This Valentine’s Day, we’re reminded of a quote by the late Dr. Maya Angelou. “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
You may interpret that in whatever way you wish, but we like to think that Dr. Angelou is reminding us just how amazing each one of us is. No, there’s no asterisk there or caveat.
The love provided by others is a profound and magical source of energy. However, it’s easy to forget how profound and magical the love of ourselves can be. This Valentine’s Day, we encourage you to focus on self-love for this very reason. Love yourself unconditionally, and love yourself just the way you are. Here are a few ways you can do that.
Censor Your Self-Talk
Self-love is about forgiveness. Try curbing your self-talk or, at the very least, question the intent of your inner dialogue. Ask yourself, is this the type of criticism I’d give a friend or loved one? If it’s not, then ditch it, and give yourself more credit.
You might have heard of it as “doom scrolling.” Lately, we tend to pour all of our anxiety into our devices. We turn our brains off by staring blankly at our screen, absorbing the little blurbs of information that pass us by, one by one, with no end in sight.
Try unplugging from that tendency. Instead, grab a book, do a puzzle, or practice a hobby. Try and engage all of your senses.
This might be hard to do in the middle of February (at least where we’re from), but try and enjoy nature wherever you can find it, as long as you don’t freeze in the process! Two places we suggest are Magic Wings Butterfly Sanctuary and the Botanic Garden at Smith College; both places bring the outdoors inside.
Tap Into Your Creative Self
Things like crafting and journaling can turn into healthy hobbies that positively engage your mind, and motivate you to look more deeply into your day-to-day life. Journaling especially can tap into your creative self, while offering a way to capture the beautiful, fleeting moments in your life, or simply vent.
Carve the Time Out (Write it Down)
Most of all, we suggest that you take self-care seriously. That means carving the time out of your schedule. Go ahead and write it on your calendar or schedule a meeting with yourself on Google. Treat your personal time with the importance it deserves. Self-care is neither frivolous nor self-indulgent; it’s important to your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Colorful Resilience is a Queer-Afro-Latina-owned outpatient mental health services office in Springfield, Massachusetts. We proudly provide therapy – primarily, but not exclusively – to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, First Generation, and immigrant folks. For clients in the Western MA area, we offer in-person consultations and virtually for those all across Massachusetts. Reach out to us today.