We all know how bad it feels when someone you love is hurting you. But have you ever thought how it feels when you are hurting yourself? Because we at Mightifier want to spread all kinds of love out into the world, our Valentine’s Day post is concentrating on the love between you and the most important person in your life: Yourself.
Even though we are mindful of being kind towards people who are close to us, we often forget how to be kind to ourselves. We are highly self-critical, we punish ourselves when we don’t meet our goals, and we are not treating our body with appreciation and care. We are hurting ourselves. Emma Seppälä  argues that self-criticism is negatively related to our performance, productivity and well-being as well. According to her, by showing compassion and love to yourself, you can gain many benefits: improved psychological well-being and health, lower stress levels, improved relationships, more motivation and willpower.
According to Gary Chapman  there are five different languages how we can show our affection and appreciation to our loved ones: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. By using these love languages, we are giving five ideas how you can practice self-love and show appreciation to yourself.
Words of Affirmation
Write yourself a letter where you are only complimenting yourself. Think about your strengths and positive sides. How did you work your unique skill set last week? What character strengths did you put in use yesterday? Praise yourself like you would praise your (other) loved ones when they really succeed in something. You are a great buddy and you deserve some credit for that!
Acts of Service
One way to show your appreciation to another person is to do something nice for them: cook dinner, clean the house, help with the homework…. You can show self-love by listening to what you need and giving yourself that when you need it. Ask yourself: What do I need right know? Is there some task that I’ve been pushing further and further and it’s annoying me? Is my body feeling tired or hungry? Prepare a healthy meal or take time to take care of your body. Help yourself by creating an environment where you can flourish. Show yourself that you care.
When was the last time you bought flowers or something else just for yourself? When you succeed in something, need cheering up, or just want to remind yourself how awesome person you are, why wouldn’t you reward yourself with something nice! How does a massage, a new book, or a healthy smoothie sound to you? Some people show their love by giving tokens of affection to their loved ones. Could you speak that love language to yourself as well?
Next weekend, why you wouldn’t be your own date? Many people love spending time with other people, but when they must spend time just by themselves, they freak out. Learn how to hang out with yourself and how to enjoy hanging out with yourself. If you don’t like your company, why would you expect other people to? Meditation, yoga, and slow walks outdoors are good ways to relax with your own mind. Challenge yourself to focus only in yourself, not in your smartphone, not in your worries at work. Try it and you can even learn something new about who you are!
When we see someone is upset, an intuitive reaction is to touch their shoulder or hug them – touch them somehow – to calm them down. You can also show self-love by touch! When you feel anxious or nervous, stroke your hand gently. When you manage to do something, tap yourself on the shoulder to express that you did great job. When you need cheering up, wrap your arms around your body and give yourself a tight hug.
Which idea is your favorite? How are you going to show love for yourself? Friends and family are for sure worth our attention and appreciation on Valentine’s Day, but remember that you also CAN and deserve to be your own Mighty Valentine!
1. Seppälä, E. 2016. The Hard Data on Self-love and Why it Leads to Success. Available: https://emmaseppala.com/hard-data-self-love-leads-success/
2. Chapman, G. (1995). The ﬁve love languages: How to express heartfelt commitment to your mate. Chicago: Northﬁeld.