Be your own valentine

Navigating the world of self-love and confidence can be tough, but should you find yourself single this Valentine’s Day, you’re not completely out of luck.

Staff+artist%2C+Evanthia+Stirou%2C+displays+some+self+love+in+a+card+from+yourself%2C+to+yourself+this+Valentine%27s+Day.+

Evanthia Stirou

Staff artist, Evanthia Stirou, displays some self love in a card from yourself, to yourself this Valentine’s Day.

After a long period of extreme isolation due to COVID this year, it comes as no surprise that there may not be as many gushy, teenage couples sauntering, hand-in-hand, around campus in time for Valentine’s Day.

As we all know, isolation was a huge part of the year for all of us, but if you take a moment and try to look on the positive side of all of this, maybe spending some time with yourself and working on how you truly feel about you is the best gift you could give yourself this Valentine’s Day.

As we all know, this is the holiday for love, typically celebrated by couples across the globe. That’s great and all, but unfortunately, that just can’t be the case for everyone. Now, call me crazy, but even if you are as single as can be, Valentine’s Day can very much still be celebrated. So, why not spend the holiday of love with yourself? In order to lead a happy life, you have to be satisfied, nay, love yourself, inside and out.

This sounds scary for some, I know, but finding a greater appreciation for who you are as a person can be just as, or even more rewarding than a romantic relationship.

The importance of self-love seems to be put on the back-burner during developmental years, due to the ongoing stresses of high school and whatnot. But, if we realize that placing our love for ourselves above all else, can positively affect every aspect of our lives. Self-love improves your overall well-being. By this, I mean that self-love involves self-care. When you care for and nurture anything, you’re giving it the opportunity to grow and flourish.

Self-care can include such a plethora of things that make you feel good such as baking, singing, journaling, or virtually anything else that makes you happy.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m alone in my car, just singing to empowering high energy songs, it feels like I’m on top of the world. Even if I’m having a bad day, dancing around to songs that promote messages of self-appreciation remind me that my life, and what I’m worth, is bigger than the sad or insecure days.

But, I can also be as guilty as others. There are many days where I fall into the negative habits of not feeling confident. There are days when I lack the energy to be productive. Insecurity basically comes as part of a package deal with the territory of being a teenager, unfortunately. We’re trying to become comfortable in our skin while also still growing into it, physically and mentally.

This makes it extremely difficult at times to be confident because, for most of us, we’re just not completely comfortable with who we are yet. We’re actively still trying to find ourselves. Being confident, let alone comfortable, in a body or personality that’s constantly growing and changing is a pretty contradicting concept within itself, and teens struggle with this reality daily.

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True self-love is a process, to say the least. It doesn’t come overnight and probably not easy, but once it’s attained, it’s more rewarding than you could ever imagine. But, everyone tries to attain confidence differently.

Some people dance around their room to serotonin-boosting songs, recite self-affirmations in the mirror each day, or even just dress up and take pictures of themselves. Confidence comes in waves and works differently for everyone, so it’s important to test different methods to find out what works for you.

For me personally, I feel the most confident when I’m working out. Knowing that I’m pushing myself both physically and mentally for the purpose of bettering myself for myself is an amazing feeling. But, this is again is just what works for me. It’s so important to take into account when you feel yourself in a confident and happy state of mind and what you’re doing during that time, so you can continue to seek out similar opportunities.

Repetition is key in the process of forming a habit, and loving yourself is no exception. In an article by Eton Institute, the unnamed author says, “Studies have shown that every time we remember something we strengthen the connection to it, which helps us remember it even after a gap of many years.” The more you’re repeating an activity or keeping a certain thought in your mind, the more it grows into your lifestyle until it eventually becomes instinctual.

By nature, we, as humans, crave unconditional love. Whether that be from a romantic partner, work-life, best friend, or even ourselves, we all need and want love. This is just another reason why working on how you love yourself is so important, even if you are in a relationship with someone else. If you’re single right now, just think about this: it’s pretty much impossible to truly invest yourself in a relationship with another person and give so much of yourself and be so vulnerable if you’re not initially in love with who you are.

Closing yourself off to a love-life with yourself will only negatively impact your relationships in the future, so before you go out searching for a date this weekend so you don’t feel as lonely, just remember how much more success you could have in that aspect of your life if you just slow down for a moment, and learn to truly and fully love yourself, inside and out.

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