Be Your Own Valentine: Love Yourself First!
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Be Your Own Valentine: Love Yourself First!

Ah, Valentine’s Day: a day both celebrated and dreaded!

You may be that person who showers your significant other with heart-shaped chocolates, the person who can’t wait for the day to end, or indifferent to what you believe to be a commercialized holiday invented by those greeting card companies! But regardless of your opinion, the fact is that Valentine’s Day reminds us of our devotion to love.

But what is often lost on V-Day is the celebration of love to one very important person in your life.  That person that is always there, carrying you throughout, but often not acknowledged: YOU!

“Love myself,” isn’t that a bit self-centered, you say? Not at all! Learning to love yourself is critical to maintaining a sense of value, which builds self-esteem. You see, loving yourself is the essential building block for all healthy romantic relationships glorified by the holiday.

So ask yourself: how can you love others when you are not first and foremost, loving yourself?  This Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid to give yourself a compliment or buy yourself those gorgeous flowers. Admire yourself!

One practice I like to share with people: choose one of your unique qualities and write it down on a piece of paper.  Put it in a place where you have frequent access – a wallet or a pocket – and remind yourself throughout the day that you are that “charismatic girl,” “caring guy,” or “silly person.”

Make Valentine’s Day not just about loving others, but about loving the person who you are and may have forgotten. Before you give a bit of yourself to others, fill yourself first with the love that you deserve.  You will love more freely when you are nourishing your own self and it might just change the way you think about February 14th!

How do you show yourself appreciation and love? Please share below!

Joseph A. Zagame, LCSW - NYC Therapist

Joseph A. Zagame, LCSW - NYC Therapist

Director & Psychotherapist at myTherapyNYC
Offers individual, couples and group counseling. He facilitates the Gay Men's Therapy Group on Monday and Tuesday evenings. He specializes in LGBTQ, trauma and relationship issues.
Joseph A. Zagame, LCSW - NYC Therapist

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4 replies
  1. Nikki
    Nikki says:

    I think Valentines Day is a great day to treat yourself to something special that you don’t usually do – pamper yourself! Get a pedicure or a message or take that workout class you’ve been meaning to try. It’s a great day to show yourself and your body some love!

  2. Cate
    Cate says:

    I always like to give myself a valentine on this day too. It is nice to show love for others but like Nikki, I think today is a great opportunity to paper myself.

  3. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    A wise one person once advised me to look into the mirror daily, look into my own eyes, and say the mantra: “I love and approve of myself”. And to notice what came up! The first time I tried this I totally cringed – which was useful information about my relationship with myself. Over time I found the practice to be transformative in ways I don’t have the words to describe – I recommend it!

  4. Richard Cino
    Richard Cino says:

    Self love is the ultimate test-and I realize my sense of self acceptance or caring on a given day can be on a continuum. So Im happy when Im gentle with myself and my critical feelings of myself and others. I try to enjoy all my imperfections.


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