Love is a daily action. It is not something reserved for February 14th or romantic relationships. It is something that is expressed daily to ourselves and the world around us. I am a Christian and my foundation of love is God. We must love ourselves first before we can love other people. You cannot give away what you do not have and this applies to love. If I do not love myself daily, how can I expect to love other people? Love does not have to be a grand gesture all the time. Here are some ways to express love to yourself and the people around you.
1. Self-care: You must invest in yourself. You cannot run yourself into the ground and expect to be a great mate, relative, friend, coworker, leader and so on. One of my daily self-care routines is unplugging myself from the world for an hour a day. I put my phone on silent and put it in another room. Your self-care will different from mine. Here are some self-care ideas: take a walk, workout, treat yourself to a meal, get dessert, get a mani-pedi, read a book, watch a move, treat yourself to a new outfit, go on vacation and stay in a hotel in town. This list is a great start and have fun.
2. Love letters: I know this is old school but remember getting notes as a kid? You can do this in the form of a journal, sending yourself an email or writing an affirmation. I like to write a declaration over myself and remind myself of how far I have come. You can write notes to the people in your life. You can send a Hallmark card (Get them for cheap at Dollar Tree), put a note in their lunch bag, write an email, send a time delayed text or voicemail, leave a note on their pillow, laptop and so on. You would be surprised how much this small gesture can brighten up someone’s day. I love Hallmark cards and those are the only cards I send. Now, I send them monthly for any occasion to show that I care.
3. Quality time: Time is so valuable. You cannot get it back once it is gone. We need to invest our time wisely. We must invest our time into ourselves daily. I work out three to four days a week with daily devotional and prayer time. We next should extend our quality time to other people. Our community of relatives and friends deserve our quality time. Some ideas of quality time are: sharing a meal, meeting for coffee, working out, shopping or cooking together, seeing a movie, play or concert, taking a class or seminar together and a phone call. The list is endless. I love have a meal or coffee with friends regularly.
This list is great start of how you can love yourself and the people around you. Remember, love starts with you and then it can be extended to the people around you. Love does not cost a thing. I hope that as you love yourself and the people around you that you enjoy life to the fullest. You are loved and that starts with self-love.