have to take care of. You would never tell a child they couldn’t have food because they are too busy or have not ‘earned it.’ You would not avoid taking a child to the doctor. You would not neglect their health or hygiene. You would not tell them they are ugly or worthless. If you wouldn’t do it to a little child, why do it to yourself?” 

We are all harder on ourselves than we are on other people, but if you try to see yourself from someone else’s perspective, you might be able to love yourself a little more. So what if you got a gym membership and haven’t used it yet? Or maybe you’re behind on a few assignments. We are all trying our best while living through a global pandemic. Cut yourself a little slack and try to love yourself, not just on Valentine’s Day, but 365 days a year.

Let us know on Instagram, @HerCampusSJSU, how you’ll be practicing some self-care this Valentine’s Day!

I'm a journalism major at SJSU. This is my first semester writing for Her Campus.
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