The Valentine’s Gift You Give Yourself

love yourself, self love

Enough! Really. I just have to say it. We have got to stop. Living with someone who is mean to you all the time is really hard. It poisons everything, even the happiest of moments. We have only this one life to live. As women, how much of it are we going to spend beating ourselves up? How many hours and days and years are we going to waste feeling guilty and inadequate, agonizing over being better … better daughters, better mothers, better earners, better friends? How much energy are we going to waste wishing we were thinner, stronger, taller, smarter, younger? When are we going to own who we are and simply say, “Enough. I am enough. You are enough.”

Let’s start now. With Valentine’s day coming up, to hell with the flowers and the chocolate. The love we get from others is nice, but the love that will bring you true peace is the love you have for yourself. I realize it is easier said than done, especially in our Pinterest perfect, photoshopped, spanked, superficial  culture, but you can do it.

  1. Treat yourself as a friend. Acknowledge the negative self-talk, and then, talk to yourself as you would to a good friend of yours. Your friend says, “I need to lose 5 pounds.” Your friend says, “I look so old today.” Your friend says, “I’m the worst mom.” What would you say?
  2. Focus on the positive. Make a list of all your good qualities. Go crazy, nothing is too small. I like this little freckle on my ring finger. I don’t know why, but I do. It is on my list. When you are buying V-day cards for others, buy one for yourself and write yourself a love note.
  3. Be grateful. Say thank you to your body, with all its beautiful flaws. Each second, it is doing amazing work just to keep you alive. Take a moment to appreciate all that is happening on a cellular level. It is a miracle.
  4. Be kind. Vocabulary matters. Stop saying, “I hate my …” or “I am so bad at …” Be gentler with yourself. Imagine the little kid you once were, and accept that the fragility and impressionability that was once there, is still a part of you. Picture the inner child clearly, and be nicer to her.
  5. Expect respect. You deserve to be treated well, by your partner, by your kids, by your boss, by your neighbors, and most importantly, by yourself. We often hear, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The opposite is just as valuable. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.

If you took the first five steps, you may be ready for #6. Buy yourself something for Valentine’s Day that makes you feel good — a latte, a scoop of chocolate or that beautiful sweater you’ve had your eye on. Don’t wait for others to make you happy. Love yourself today — you and you will be together for a long time, might as well start working on that relationship now.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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