Valentine’s Day is recognized the world over as a time to give your love and share Valentine’s Day gifts and chocolates with the special person in your life.
But it’s also the time of year when those without a partner feel the most alone.
Being single on Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a reason for you to be sad. Instead, you could use this as an opportunity to write a love letter and remind the most important person in your life of how wonderful they are: Yourself!
You could choose to focus on everything that’s “wrong” in your love life and plan to sit the holiday out feeling deprived, sad or angry, or you could choose to take a closer look at how you love yourself. Choose the latter and BYOV: Be Your Own Valentine!
Consider giving yourself the gift of a love letter this Valentine’s. While letter writing is becoming a lost art and the love letter a relic of the past, they do become treasured keepsakes. I know you have one from someone, somewhere? If not, you are about to have an awesome one right in front of you.
In this age of technology, perhaps some of us retreat from writing something too personal, as what may have been intended for one set of eyes has the possibility of trending on social media and the world.
While you may understandably refrain from writing your thoughts from the depths of your heart and soul to someone else, how about to yourself? What would you say?
2020 is hailing to be the year of self-care awareness. You may be one of many participating in this movement. If you did not know that was a thing, it is, and you can join now!
What better way to care for yourself than to express self-love? Sound radical? Maybe. Sound awkward? Probably. Sound healing? Absolutely.
Researchers suggest that writing is both important and impactful. Writing a love letter to yourself, electronically or with a pen in hand, can be beneficial.
In fact, it can facilitate knowing yourself on a deeper level, create an opportunity for reflection and re-evaluation of your life, increase your self-esteem, reinforce your self-confidence, give a “voice” to your innermost thoughts, and allow the expression of your personality without censure.
Writing a “Dear Me” letter can be one of the greatest exercises in self-love you’ve ever undertaken. While you may find it difficult to face the proverbial mirror, once you do, you’ll be able to heal various hurts in your life through writing.
What should you include in your love letter to yourself? What would you say to someone else?
Here are 5 prompts you can use to write a love letter to your single self that will boost your self-esteem and self-love this Valentine’s Day:
1. Pride in an accomplishment
We all need recognition and validation in life. You may have not received it from someone else, you may have not been invited to an award show and received a trophy, but find something, one thing, anything, that you would give yourself a trophy for having accomplished.
Now, attach your “why.” Why was this accomplishment important to and for you? How do you feel as you recall it? Proud?
2. Evidence of self-love
Think about it, and remember a time when you showed yourself some love. What did you do, and how did you feel? You may wallow in disappointment that no one has sent you flowers or presented you with chocolates.
When was the last time you bought flowers or a treat for yourself? Gave yourself an hour to unplug and read a book or take a bubble bath? Perhaps your act of self-love was more significant. Perhaps you let go of a toxic friendship or put boundaries in an intimate one.
The point is, you have shown self-love before, and you can do it again. Tell yourself about it!
3. Evidence of loving another
Now, think about a time when you have shown love to another — and yes, fur babies are included! What and how did you do it? How did showing love to another reflect loving yourself?
When you do something for someone else, no matter how small, there’s a big payoff. Perhaps the greatest way to love yourself is to show compassion and express love to others. You may show love for others all the time, perhaps even to your detriment, giving until you have given out.
Just because you may need some boundaries around your actions doesn’t mean you don’t love them. Balance is critical; intention is powerful. Love without conditions, but within healthy boundaries, is the most rewarding love there is.
4. Something that makes you laugh
You don’t need science to tell you how profoundly healing and cathartic a good laugh can be, do you? You know, one of those laughs that leave you gasping for air and possibly needing bladder leak protection?
Some say laughter is the best medicine. It certainly is one that you can O.D. on without concern for unpleasant side effects. Well, except for the bladder leak, perhaps.
Science does, in fact, support the power of laughter to creating positive feelings and mood shifts. When was your most recent laugh session? What changed for you because of it? How will you set yourself up for another good laugh?
Laughter relieves stress, boosts the immune system and increases longevity. It is self-care that will never go out of style. And, if you want to enjoy it with others, look for a laughter yoga class near you. Yes, it’s a thing, too.
5. Something you look forward to
Now to set a goal. What is something you want to accomplish or experience for yourself? There is power in visioning, and you amplify the vision by putting it into actionable words.
Put verbs in your sentences and write them down to increase your focus and momentum. Whatever you choose to do, hold it accountable to loving yourself. What will you gain by succeeding with your goal? How will you celebrate it?
To quote one of my favorite positivity champions, Wayne Dyer, “If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, you won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.”
How’s that for motivation? If you hesitate to do it for you, do it for the person in your future.
So this year, be your own valentine. Show yourself some love and write it down. When you read it, you will fall in love with yourself, and be ready to love another.
Ann Papayoti, CPC, is a life coach and personal development professional helping people help themselves through losses and transitions as a relationship expert. Connect with her on her website for more information on how she can help you live your best life.