By Candace Schoner.
Many of us struggle to live up to the idea of romance and love, whether we are in a relationship or not. That’s why days that are supposed to celebrate love and togetherness can negatively impact self-esteem and magnify feelings of loneliness.
Even people in relationships can feel left out on Valentine’s day if their significant other fails to meet their expectations.
The Oxford Dictionary defines love as “an intense feeling of deep affection.” It often includes actions characterized by commitment and intimacy.
In a study conducted at the University of Michigan, researchers found that we are more likely to idealize love because of the movies we watch and may be more likely to be disappointed in our own relationships.
In everyday conversation, we usually refer to love in the romantic sense but there are other types of love, such as love between friends and family.
According to the University of Michigan study, platonic love surpasses romantic love in a number of ways. People with loving friendships tend to have better mental and physical health.
Perhaps, the most important type of love is self-love — the act of valuing self and overall happiness. It can sometimes be easier to love others because we tend to see only their best sides. When we try to love ourselves, it is much harder because we tend to see only the negative aspects of ourselves.
Researchers have discovered that practicing self-love can increase one’s happiness, satisfaction with life, and ability to be more resilient.
Acts of self-love can be as simple as making a favorite meal, taking a hot shower in the middle of the day, or saying no to something you really don’t want to do.
Self-love may seem impossible particularly when feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness rear their ugly heads. During these times, it is especially important to prioritize self-love.
If you want to show yourself some love on Valentine’s, here are a few suggestions:
- Plan a fun night with friends
- Go shopping
- Indulge in your favorite dessert
- Buy yourself flowers
- Write down three things that you love about yourself
Valentine’s Day is not just for couples – it can be the perfect day to pamper yourself.