Loving Yourself this Valentine’s Day

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Every year, just after the holiday hullabaloo, retail outlets launch into their preparations for our annual day of love, Valentine’s Day. Those of you who are singletons are, of course, supposed to clamber into the clutches of a dozen different dating sites so that you don’t end up home alone (or even worse, babysitting for your friends) on V-day. It’s all about love, and that’s all about having partners – to the point where many singles feel lost, lonely, and unloved during the season of hearts, flowers, and diamonds.

Where we as a culture often get lost is that we focus on directing the expressions of love outwards – towards others – rather than inwards, to ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves, our sense of self esteem is low and we are more prone to depression and other emotional issues; we also may find it hard to make the right decisions when it comes to how (and in whom) we decide to invest our time and energy. So, I say it’s time to make you the Valentine this year!

For starters? Treat yourself like you’d want a lover to treat you. Take time to take care of your body and mind; read, exercise, eat well, and laugh. Tell yourself how smashing you look; put on your hottest lingerie or those sexy silk boxers, even when all you’re planning on is having an evening to yourself. Give yourself your best – whether it’s taking the extra twenty minutes to make your favorite dinner instead of making frozen pizza, or spending the extra few dollars to get the really nice lotion instead of the not-so-great stuff.

And don’t skimp on the sensuality. When was the last time that you really paid attention to how good your skin feels when you’re just out of the shower, or enjoyed the way you feel when you’re wearing your favorite outfit? Take time to notice how good your body can feel. Give yourself a massage, or bliss out in the bathtub with your favorite bubble bath or bath salts. Go to a local spa or sauna and bask in the warmth. Surround yourself with your favorite scents. Purchase some silky sheets, even if you usually sleep alone, and enjoy the feel of them caressing you as you climb into bed.

And, of course, there’s the sex. Sex for one is as good as sex for two (or more!) – and just as important to your well being. Orgasms stimulate our systems, boost our feel-good hormone, and even give us mental and emotional health benefits that outlast the orgasm itself, so think of it as a key part of your own health plan! But don’t fall into the “standard operating procedure” orgasms – think outside of the box. Seduce yourself – spend time touching your body, or start off your evening with a dip in the hot tub or a dinner at your favorite restaurant. Look for different ways to get aroused – if you often read erotica, perhaps you could try watching a hot movie or listening to music that makes you think “sex!”. Use something different to masturbate – if you usually use your hands, try a stroker (if you have a penis) or a vibrator; vibrator users can try using other sex toys like dildos, or maybe work in some anal play via a butt plug or your fingers. Enjoying sensations that you don’t usually give yourself can be a powerful affirmation of your love for yourself.

Whatever you decide to do – remember that you’re worth loving, and it starts with loving yourself. And keep it up all year long – we wouldn’t want our lover to show us their affection just once a year, so make a little “self love” time a part of your regular routine. I promise – you’ll reap the amazing benefits of learning to love yourself just a little bit more!

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