Practicing Self-Love During a Pandemic
I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. The pressure I felt either to give or receive some show of love simply because society called for it, was awkward and even embarrassing if the gesture wasn’t reciprocated. Then I got older and realized it didn’t have to be about romantic love. It didn’t even have to be about loving someone else. I could show myself some love with a little extra self-care and me-time. I distinctly remember the day I vowed to marry myself. Mostly because I was still reeling from my latest romantic-relationship-gone-bad but also because like many older, single women who have learned through experience what they don’t want in a partner, I was realizing a sense of self-empowerment and individuality; a new-found, self-respect had emerged. What’s more, I resented the old-fashioned notion that you need someone else to “be complete” and was insulted when friends kept trying to match me up with people. I was happy by myself, damn it! As the ultimate declaration of my newly discovered self-love, I was going to invite friends to celebrate my sologamy. And I would have if I hadn’t promptly fallen in love again — to someone other than myself.
I still don’t believe you need someone else to be happy. You need people in your life that you care about, yes — but do you need a spouse to lead a fulfilling life? No. I’ve been in romantic relationships that have left me feeling lonelier than if I was truly alone. But I digress. Obviously being in a good relationship can be wonderful and awesome but it has to start with yourself. If you don’t have a special someone in your life, you’re wrong. YOU are a special someone who deserves some appreciation and respect. This doesn’t mean gorge on chocolates or junk food so you’ll resent yourself later. Do something nurturing for yourself — something good for you. Get some fresh air, go for a walk, listen to music you like, dance, soak in the tub…you get the idea. Practice saying or writing positive things about yourself every day until you start believing them. Get enough sleep, so that your body and mind can properly recharge.
There are a lot of people feeling the repercussions of being alone and in lockdown right now so if you know someone who could use a little love, by all means, reach out. Just don’t neglect yourself. How we feel about ourselves is often reflected in how we treat others, so show yourself some love and the world might seem like a better place. Maybe not a great place but a better outlook helps!