Self Love: A Valentine's Day Playlist
So here’s my proposal. This Valentine’s Day, whatever you may or may not have planned, schedule at least an hour to go on a date with yourself. At the very heart of the exercise, it need not be complicated or extravagant—I’ve done this with some candles, music speakers, and a glass of red wine in my own bathtub, or with headphones on a walk by the bay, or sitting under a tree at the park, or on the rooftop of my building. I’ve also gone a bit more extreme and booked a weekend at a hotel, complete with spa treatments and guilt-free buffet and room service meals, and even jumped on trains and planes and buses to go on these solo sessions.
Regardless of the setting, the idea is to force yourself to spend some time being kind to yourself.
I probably don’t know you, but I’m going to walk out on a limb and guess that you’re in an abusive relationship. You are likely in denial about it, too, defending the perpetrator, saying you’re in control of the situation. But the truth is, so many of us have fallen prey to the self-abuse of social media measuring sticks and crazy limiting beliefs we keep telling ourselves. We are our own abusers. Beating ourselves up with examples of how we’re not “something” enough; fit enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough. Recycling old stories about how we’re not good at math, or how we sound funny when we speak—something a mean kid might have told us decades ago that we chose to perpetuate.
Self-care has become a catch phrase with today’s generation, but checking in with your spirit and creating your own peace, harmony, and balance is a practice as old as time. Here are my top three self love tips to feel whole, so that you can return to your life, relationships, and responsibilities, with much more to offer.
Get Closer to Nature
This is the fastest way to recalibrate. Be it a body of water, an expanse of earth and sky, or a blanket of greenery, returning to our natural state (far enough away from notifications and automobiles and elevators to hear ourselves inhaling and exhaling with the waves, the wind, or the birds) is a bonafide way to find your center.
Cut sugar, complex carbohydrates, dairy, and all processed foods out of your diet. Try to go all raw; salad greens, nuts, fruit. If you can do this for even one day, your body will thank you for it. A week? You’ll allow the rest and reset of your internal organs. A month and you’ll have eradicated food addictions like caffeine and sugar that take their toll on our systems as time progresses. Taking this break will have you noticing clearer skin, more focus, better quality of sleep, and clarity of thought.
Find Your Heartbeat
Now this differs for everyone, but most people I know find a rhythmic flow listening to music, dancing, chanting, exercising or playing sports, running or walking briskly, or doing fluid motions like one might in yoga. I have some friends that find rhythm shuffling cards, or create flow playing games like Tetris; some that like to knit, pray the rosary, organize coins, or draw and paint. The point is to get in the zone doing something rhythmic, which helps regularize your breathing, getting oxygen to places in your body that tension or anxiety might have unknowingly cut off. Do this, guilt and judgment free, for 30 minutes. If you can stretch that to an hour, even better.
To help you get into your self love space, I’ve made a playlist of songs as a Valentine’s gift — one that I insist you keep for yourself before sharing with people you feel might need it as much as you do.