February is a month centered around love. At times it feels like I can’t escape it. From Valentine’s Day to Galentine’s Day to reminders to spread some love, the hyperfocus can feel suffocating. As someone who has struggled in the past and still struggles to this day with self-love, I get how overwhelming it can be. Popular tips for self-love almost always involve some sort of overconsumption where you slap a face mask on and forget about it. I mean, I love skincare too, girl, but I don’t think it’s going to fix everything in my life.
Whether you’re struggling to love yourself right now or you’re just looking for some fresh ways to practice self-love, I’ve compiled a few tips that help me out during this season.
1. Allow yourself an ample amount of time to unplug.
I know this sounds cheesy, and so many other people recommend completely turning off technology and taking a break. I don’t necessarily mean unplug physically from your phone, I just mean unplug from the chaos. For you, unplugging could mean watching New Girl on Netflix for the fourth time, for someone else it could be going on a long walk, it all depends on the person. For me I do not allow myself to think about homework, upcoming projects, the state of world affairs, or family drama during my unplug time. It can be hard, but it’s not healthy to constantly think about these things. Your assignments will get done on time. You won’t get fired from your job. You can’t save the world in 5 minutes. Understanding that things take time and breaks are necessary is an important step in taking care of yourself.
2. Listen to music that will make your friends question your sanity
This sounds crazy, but let me explain. Sometimes listening to a song by LMFAO in 2021 is just what you need. Maybe, LMFAO isn’t for you, and that’s ok, but any sort of song that makes you want to dance, or laugh, or just feel good is the perfect option. Sometimes the absurdity of a Spotify playlist with music hyperfocused on you and your experiences can help you take your mind off other things and laugh for a little bit. Also, we can’t act like Fireball by Pitbull isn’t an absolute banger #DALE.
3. Eat something comforting
Diet culture is poison, and I want my readers to know this. Our bodies are meant to move, change, and be nourished. This is something I’ve been focusing on lately. If you want to practice some self-love, healthily nourish your body. This doesn’t mean eating unseasoned chicken with brown rice. It means to make something that makes you feel good. One grilled cheese isn’t going to kill you. If you’re struggling with self-love, comforting food can be something that reminds you of childhood, a good vacation, or a loved one. And those positive core memories are some of the best things to remember when you’re struggling with loving yourself.
4. Talk to your friends
Or don’t. I can’t control you. What I can say is that one of the best ways to remember to love yourself is to surround yourself with people that love you. When I become clouded with negative thoughts and struggle to remember to care for myself, my friends are there with unconditional love. They support me and remind me I am capable of more than I could ever think of.
5. Remind yourself of the good things you have done
This tip is one of the most important parts of self-care. Yes, indulging yourself in food, skincare, or a shopping spree can help you feel better. But this tip is a life skill important to undoing negative thought patterns. When it’s hard for me to love myself, I have to remind myself of good times. The project I’m proud of. The time I helped a friend through a hard time. The difficult things I’ve got through. The amount of times professors have complimented me. One bad experience doesn’t erase all of the positive experiences. And one of the most important aspects of self-care is checking in on your thought process.
Indulgence can be a great way to care for yourself. Take yourself on a date, speak well of yourself, eat something you like, but remember that self-care can run deeper than just spending money. If you slap a face mask on and still feel sad, I hope these tips can help you find a new way to cope. Remember that you are here, you are breathing, and even if it feels like nobody else cares, know that at least I do (a stranger on the Internet). You'll get through this. You're worthy of love :).