Celebrating Self-Love this Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday that's filled with love, flowers, chocolate, and gimmicks, and whether you're into the day or not, it's one that can't be avoided. For a long time, I found myself hating the day because it felt like it was forced on me, but now I have a plan. My plan this year is love—self-love.

Related: 5 Ways to Feel Comfortable in Your Own Skin

The older I get, the more I realize you [truly] cannot receive or give love unless you [fully] love yourself; like Mama Ru says; "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell can you love anybody else?" We are born into love and will leave here surround by love, but what happens in-between that time is entirely up to us, and whether you're single or coupled, treating yourself with care and love is an act of self-love. As someone who is in a relationship, it's easy to focus on giving all of your attention and love to someone else, but this Valentine's Day let's concentrate on giving yourself grace and love by practicing how to love yourself better than yesterday. Here are seven healthy things you can do for yourself this Valentine's Day.

I. Practice gratitude and positive affirmations

A daily routine is so beneficial to your personal and mental health, and I've found waking up early, meditating, and writing down five things I'm grateful for every day has helped balance my anxiety and the craziness of the day. Also, when I'm feeling low or anxious, reciting positive affirmations throughout the day helps bring me back to my center. Practice self-love by setting aside time daily to be still with yourself, even if it's 20 mins; this will help support your mental clarity and encourage new ideas and creativity.

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II. Self-care

Aside from giving yourself time to reflect every day, I encourage you to practice self-care by doing something that brings you peace and joy at least once a week. For me, I love skincare products, so I'm always on the hunt for new products and new ways to improve my skin. Since getting a new round of laser hair removal, I've been focused on serums and keeping my skin hydrated and youthful. Ole Henriksen's Vitamin C is the holy-trinity of serums; it's brightened my skin, removed dark spots, and has made my skin visibly tighter. Self-care can be anything that you enjoy, anything that brings a sense of peace and calm over you.

III. Pamper yourself

Pampering yourself is almost unheard of, especially for us men, but this year try pampering yourself with a [good] dinner by yourself—yes, by yourself. I know having dinner alone is scary and can bring up unwanted feelings, but once you get past it, it will be one of the best things you can do for yourself. Also, buy something nice to celebrate YOU, you deserve it. Remember, you teach others how to treat you based on how you treat yourself.

IV. Prioritize yourself

So many of us are taught being selfless is a good thing, and it is, but when you begin to put others needs before yours, it becomes problematic; this is the easiest way to feel drained and depleted. It's time to start pouring back into yourself, being considerate of your needs, and kind to yourself. If you're signed up for my newsletter, you know my focus this year is embracing life and the begins with prioritizing myself and the things that make me happy. I will be taking time off to create memories with my partner and family, disconnecting from my phone and social media, and producing the work I enjoy. I encourage you to do the same because when you show up and prioritize yourself, you are likely to show up [fully] for the people who need you.

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V. Unfollow + Disconnect

Since the beginning of the year, there's been buzz floating around to curate your social feeds; if we're being honest, I did this months ago. Disconnecting, unfollowing, muting, and unsubscribing to everything that doesn't inspire me or feed me positive energy. Start thinking about how you can do the same; you want to be surrounded by only things that inspire you to grow.

To maintain a good life for yourself and the people who matter most to you, it's important to engage in self-care, self-compassion, and of course, self-love. As you go into this Valentine's Day, remember to love yourself fully and freely, not because it's the thing to do, but because it's necessary. Continue to Live Your Life in Style and always Be Inspired.

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