How to love yourself before looking for love

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is officially in the air. Even if you’re not marking the occasion with a special someone, there’s one person who deserves all the love, care, and attention in the world – and that person is you.

Self-love is important for a long list of reasons. It keeps that positivity flowing to impact every part of your life, offers a sense of acceptance, helps you pursue the things you are passionate about wholeheartedly and heals the inner wounds that can hold us back. It’s also integral to establishing and maintaining healthy relationships.

Mental health and self-love guide Cognitive Heights explains more about how loving yourself is the key to improving current relationships and those yet to come:

“If you respect yourself, other people will respect you. This is why self-love is important for healthy relationships. People that will treat you right exist—the ones that want to help you grow and improve as a person.

On the other hand, sinister people exist. People that will take advantage of your selflessness. You have to learn to love yourself enough to recognize when someone is unfairly taking advantage of you. You can only recognize this if you have self-respect.”

As the saying goes, ”You can’t love others before you learn to love yourself,” so, without further ado, here are our top tips for loving yourself without limits.

Accept every bit of you

Whatever flaws you think you have, self-acceptance goes hand-in-hand with self-love. That doesn’t mean that there’s no room to improve should you want to better yourself that is.

Acceptance is simply a great foundation for self-love to grow. With self-acceptance, you can turn that inner critic into a friendly, loving, and supportive teammate to realise an even better you.

Put pen to paper

In the spirit of self-acceptance, why not celebrate you and your many brilliant qualities by writing yourself a few love notes.

You can get a friend or family member to get involved in a self-love session. Finish by writing notes to each other, it could just help you acknowledge the great attributes you never even knew you had. The ultimate notes to self, these love letters will leave you feeling ready to take on the world!

If love notes aren’t your thing, there are many more techniques that help to promote self-love, from gratitude jars to mirror mantras.

Remember, it’s a journey

You don’t learn to love yourself overnight. It is therefore important to accept that the road to self-love is a long one, but it is one hell of a journey!

As well as taking time, it also takes practice and patience. By progressing on your self-love journey, you’re digging up and resolving perhaps years of hang-ups, but it’s all worth it.

Surround yourself with positive energy

Positivity breeds positivity, which means those looking to love themselves more need to be surrounded by equally optimistic people. Your friends and family should love and uplift you.

The same theory applies to the things you do and the activities you partake in. While life is full of having to do things you’d prefer not to be doing – that huge pile of laundry comes to mind – you need to make more time for the things you do enjoy.

Invest in self-care

Treating yourself how you deserve to be treated is something many of us overlook daily. Life, and our commitment to tending to others before ourselves, gets in the way, and often we end up putting ourselves last.

Dedicating part of your day to caring for yourself isn’t self-centred or selfish. It’s about giving your body and mind the same care, love and attention you give to other special people in your life.

Work self-care – whether that’s indulging your love of yoga or treating yourself to a nature identical skincare regime – into your daily routine and give yourself unconditional love every day.