Let’s Talk About Love

It all starts in January—red stockings replaced with red hearts and roses, stuffed bears and hearts everywhere. Be Mine. I love you. You & me forever. A celebration (and commercialization) of romance, of relationships, of love & like.

I’ve often wondered what it would be like if February 14th was a day of self love. If all the hearts and a plushies were dedicated to you loving you. All around the country on February 14, people would wake up and open a heartfelt card of everything they love about themselves, everything that they admire and feel so lucky to be near. Maybe you wrote it to yourself that day or a few days prior. You gifted yourself a pink elephant with a T-shirt that says “I choose you” and a delicious chocolate bar that you don’t have to share, not even with the kids. Some people would take off work and splurge on spa days or sleep in till noon.

How cool would that be??

After all, “You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz. Now, I’ll be honest, I see a lot of people who do seem to love others deeply but struggle with giving themselves that same love. Yet, I also see when people really learn to accept and love themselves for who they are, they seem to have more compassion for others, more forgiveness and overall better lives and relationships. Self-love seems to be really really important.

Self-love appears to be a foundation for everything. Sure, we get a lot of that from our families we grow up in but no matter what, it’s something we need to create more of for ourselves and keep at it throughout lives.

Now, it should be mentioned, I am not anti-Love day. I think it’s wonderful we have a day dedicated to romance and care…of course our February Bridge Box is speckled with hearts, chocolate and little wallet size valentines day cards that college students can playfully hand out to their roommates so they can all feel like they are in 3rd grade again. We love that stuff! AND self love is still #1. That is why Bridge Box has positive affirmation cards and stickers in each box. And our self-love February Box has twice as much!!

Three Key’s to Self Love ♥♥♥

#1 Self love is just like nutrition, you can be super healthy but if you don’t keep eating good food, that super amazing health will slip away. How can you practice at least some kind of self -love every day? (see list below)

#2 Don’t take yourself too seriously. Sometimes we get real caught up in what life should look like and our part in it. But the truth is, we just don’t have that much control so… How do you give yourself self-compassion when things are hard?

#3 Face the stuff that gets in the way of your self love. Is there something that really stops you from loving yourself?  A negative person, a job, or maybe it’s yourself? Old messages that really get in the way of you giving yourself a break and loving yourself. Maybe it’s time to look at these messages and change them. There are literally 100 self help help books for this now. (Jen Sincero’s You are a Bad Ass) is one of my favorites. Therapists can also be great for this.

Truth is you probably do at least something for self love every day but, listen to your gut, if you are at all unhappy or restless, you may be telling you, it’s time to do some more self love. Thanks for reading and Happy Love Day!

Some Easy ways to practice Self Love!

  • Take breaks.
  • Eat chocolate.
  • Wear clothes you like and feel good in.
  • Say no.
  • Read books.
  • Say I love you in the mirror.
  • Brush your hair.
  • Savor a warm shower or bath.
  • Binge Netflix.
  • Laugh with a friend.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Get good sleep.
  • Drink water.
  • Enjoy your pets.
  • Play with your kids.
  • Get a hobby.
    Take time for your hobby.
  • Travel.
  • Stay home.
  • Give yourself a hug.
  • Stretch.
  • Eat your favorite meal.
  • Do nothing.
  • Get a manicure.
  • Buy a magazine.
  • Call an old friend.
  • Look at old pictures
  • Take new pictures.
  • Take a walk.
  • Volunteer.
  • Ask for help.
  • Get a message.
  • Just sit and stare.
  • Do nothing.
  • Go out to eat.
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Carey J. Cook, LPC

Carey J. Cook, LPC

Carey J Cook is a Licensed Professional therapist in Asheville, NC. She has a private practice and is the co-founder of Bridge Box which was inspired by her work with college students. In different capacities, Carey has provided education and therapy to college students and families for over a decade. Carey seeks to understand and support college students during this phase of life and provide tangible tools to students via Bridge Box.

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