by Lisa Wieczorek
Hey Crybabies! Valentine’s Day is coming up, but remember - it isn’t just a day for people who are coupled up! This Valentine’s Day, keep in mind - your relationship with yourself is one of the most important relationships you can have. It is the foundation for having a good relationship with loved ones. I know this sounds hokey, but you really cannot love other people fully until you love yourself. How can you do this? Simply by dating you. Seriously! You don’t have to be single to date yourself either. It is perfectly healthy to take a step back from your relationships for some alone time, or spend some time focusing on loving you just as much as everyone around you.
Here are some ways to improve your relationship with YOU:
1. Take yourself out on dates.
We get it. This one can seem slightly daunting to some because it requires you to go out by yourself. But take it from us - it’s really not as bad as it sounds. Just let go of the comfort zone bubble. Take yourself out to that restaurant you’ve been eyeing. Don’t know what to do when you’re alone? Bring a book to read while you wait for your meal, or maybe sit at the bar and talk to other people who may be there alone. This could be a great opportunity to make some new friends. Maybe even go for a walk and stop at a great coffee shop; just know when to take a break and relax with yourself.
Natalie Says: SOCIAL ANXIETY? Right, we get it. Maybe try a movie date or something of that nature. It is something fun, that doesn't require much interaction-aside from buying the ticket and snacks...gotta have snacks. but omg, just bring some with you in your bag and buy your ticket online. Plus, once the lights go down, no one can see you! We can trim that awkwardness and talking to strangers way down if we just believe. :)
2. Compliment yourself.
Never forget - you don’t need a date to tell you how rad you look to feel good about yourself. Positive affirmations are really helpful. Recognize how awesome you look. Write down a list of positive traits that you have. Then look back on them when negative thoughts creep up. Consider this rule to love - I mean, live - by: Don’t say something to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your friends. Change the way you speak to yourself. You are worthy.
3. Buy nice things for yourself.
Reward yourself when you achieve a certain goal. Crossed off everything on your to-do list today? Take yourself out to get a frozen yogurt. Or take yourself out even if you didn’t get everything done! You don’t need a reason to treat yourself to something nice every once in awhile.
Natalie says: We know not everyone has the ability to buy themselves nice things all. Whether it is because you live paycheck to paycheck, or you just can't seem to validate it to spend money frivolously, we get it. What I like to do when money is tight or whatever my reason is, I nap. I allow myself to rest. This seems so simple, but often times I found that I was low key guilting myself for wanting and needing a break. Telling myself, "This is okay, you're tired, you deserve this" and then napping it up changed my life. Treat yourself, homebody style.
4. Please yourself sexually.
I know this is a mature topic, but honestly; how are you supposed to tell someone else how to please you in bed if you haven’t figured out what you like yourself? Experiment! Be safe, research, and enjoy yourself.
Natalie says: You already know I would have some input here! I love this one and wholeheartedly support it. I remember when I first started masturbating, I felt SO silly and exposed and like people could somehow tell that I was doing this? I don't know, the logic wasn't there, but the awkward feeling was. Just know that you aren't the only one feeling weird AND you're not the only one masturbating either. That being said, learning the way your body feels, moves and reacts is something that can change the way you view yourself, sex and your relationships with other people. If you aren't into it or you just don't want to, that is perfectly fine too. You know what you want and enjoy more than we do.
5. Travel solo.
If you are feeling really adventurous, you could take yourself on a trip. Feeling nervous? Start small with a little weekend road trip or even a day trip. Then work your way up to bigger and better things. Traveling solo can be a great thing because there is no hustle and bustle to figure out where everyone wants to go eat. There is no compromising to make others happy. It’s completely about what YOU want to do.
6. Work with yourself when things go south.
Couples go to therapy all the time. So don’t listen to the stigma - there’s nothing wrong with seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist when you’re struggling with issues like self-esteem and anxiety. There are some great resources out there. A few that fellow Crybaby Lisa Wieczorek recommends are:
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
SAM (an awesome anxiety management app)
Stop Breathe Think (a meditation app).
While it's very important to show those in your life that you love and care about them, it's just as important, if not more, to show yourself that same love and care. So again, this coming Valentine’s Day, while you're thinking of your loved ones - also remember to be kind to yourself. Don't guilt yourself out of eating that cupcake because you think you don't deserve it. Treat yourself. Eat all the pizza you want. Don't torture yourself with mean thoughts about how you look. Even if it's just for one day, treat yourself the way you should be treated - it will still make a difference.