With Valentine’s day right around the corner, we’re all being bombarded with messages of love.
The problem is that most of this messaging centres around romantic love, which can make this a very difficult time of year if you’re single or unable to spend Valentine’s day with your partner.
So I’ve put together a lovely evening full of rituals for self-love so you can spend this Valentine’s day (or any other day) showing yourself some love and care.
You can do all five rituals in one night, or split them up and use them whenever you need to remind yourself just how amazing you are.
Self-Love Ritual #1: Cook Yourself Dinner
Food is a love language, there’s no denying that.
From a very early age, we recognize how special it is for someone to cook for us. It is nurturing, it is caring, it is comfort.
So, every single time that you tell yourself that it’s not worth cooking for just yourself, what you’re really saying is that you’re not worth the effort
While Uber Eats has its place, ordering in is not the same thing as a home-cooked meal. You might think that you’re “treating yourself” but it sends a completely different message.
Imagine how you would feel if you were invited over to someone’s house and they had cooked you a beautiful meal. Now imagine they had ordered in instead. Two completely different feelings, yes?
The effort and thoughtfulness required matters. You are worth the effort and thoughtfulness.
Even if you’re not a super chef, look up some simple recipes, take the time to put it together yourself, and plate it up nicely.
Set the table, light a candle, put away your phone and keep the television off.
See what emotions come up for you as you enjoy your meal without any of the usual distractions.
Once you’ve finished eating, head to the bathroom to prepare the Rose Quartz Ritual bath below.
Self-Love Ritual #2: Rose Quartz Ritual Bath
For this ritual, you’re going to need a piece of rose quartz.
Run a warm bath and add the rose quartz to the bottom of the tub. You can also add a few drops of essential oil like rose or vanilla.
Bring into the space any other things you need to make your bath a beautiful and relaxing experience. You can light candles, play soft music, or burn some incense as you soak.
Soak in the tub for about 20 minutes, submerging your entire body several times.
While you’re there think about all of the things that you love about yourself and your body.
This might be really hard at first (I know I had trouble with it) but the more you practice, the easier it gets. Just keep focusing on the gratitude you have for this body that you live in and that allows you to do so much.
Follow your bath with the Intentional Body Care ritual below.
Self-Love Ritual #3: intentional body care
If you’ve just finished the rose quartz ritual bath above, this is the perfect practice to do while your skin is still warm, but really you can do this every single day.
Caring for our skin is one of the easiest ways we can show appreciation for our body and, when paired with intention, it can care for the mind as well.
Grab your favourite body lotion or oil and apply it to your entire body, starting with your toes and working your way up.
As you massage the lotion into your skin, express gratitude for that part of your body and what it allows you to do.
Thank your feet for making it possible to go for a walk, thank your legs for carrying you throughout the day, thank your stomach for digesting all the delicious food you made earlier this evening.
I want you to think about all that your body does for you rather than only being focused on the way that it looks. Each and every part of you has a purpose and is deserving of love and care.
Now that you’re nice and relaxed and in a mindset of gratitude, put on some comfy clothes or pyjamas and get ready for the Self-Love Meditation.
Self-Love Ritual #4: Loving Meditation
This self-love ritual is a quick meditation to try and rewire some of those negative thoughts we have about ourselves.
Find a quiet space and sit comfortably. You don’t have to sit cross-legged if that doesn’t work for you. Use a cushion if the floor is uncomfortable or you can sit in bed.
Do whatever you need to do in order to clear your mind for this meditation. You can light a candle, burn some incense, use a singing bowl, or just take some deep calming breaths
Hold a piece of rose quartz in your hand (you can use the same one from the ritual bath). Close your eyes and repeat over and over
“I deserve love”
Try to say it aloud but if that’s too much for you right now, you can mouth it silently or say it in your head.
Continue to repeat this until you believe it, until you can feel it in your core.
Any negative feelings that may come up while you’re doing this exercise, just acknowledge them and let them go.
This might also bring up some deep emotions for you so I want you to take note of anything you’re feeling as it’s happening. If you need to cry, that’s absolutely okay, just keep going with the mantra “I deserve love”.
Once you come to the point where you are fully in the space and truly believe that you deserve love, lie down on the floor or in bed. You can use a blanket or put on fluffy socks if you’re chilly, just get really comfy.
Set a timer for anywhere from five to 15 minutes, place the rose quartz over your heart, close your eyes and take three deep breaths.
Imagine the crystal is full of warm loving energy and you can feel it radiating into your heart as you lie there. Relax into the warmth and really feel the love flowing through your entire body.
When the timer goes off open your eyes and slowly come back into a seated position.
Take a second to thank the stone then place it next to your bed and grab a journal or some paper for the next ritual.
Self-Love Ritual #5: Love Letter
Now this one may seem really silly and I know I’m going to get some resistance here but I’d like you to keep an open mind. This isn’t some goopy sappy love letter. This is about creating a counterweight to all the negative thoughts we have every day.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and fill a page (or several pages) with everything you love about yourself.
This can include physical traits such as how your body looks or how your body feels, but also personality or skills.
Everything you love that makes you, YOU.
Statements like I love that I am able to hike 5km without resting. I love how silky my hair feels after I wash it. I love that I make the best chicken soup. I love that I’m bilingual.
Now I’m sure there are some negative things that will come up as you’re doing this exercise and there’s a time and place to explore those and dig into why we have those deeply rooted beliefs about ourselves.
But now is not that time.
We have 20 minutes for love and love only.
Once the timer goes off I want you to fold up the paper and tuck it under your pillow.
Sleep on it for as many nights as you need to remember all the beautiful things you love about yourself.
If you try out any (or all!) of these self-love rituals I would love to know your thoughts and what it brought up for you.
Drop a comment below with your favourite ritual or one thing you love about yourself.