It is that time of year again when Safeway dedicates an aisle to pink and red candies, romantic comedies are playing on a loop and Netflix releases another movie with Noah Centineo as the cute, dorky lead. Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. 

Valentine’s Day is more commonly known as a holiday celebrating romantic love, but there is no reason why the festivities should be limited to that. February should be a month dedicated to celebrating romantic, familial and platonic relationships and, most importantly, self-love.

The term “self-love” is tossed around throughout social media and often has a materialistic connotation. However, this expression extends beyond face masks and good food; self-love is how kind and patient you are to yourself throughout your everyday life.

“Self-love has a lot to do with how you honor your own dignity and how you honor your body, mind and spirit,” said Leila Lewis, an undergraduate well-being fellow at Gonzaga University’s Office of Health Promotion.

Valentine’s Day can be a tough holiday to celebrate if you are feeling down about being single or if you are not especially feeling love for yourself. Lewis’ main piece of advice for fostering self-love when feelings of loneliness might escalate is to spend time with close friends or family members. It does not have to be anything extravagant, but being around people whom you love and who love you reaffirms your worth to others, which, during the Valentine’s Day season, is important in building and maintaining your self-worth.

It can be hard to incorporate self-love into one’s everyday routine — homework, jobs, relationships and so much more often steal our attention before there is time to check in with ourselves. However, one essential way to express self-appreciation is to do one thing for yourself everyday. 

Whether it is treating yourself to that Starbucks drink you are craving or prioritizing homework to achieve a full night of sleep, offering yourself one favor each day is a small way to prioritize yourself amid daily chaos.

Simply put, everyone has different needs and wants, making it hard to prescribe self-love tips with a 100% success rate. However, an important foundation of any act of self-love is being honest with yourself. 

Taking the time to evaluate your own wants and needs before that of others reaffirms your worth. When you know how to take care of yourself, it becomes that much easier to give your time and energy to other people and activities. It becomes increasingly hard to extend that love to other people if you are not loving and honoring yourself in the way that you deserve.

Self-love and appreciation are cheesy at face value but make all the difference in day-to-day life. Being kind, patient and loving to your body, mind and soul gives you the most potential to thrive and be the best student, friend, partner and version of yourself. 

This February, take time to truly celebrate all forms of love — not just the type Netflix and Safeway promote. 

Catherine Vaughn is a staff writer.

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