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Valentine’s Day, shmalentine’s day. After leaving an abuser, that’s probably what you’re thinking—or something a little less G-rated—about February 14. The near-hourly deliveries of roses to coworkers and the onslaught of professions of love on Facebook might be a trigger or leave you feeling lonely, but the day doesn’t have to be a downer. In fact, it’s the perfect day to celebrate how much you love the most important person in your life: You.
Sound cheesy? Hear us out. We’re not suggesting you go as far as marrying yourself like one Australian woman did in 2018. All we’re saying is to dedicate some time to praising you for being you. It can have profound effects on your outlook and life. But don’t just limit it to one day a year. You should celebrate yourself a bit each day. Make it your Valentine’s Day resolution (we’re pretty sure that’s a thing) for these reasons:
- It does wonders for self-esteem.We, especially women, are conditioned to tell ourselves we’re not pretty enough, not smart enough, not skinny enough. Not good enough. No wonder so many of us have self-esteem issues! Turn the tables by celebrating what you like—nay, love—about yourself, and after a while, you’ll change the tone of your inner voice and boost your self-confidence.
- It can help you reach your goals. Giving yourself daily atta girls will help you recognize and celebrate your strengths. And once you’re in touch with those, you can put them to good use to reach your personal, professional and relationship goals.
- Others will respect you more. If you want others to respect you and treat you well, you need to lead the charge by respecting yourself. Building confidence will empower you to establish and enforce boundaries as well as set a standard for how others should treat you.
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Celebrating yourself doesn’t have to involve throwing a party of one every day (although it can!). Here are some ideas for how to honor No. 1:
- Five Things. After your alarm goes off but before getting out of bed, tell yourself five things you like about you, from your attention to detail to the way you always remember to call your friends on their birthdays.
- Treat Yo'Self. (That’s a Parks and Rec reference, if you weren’t familiar.) Buy yourself flowers and chocolates. You deserve it. Or do something you enjoy—even if it’s as minor as choosing the radio station in the car on the way to your kid’s school. Of course, taking an hour to get a pedicure would be nice, too.
- Act Like a Kid. When was the last time you painted a picture? Swung on a swing at the park? Went Go-Kart racing? You don’t need to be so grown up all the time.
- Take a Nap. Sleep can do wonders for your outlook on life. Don't set an alarm.
- Say Thank You. Gratitude has been proven to increase optimism and contentment. Be grateful every day.
- List Your Accomplishments. Either of the day, month or heck, your life. Praise yourself for being the brave, amazing, and/or downright productive things you’ve done. Keep this list with you and look at it the next time you feel like you need an ego boost.
Wondering how you should spend the rest of your time on Feb. 14? Check out our Survivor’s Guide to Valentine’s Day.
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