Soften into Self-Love

February brings opposing forces together in many ways: Cold feet, warm hearts. Long nights, short month. A holiday celebrating love and connection in a time of isolation and quarantines. Caring for others, loving ourselves.

We can get so caught up with caring for someone else and expressing our Valentine’s love for others that sometimes we forget the most important relationship we have—with ourselves. How do we offer ourselves love, compassion, and kindness? How do we create a soft landing for ourselves, especially on hard days?

We can practice self-kindness without an agenda of self-improvement. Being good to yourself doesn’t have to mean eating bowls of broccoli or committing to kettlebells. You can begin by accepting yourself exactly as you are in this moment for everything you are.

Miraval Arizona Integrated Health Specialist Lyndi Rivers offers tips for softening into self-love.


14 Ideas for Self-Love on the 14th

1. Meditate

Practice meditations that support self-love. You can find various options for these here.

2. Feel all the feelings

Feelings are a part of being human. Becoming comfortable with emotions that make us uncomfortable lets us befriend all of our feelings.

3. Put your inner critic to bed

That’s an old voice that isn’t serving you right now.

4. Scan your body

Linger on the parts you love and love the features you think you loathe. Thank your thighs for the power and support they give your body instead of lamenting their size.

5. Acknowledge the “and” in your thoughts

We can dislike things about ourselves and love ourselves. You can notice that you missed a deadline or procrastinated a task and love yourself. “In this way,” Lyndi tells us, “we can honor our shadow and our light.”

6. Remember

Do things that remind you that you like yourself. Think of a time in your life when you felt confident, strong, resilient, capable, or secure. Notice what that felt like in your body and savor the truth of that moment.

7. Listen

Create your own soundtrack. Make a playlist of songs and affirmations that you can stream whenever you need to hear a message of love or inspiration.

8. Say it out loud

Practice saying “I love you” to yourself. It might seem silly at first, but if you do it every morning, it can set the tone for the rest of your day. How we speak to ourselves informs what we say to others and how we receive their words.

9. Act on your heart’s wisdom

When you are in a tough spot, or someone says or does something to you that feels like the opposite of love, open your heart with self-compassion to soften the blow.

10. Play every day

Add fun into your day by doing something you enjoy: color, swing, play a game, laugh with friends.

11. Make time for simple pleasures

Gentle touch and self-pleasure can release happy hormones and help us trust ourselves. Explore your body, try out a new toy or massager, and give yourself an inner glow.

12. Connect with nature

Step outside and use your senses to center yourself. Read more about this practice here.

13. Write it down

Write a love letter to yourself. It could be a letter to yourself right now, your child self, or your future self. Make a list of things you like about yourself and keep it handy for hard days ahead.

14. Give yourself a permission slip

Maybe it lets you try something new, set boundaries, or look at an issue from a different view. Allow yourself to trust without guarantees, stay curious, or do nothing at all.

“When you have a healthy sense of self-love,” Lyndi reminds us, “you can love others more easily.”

When we appreciate receiving as much as we value giving, we can care for others and love ourselves; we can feel generous and fulfilled.


*Source material from Miraval Arizona Integrated Health Specialist Lyndi Rivers. Click here for Lyndi’s offerings.

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