Each year Valentine’s Day approaches, and it reminds me of my mom’s sentiment about the holiday growing up. Showing love and appreciation to others on Valentine’s day is fine, beautiful even, but are you sharing love with people everyday?
By people, it includes you too. You are people. Do you show love to yourself? How Do You Love You?
For you the idea of “loving you” seems silly because you do it already OR it seems silly because that seems like a weird concept (maybe a smidge selfish). If you already do the self love thing, rock on and keep on going. Maybe this exercise will help you ideate new ways. If you don’t really do the self love thing, either because it seems odd or seems selfish, I hope the exercise gives you a WHOLE HEAP OF PERMISSION!!!
25 Ways To Love Me (aka YOU)
In my experience so many of us are focused outside of ourselves. We spend time doing what is basic and necessary, but we often skip the deeper connection with ourselves in our interest in taking care of others.
- What are ways that you can show yourself love? It might be a love note that you write on a sticky and put up somewhere. It might be getting yourself flowers. It might be scheduling massages.
- Your exploration is to really wonder this – if you were showing love to someone else what would you do? What is the way you care for others? Is it quality time? Is it a sweet and thoughtful note? Is it affirming words and a caring ear? Is it doing things they really enjoy and letting them guide it? Or is it letting them chill and not have to make any decisions and just taking care of it all?
- Once you have your list of 25, put it up somewhere to remind yourself. See if you are willing to do something off of your list one time each day.
Examples from clients and myself:
- Move my body
- Turn my phone on airplane and take a bath
- Write 5 things that I love myself (My client who does this challenges herself to write something different everyday).
- Soft and comfortable bedding
- Ask for help (and then let them help)
- Go be in nature and allow myself to be still
- Be creative – paint, write, dance in my living room
- Self Pleasure
- Make my favorite meal
- Have a Netflix and Chill night with myself
25 Ways to Love Me – Friend Edition
A powerful exercise a coach gave me and my fiance (now hubby) 12 years ago was to write out a list of 25 ways you like others to show you love.
- An easy way to start is to ask yourself – What are ways that others show me love that has me get that they love me?
- From there, let yourself brainstorm and explore how else you like to receive love.
- Now find someone you want to deepen your relationship with and share it.
EXAMPLES From my list and client’s:
- Big long hug
- Thank me for my support (specific though)
- Send me a handwritten note
- Share their dessert
- Invite me to hang out and plan the whole thing
- Share how they know I love them
- Ask me how I am and then listen
- Share things you love with me – articles, music, podcasts
Are you willing to let go of the thought or judgment that if you share what love to you looks like or how you prefer to be loved that it counts less or means less? When clients have done this exercise, they have their friends or partners do it with them. It transforms relationships. Being seen, known, and loved the way we truly desire is powerful.
If you wanted to do this exercise with a colleague or client. You could change the word “Love” to “Appreciation”.
If you do either or both of these, please share it with me what you get out of it.