Happy Love Day!

Happy Valentine’s, lovers! I am aware that V Day was technically yesterday, but why not celebrate all week long? In these crazy times, it’s always a good idea to celebrate love – in all of its forms <3

Sharing love with others is so important. Whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend, a family member, a pet, even a plant – giving and receiving love is one of life’s great joys. Though I don’t currently have a romantic partner in my life, I hope those who do enjoyed their day together. For me, I was blessed to spend some time with my family this weekend, which was much needed. I am also very grateful to have some dear friends in my life, and am currently expanding my community here in Kelowna. Unfortunately, I do not live with a pet at this time (very jealous of those who do!!), so a plant mom I will happily be – we will see how long my newest additions last 😀 The greenery and taking care of something other than myself has been beneficial for my mental health, so I spent some time sharing some love with them these past couple of days.

Though many demonstrations of love that you may have seen on social media over the past couple of days highlight the commodification of this holiday – with a focus on gifts such as flowers, chocolates, fancy dates, etc. – I’m a big believer that this doesn’t have to be the only way that you show your love to others. Spending a ton of money isn’t necessary to show that you care. There are many smaller acts or different ideas you can use to share your feelings. With that said, I highly recommend doing some research into the different love languages and discovering what yours and others may be. It might surprise you, and learning these details about ourselves and others can help to show others that you love them, in a way that resonates for them.

One of the most important kinds of love, in my opinion, is self-love. Self-love tends to be seen as a radical concept, or even a commodified concept – but in reality, I think it’s an elusive concept. It can be difficult to grasp and conceptualize. What does loving yourself truly mean, and what does it really look like?

I personally believe self-love means extending the same care, gratitude, and thoughtfulness that you would to others, back towards yourself. Showing yourself compassion. Forgiving yourself for mistakes. Allowing yourself time and space to be who you really are, rather than who others may want you to be. I believe self-love can look like whatever you want it to be. Maybe it does involve a commodity, such as buying yourself chocolates or that cup of Starbucks coffee. Maybe it involves taking care of yourself and prioritizing your mental health. Maybe it is learning something new, or doing something that you’ve done a thousand times before just because it makes you feel good. However you choose to love yourself is right – choose to honour that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

Self-love is especially necessary for those of us who suffer from mental illness. When you are battling a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, and more, often your mind can lie to you and consistently tell you that you aren’t good enough, there’s something wrong with you, you are not worthy, and more. Actively fighting against these negative and false thoughts is so important, and this is where self-love comes in. Some of the ways that I try to practice self-love in these scenarios include recognizing the thoughts as false, and replacing them with more positive thoughts, which I often do through uplifting affirmations or through meditation. Being someone that does suffer from depression and anxiety, I do find the practice of self-love difficult at times, and it is something I am continuing to work on every day.

I would love to hear how you practice self-love, and how you are choosing to celebrate love with others! I hope you had the chance to celebrate love yesterday, and continue to celebrate this week, this month, and truly all the time. I’ve always believed that love is the closest thing we have to magic, and it is pretty damn incredible to have those feelings in your life. We could all use a little more of it – so I’m sending lots of love your way. <3

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