Valentine’s Day – a day many roll their eyes at for how commercialized it's become. But whether you give it attention and deeper meaning or not, know that nobody needs to be in a romantic relationship for this particular day to have meaning. Instead, one can take it as an opportunity to love a little louder, a little deeper and a little bolder.
As we eased into this new year in a more quiet and considerate manner, contemplating the last three years as well as today’s relationship to hope, we felt that instead of talking about all the flavors of love this Valentine’s Day, this year we preferred to pick a very specific topic, a year-round important theme, namely the one of self-love.
We were wondering: what is needed right now for us to soothe ourselves, what is required for us (and especially for our nervous systems) to recognize that we live in an environment where we can feel safe? Once we are in a space of safety, our systems are able to care about others, too.
The importance to nourishing our nervous systems
When our animal bodies (this precious human body we live in) find relaxation, love becomes possible. If we do not feel loved, nurtured or safe, it is biologically impossible for us humans to share and feel love, neither for ourselves, nor for one another. Our nervous systems, specifically our vagus nerve, require a specific state of relaxation for us to notice others around us. Our nervous systems function like sponges, taking in every piece of information we are exposed to. If you think that you are not listening, believe it or not, someone is and that someone is commonly your nervous system. Hence, it matters greatly who and what we surround ourselves with.
What can we need do to increase self-love?
Loving yourself isn’t an easy task. It begins with understanding our own worthiness, as much as our capability in identifying and then doing things that nurture us from the inside out. Getting started with self-care can oftentimes be a little challenging and overwhelming at first.
10 Tips for self-love
So here are a few thoughts and ideas from our team on how to begin to love yourself better:
- Any form of breathwork/pranayama: we recommend the bee breath as shared here. Calling in a buzzing hum creates a sense of safety for our nervous systems.
Choose wisely who you surround yourself with: there is a saying that you become the average five people you spend the most time with. Being around others who have similar priorities and values matters.
Movement: whether that is at home or in nature, getting out of the head and into the body releases endorphins and adrenalin to increase your energy and happiness.
- Being in nature
Meditation: to ground, to call yourself back into your self, to be with yourself, to become. Click here for a free meditation to soothe the soul or if you prefer a lying meditation, try out this free Yoga Nidra meditation.
Creative expression, such as writing, drawing, sculpting and more
- Connecting with what nourishes us: food, cooking, baking, harvesting, gardening
Digital disconnection: schedule time away from screens, go on airplane mode, switch of the modem, do whatever it takes to give your system some time away from the devices.
- Love your animals more: your pets have a sensitive antenna when it comes to our human feelings. Cuddle your pet more when you need it – did you know that a cat’s purr can have a positive stress-reducing effect on us humans, too?
- Music: listen, play, sing – similar to movement we engage a different muscle by leaning into sound and music that releases endorphins and brings us deeper into our bodies than into our minds. Dance, create your favourite playlist, don’t judge yourself for your taste, just sing along. You can also check out our playlists here
What are your ways to love yourself even more? We would love to hear from you.
Happy Valentine’s Day, sweety, and so much love for your beautiful heart.