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  • Kitty Edwards

A Valentine’s Day Challenge

Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.” – Aberjhani

This Valentine’s Day I challenge you to be courageous! Love yourself more.

We live in a culture of judgement. The media tells us what beauty is, what success is, what love is. In reality, there is no one scale that can measure your unique value or your incredible potential. Judging yourself on a false cultural scale is damaging to your self-esteem and doesn’t take into account your contributions to friends, family and the jobs you do.

Only you know what inspires you to do what you do every day.

If you know how to love yourself, you can solve many problems. Self-love increases your enthusiasm for life and resilience in the face of setbacks. It can help you recognize your needs and seek ways to meet those needs.

In our world, self-love is not always easy. We often mistake self-love for selfishness. In fact, if we take the time for self-nurturance, we have more to give.

I especially challenge caregivers to take some time to love yourself. So often, care partners lose themselves in the process of caring for their loved ones. It becomes difficult to take the time to restore your energies or reflect on your accomplishments. In our No Regrets Project, we encourage you to “Love Myself & Share It” which means that caring for oneself must be priority.

So here is your 5-Step Valentine’s Day challenge.

STEP 1: Get more sleep.

You need more sleep to recharge your energy and rebuild your strength. Without it, anxiety increases and it is harder to make good decisions. Start simply by sleeping in just 15 minutes more in the morning, or taking a short nap during the day. Dream time allows your inner self to see more clearly.

STEP 2: Be kind to yourself.

Replace your negative thoughts about yourself with gratitude. Love those parts of yourself that are vulnerable or sensitive. If you catch yourself saying something negative to yourself, recognize the source of your feeling and consciously replace that thought with a more positive one. No one is perfect and neither are you. Rejoice in your own imperfection.

STEP 3: Embrace your authentic self .

In many situations, we are unable to express our authentic self. That’s life. However, we all need to create opportunities for our authentic selves to dance around the room, alone or with kindred spirits. Give yourself the space to release your authentic self by singing, painting, creating or in conversation with friends.

STEP 4: Celebrate!

Take time to nurture and celebrate yourself. When you accomplish a goal or make headway on a project, reward yourself. Fix a nice healthy meal, call up a friend to share, or simply give yourself the opportunity to reflect on your achievements. Or, take time to do nothing.

STEP 5: Write yourself a love letter.

Congratulations for getting this far! The last challenge – and perhaps the hardest – is to write yourself a love letter. Acknowledge yourself. Tell yourself what you admire most about yourself. Be specific. You might love the way you care for your friend when she is suffering. Or, possibly you love the way you swing a golf club. Slip this letter into an envelope and put it away to read next Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A No Regrets bracelet will remind you to “Love Myself & Share It.” Order a bracelet to remind you to take this Valentine’s Day challenge every day in 2017.

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