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Valentine’s Day is here! It’s the day we convince everyone around us to get off their diets and indulge in a bunch of chocolate. Maybe we print out Valentine’s cards with Ryan Gosling’s face on it and hand them out to everyone we see. Some of us may go out on a romantic evening with a special someone, out with friends, or comfortably sit at home in sweatpants because it is a Wednesday. No matter what your plans are this year, the most important thing to remember is to love yourself first.

As Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” We should be so much kinder to ourselves. It’s easy to get swept up in the guise of perfection, but each of us are only human (as far as I know). We fall into slumps. We find out that eating all that chocolate actually had repercussions, which is totally unfair and should be outlawed. But that’s beside the point.

The point is that once you take care of yourself, your relationships with others becomes so much healthier. You learn what kind of love you deserve and how you can properly love others. Here are some tips on how to practice self-love on Valentine’s Day and continue that practice in every other day of the year.

1) Accept your fallbacks.

Everything takes time, whether it's learning to love yourself, learning the ropes of a new job, or trying to live that life you've always imagined. Whatever it is, improvement is not like scaling a ladder. It's really more like driving a car. You have some control, but sometimes there are bumps in the road! It happens, but what's important is that you move on and you pace yourself.

2) Treat yourself

Sometimes we need some extra care to remind ourselves to appreciate our bodies for taking us around everywhere. Give yourself a bubble bath, plop in a bath bomb, put on a sheet mask, light a scented candle. Buy yourself flowers. Go the whole nine yards. Delight in the fact that you took the time to take care of yourself. Feel not like a brand new person, but like a really nice-smelling one.

3) Minimize social media time

Scrolling through an Instagram feed on Valentine's Day can feel like 19th-wheeling at a very strange date. Instagram can turn into a competition over displays of love: who has the best significant other, who got the biggest bouquet of roses, the largest heart-shaped box of chocolates, or the best Netflix line-up imaginable. It might feel more fulfilling to avoid comparison today and to focus on how you're spending your day instead.

Enjoying one's own presence can be the best Valentine's Day gift ever. Appreciate yourself for who you are and who you can be!

Happy Valentine's Day!


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