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Loving Yourself this Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day is around the corner; a time for love and romance. And whether you are single or in a relationship, I believe that Valentine's Day is a perfect time to check in with yourself and ask yourself "am I loving myself?" and "am I doing the things to make myself happy?". Let's chat about loving yourself, dating, self-care and more!


What does loving yourself mean?

To me, loving myself is very multi-faceted. I think we often think of the phrase to mean loving your physical appearance. And I do think loving myself includes loving the person who looks back at me in the mirror, but it is also more than that. It's loving the person I am, loving my flaws and imperfections, putting my wants and needs first, and doing things that fulfill me and make me feel happy.


To love yourself, you need to know yourself.

Something that I appreciated about being single is how it allowed me to get to know myself better. It sounds funny to think you could be living your life without knowing who you are, but it does happen. It is so easy to be caught up in the day to day life and focused on other people or what main-stream media might be telling you would make you happy, and how you should look, or how you should act. It is easy to become a version of yourself that you THINK those around you want you to be.


But who are you really? I got to know myself by spending time with myself and ask myself "when am I the happiest?". I really had to get all Marie Kondo on myself and ask "what sparks joy in my life" and the things that don't spark joy have to go! This meant choosing who I let into my life and for what reasons...because negative people do not bring me joy. This also meant spending my time doing the activities I was passionate about. It meant saying no and taking time to rest when I felt like people were demanding too much from me.


Self-love really is not always easy because it can mean breaking cycles that you are comfortable with but that isn't serving you well and that are not healthy for you. And change in any shape or form is challenging. For example, I am a person with big goals and who is happy when I am working on those goals, but I got into this cycle where I would get home from work and watch Netflix and then repeat. And there's nothing wrong with that but it didn't make me happy. Once I took the effort to change my routines and start going to the gym after work, spend more time blogging, & more time mentoring I noticed a huge change in the happiness I felt at the end of each day.


So moral of the story, you have to know yourself to love yourself and be happy.

My favorite self-love activities
  1. Saying positive affirmations to myself

There truly is power in the words that we say. Growing up I was blessed to have a mom that poured many powerful affirmations into me daily. She always told me that I was beautiful, I was smart, and that I was capable of great things....and hearing that throughout my childhood really made a difference. I never questioned whether I was beautiful, inside and out, or if I was capable of achieving my goals. So I try to take these positive affirmations into my young adult life. One of my favorites is "I am enough." because I often felt that I should be doing more, should be doing better, etc and so I needed to remind myself that my best effort is enough.


2. Giving myself grace


Sometimes I had to ask myself, why is it that I can be so kind to others and give so much grace and understanding to those around me, but not to myself? Giving myself grace means that I allowed myself to make mistakes and brush them off. I allow myself to take a day off without feeling guilty. I can be my hardest critic and worst enemy and so this has really been an area that I have been working on each day.


3. Doing something nice for myself


One of my love language is acts of service. I love small tokens of appreciation or someone doing something for me because they care about me. And so I've tried to do these for myself! After a long week I love to run a warm bubble bath and get my favorite bottle of wine, sometimes I'll get myself a pint of my favorite ice-cream or I'll go get my nails done. Whatever it is, I try to do at least one nice thing for myself each week.


Dating....when it is time to extend that love to others

So after all the time spent getting to know myself and loving myself, I'll be honest I got very very comfortable with being alone. I was in the mindset where I didn't want or need anyone in my life, like honestly a legit Prince Charming could have approached me and I would have turned him down! I wasn't ready to let someone else in when I was gaining this strong sense of happiness being on my own. And so from 20 to 22 I was happily single.


When I turned 22 this past September, I decided this was the year I was ready to open up and start dating. I was encouraged after some late night conversations with my aunts where we chatted about men, dating, and everything they wish they knew when they were my age. I cherish the conversations I have with them so much and the overall message was: DATE! Find out what you like and what you don't like.


I realized that opening myself up to dating again is the next chapter of loving and knowing myself as it allowed me to start deciding what I wanted from a man and from a relationship. What am I looking for? What are my deal-breakers? How do I want to be treated?

Sometimes what you want is not what you need

And as before with self-love, sometimes deciding what these factors are isn't easy as well. Sometimes what you want is not what you need! You may think your dream guy or girl needs to look this specific way and share these specific things in common with you...when really the person you're meant to be with might look or act differently than you thought. And sometimes we also tend to keep going back to the same toxic personalities that have hurt you in the past, but you keep going back because there is a sense of comfort there or because you don't think you deserve better.


But loving yourself means 1. knowing yourself, as we talked about, and 2. knowing your worth! And I think all three of these things are crucial to have before dating. Having love for myself doesn't mean I think I'm perfect or the baddest girl on Earth, but it does mean that I am confident in what I bring to the table in a relationship and I know what makes me happy meaning I won't settle for less than that.


I used the list of things that make me happy and my love languages to made a list of the qualities that I think I want in my dream guy and prayed about it. I won't share my full list but I included qualities such as:

  • Makes me laugh and makes me forget about everything else when I'm with him

Why? Because I'm someone who loves to laugh and not take things too seriously. I can also be very focused on schools and projects and so I know I need someone that helps me balance that and makes me less stressed and not thinking about anything when I'm with him

  • Family-focused and gets along with my family

I know that I am someone who puts family over everything and when I reflect on things that make me happy time with my family is high on the list. I love spending time with my family and I love a guy who does the same.


I can't tell the future to know if my "dream-guy" is the next guy I date or maybe I won't met him for another few years, but I do know that as long as I keep my self-love and self-worth a priority, that I keep praying, and keep being myself, that I will end up with the person I am meant to be with.

This Valentine's Day I hope you take some time and reflect on how you are loving yourself and make some goals on how you will improve your self-love in 2022. I'd love to hear your comments below on what you love about yourself and your Valentine's Day plans!

I'll be going out to dinner with some friends so stay tuned for the outfit post.


Also what do you think of the new hair?! It is so fun to switch it up and try a new color.


Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day!

xoxo,

Kye



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