Be Your Own Valentine in 2017 – February Saddle River Magazine Article
Stop waiting for that perfect “someone” and share the love with the most important person in your life – you!
Is your Valentine’s Day going to be “good” or “bad” this year? Our culture dictates that it will be a good day if you have someone special in your life to shower you with love and buy you gifts and candy. If you have no such person in your life, the message is that you might as well crawl under the covers with shame and wake up in March.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be this way! Why not try being your own Valentine in 2017? Instead of waiting for that perfect “someone” to come along, become best friends with the most important person in your life: you!
We totally get that this is easier said than done, especially since most of us are our own worst critics. So here are a few suggestions to get you started:
1. Enjoy some hang time with yourself.
We are all so busy that the concept of having alone time may seem as improbable as flying to Mars. But even if it means hiding in your bathroom for five minutes, trust us – it’s worth it! Designate some time to hang out by yourself with zero distractions: no phone, no Netflix, no magazines, no social media. Notice what happens when you find yourself all alone with your thoughts. Chances are your reliable inner voice will start to chatter. You know – the voice that berates you when you make a mistake, judges you, and plagues you with self-doubt.
Now ask yourself if you would speak to someone else the same way you are speaking to yourself. If the answer is definite “no”, practice changing the tone and speaking to yourself as you would speak to a loved one. Remember that your words have power, and choose them carefully because you and your head and heart are listening.
2. Remind yourself that you are enough.
We are inundated with messages that tell us we are not acceptable until we undergo some kind of radical self-improvement. Messages like, “You are not enough until you lose X number of pounds or cover all of your grays and wrinkles, or until you run a marathon or you ditch the carbs from your diet” are everywhere. The truth is, each of us is ENOUGH exactly as we are. We are born enough, we are enough now, and we will always be enough.
When you start to doubt this, notice what triggered it. Was it an advertisement? A conversation with someone who also feels like they are not enough? Once you become aware of the triggers, it becomes easier to avoid the pitfalls. Practice two or three-minute meditations in which you repeat the words “I am enough” until you start to believe them.
3. Celebrate your body.
Sadly, it seems like we only think about our body parts when we are criticizing them. So much attention is placed on physical appearance that it is easy to ignore the amazing miracles that our bodies perform for us every day.
Take a few moments to get quiet and scan your body, starting at your feet and moving up. Ask yourself where your feet have taken you. Who have you hugged with your arms? What delicious food have you tasted with your tongue? Think about how your body functions all on its own. Did you realize that your heart beats about 100,000 times a day? Imagine your body as a precious home that you have to take care of because it protects what is really important: your heart, soul, and every beautiful quality that makes you unique.
This Valentine’s Day, give your inner critic the day off and plan on practicing some self-love. As Oscar Wilde once said, “To love yourself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” We say cheers to that and Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Body Image Boutique in Saddle River, NJ, offers body positive programs and services for women, men, and children. For more information call 201-708-8448 or visit www.thebodyimageboutique.com.