Valentine’s Day is often one of those days that people either look forward to or actively dread. In many cases, how a person feels about this holiday is related to whether or not they are romantically involved with anyone. But even if you’re currently single, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still celebrate this holiday and have a great time with those you love.
In fact, this holiday is an opportunity to practice self-love. Self-love is very important in recovery. This is something that people all too commonly forget to focus on. It can be said that there is no relationship in our lives that is more important than the one that we have with ourselves. This relationship affects our confidence, our ability to handle stress, and even our physical and mental health. So, this Valentine’s Day, instead of focusing on what you feel may be missing from your life, concentrate on what you do have.
Understanding What Self-Love Really Is
A lot of people have a skewed understanding of what self-love really is. Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you are arrogant, selfish, or big-headed. Rather, it means that you have respect and appreciation for the life you were given, the talents you have, and both your physical and mental health. As a result, it means that you do your best to foster and take care of these things to the best of your ability.
For some people, practicing self-care does not come naturally. This is especially true for those who tend to be very critical of themselves or nitpicky toward their own flaws. However, this doesn’t mean that self-care can not be developed through time and practice. Before long, it can become something that you practice automatically without having to think so hard about it.
Practicing Self-Love by Taking Care of Your Physical Health
It is true that when your physical health is neglected or put on the back burner, your mental health will likely begin to suffer as a result. Think about what you can do to promote your physical well-being, not only this Valentine’s Day but in the future.
If you’ve been putting off your physical health for a while now, you may feel like it’s impossible to get back to where you need to be. Rest assured, it is not as daunting of a task as it may seem. Start out by focusing on the basics. Make sure that you’re getting enough good quality sleep each night, eating regular, well-rounded meals, and staying hydrated. You’ll also want to ensure that you fit some sort of exercise into your daily schedule, even if it is for not more than 30 minutes.
Maybe you’re not at a point where you feel comfortable going to the gym or have time to drive there every day. Don’t worry, there are lots of ways that you can exercise on your own. You might consider starting with a short walk around your neighborhood each day. As you grow more comfortable, you can slowly increase the duration of this walk. You can also find lots of workouts online that you can do from the comfort of your own living room.
On days when you’re not feeling the most motivated and feel like skipping exercise altogether, just remind yourself why you’re doing this. You’re doing it because you love your body and want to treat it the way that it deserves.
Practicing Self-Love by Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Our physical health and mental health are closely related, but many people tend to forget to prioritize the latter. Fostering good mental health is crucial in order to avoid issues like anxiety and depression. Strong mental health can also make us better equipped to handle stressful situations. Likewise, it can impact our overall mood and quality of life.
It is impossible to pour from a glass that is already empty. In other words, you can not perform to the best of your ability, help others, or put your best foot forward when you’re already drained. You must first allow yourself to be re-filled and rejuvenated.
You can take simple steps each and every day to help ensure that your mental health is the soundest that it can be. Consider the following examples:
- Ask for help from others when you are feeling overwhelmed
- Take a break from social media
- Practice yoga, mindfulness, or some other form of meditation
- Spend some quality time opening up to a friend or family member
- Sort through your thoughts by journaling
- Consider speaking with a counselor to take control of your mental health
- Practice gratitude by writing down three things you’re thankful for every day
- Take a nap and allow yourself to recharge
A lot of people don’t like Valentine’s Day. Some people even dread it, especially if they don’t have a romantic partner. But this holiday doesn’t have to be about romance – it can be about loving yourself. This year, consider what self-love really is and how you can make it more of a priority in your daily life. Self-love does not mean being arrogant or selfish. Instead, it means that you have respect and appreciation for the life you’ve been given and the talents that you have. You can practice self-love by taking care of yourself. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more.