Self Care

5 Strategies for Practicing Self-Love this February

February 7, 2019


It seems everyone just wants somebody to love, but what about loving ourselves first? This seems to fall by the wayside in our society, when having someone else’s approval matters more than having our own. We are constantly searching for someone to share love with, and as humans it’s what we crave most. But perhaps we should first concentrate on loving ourselves a little more, and realize that this is just as important. We’ve picked 5 strategies for you to practice in the month of love, February. These should help you reaffirm who you are, and what you want for yourself, not what you can do or be to someone else. Because if you don’t love yourself, how can you truly love someone else?

In this article we’ll discuss:

  • What holds us back from self-love
  • Important self-love strategies
  • Local events focused on self-love

What holds us back?

1. Past trauma

Sometimes past trauma, in any form, can really hold us back from starting to love ourselves. If you’ve experience abuse in any kind of way-- physical, mental, or emotional-- this can take a toll on how we view and feel about ourselves. When dealing with trauma, it can be hard to put it all behind you and move on. But that is exactly what you must do if you’re going to start down the path of self-love.

When you have been a victim, it can be very easy to see yourself as nothing but that, and accept that this is who you are, and it starts to define you as a person. The relationships you develop with other people all take on the victim persona and you start to hide, or worse, lose your true self. This can take years to regain. The best thing for you to do right now, is to start the healing process with a little self-love.

2. Strained parent/child relationship

It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes the one relationship that should be nothing but unconditional love is anything but. If you’ve had, or have, a strained relationship with a parent, this is often a trigger to having difficulty with self-love. Our parents are the first role models we encounter growing up, and when that relationship is difficult, or even dysfunctional, the effects reverberate in our lives.

Similar to dealing with other forms of trauma, the lack of relationship with a parent can leave lasting marks. When there is no one to show you how to do things right, or what real love is, it can be hard to fake it.

3. Lack of self-esteem

Perhaps one of the biggest things holding us back from truly participating in full self-love, is a lack of self-esteem. This is heavily influenced by whether or not we are dealing with trauma or have tense relationships. It is so easy to fall into the trap of not feeling good enough or capable enough. When we don’t think we’re worth the trouble, or worth loving, it serves as another barrier to opening up and loving ourselves for the unique person we are.

Everyone tries so hard to be normal, but what is normal for someone isn’t normal for someone else. With low self-esteem it’s hard to see why we’re important at all, and why our uniqueness is important.  It’s recognizing that it is meaningful that we are here. Accepting that is one of the first steps to being ok with yourself.

4. We cannot see the trees for the forest

When you are consumed with what you seemingly lack, you aren’t able to see what you do have and can offer to yourself and others in this world. Your personal strengths are worth something, and you are not just a series of faults. Try to concentrate on what you do well, and this can lead to greater confidence and acceptance with yourself.

a sunrise
When we realize there may be barriers to our self-acceptance, we can start to overcome them. Self-love is possible even if you don’t know how to start.

5 Important Self-Love Strategies

1. Talk the talk

Our inner monologue is one of the most powerful motivators we have. When it’s positive, it can pump us up and make us feel great. But when it’s negative, it can keep us in that downward spiral of inferiority and self-loathing. Make it a point to discard the negative thoughts, and try to counter them with a positive one. The power of positive thinking can be life-changing, it starts a precedent in how you not only think of yourself, but how to start to treat the world around you.

2. Nourish yourself

Thinking positive and having a good attitude is nourishment for your mind, but don’t forget to take care of your body as well! Eating well, getting exercise and making time for good sleep are all important, and will help ensure your body is operating the best it can. When you feel good and have energy, sometimes it seems you can do anything. Couple that with a positive attitude, and you are well on your way to treating yourself right.

3. Meditate or sit quietly

Another important aspect to self-care is to ensure that your spirit or soul feels nourished as well. Try to meditate or sit quietly for a couple of minutes each day. This would be a great time to make a mental list of all the things you’re grateful for. When we’re in a grateful state of mind, we tend to focus on the positive and realize what we do have is pretty amazing.

Teaching yourself to forgive, either others or yourself, is another great exercise to do while sitting quietly. By letting go, you can move on. That’s a wonderful way to accept that whatever has happened in your life is all in the past now, and deep down you do have the strength to move on. If we spend more time focusing on being in the present, and not worrying so much about the past or the future, we can learn to live in the moment.

a tree lined highway
The path to self- love can be difficult, but if you try to follow these steps, you are well on your way to being in a happier, better place.

4. Protect yourself

Even if you are on your path to self-love, there will be times where you doubt yourself or think that it’s just not worth it. If you’re prepared for times like this, you can spot it when the moment comes and be prepared. Make sure you couple those negative thoughts with positive ones, and try to keep optimistic. It’s too easy to fall down the hole of negativity, especially if that’s the only voice you’ve heard for so long.

In addition to protecting your positivity, be sure you set boundaries and protect yourself from negative or hurtful people. It can be especially hard when those people who can damage you the most are family, but no one gets a free pass to hurt someone just because they’re related.

5. Acceptance

By accepting who you are, you are practicing self-love. This means acceptance of everything, your strengths as well as your weaknesses, that you are meant to be here and that what you do does matter. Acceptance is difficult because it doesn’t only apply to the positive. We must accept that we cannot change certain things, or certain people, and either move on or let go.

a woman silhouetted against a beach sunset
Acceptance is a freeing feeling, and one that is crucial to maintaining your self-love

Local places in Pittsburgh to share the love

1. Transformations

If you are dealing with issues that are preventing you from experiencing more self-love, talk to someone at Transformations. They are available to help and offer a variety of mental and behavioral health services. If you’d like to start counseling or are interested in their Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, contact them today to learn more.

2. Master your Self Esteem classes

This online class is specifically designed to help you take back your self-esteem. If you’re struggling with issues related to anything we discussed in this article, you’ll definitely want to give this a look over.

In order to get you back on track, they’ll explore issues related to past trauma and how you can start to rebuild your life. The course is divided into 5 lessons, where you will learn how to let go of victimhood and take control of your life.

3. Pillar Wellness Workshops

Green Heiress Holistic Health

209 Commercial Ave., 2nd Floor

Pittsburgh, PA 15215

February 14, 2019, 6pm-8pm

This workshop is dedicated to self-love and how it can change your life for the better. Recognizing that for some of us, at some point in time, we learn to not love ourselves. This workshop wants to repair that broken relationship we might have with ourselves.

In addition to this workshop, Pillar Wellness also offers classes on personal power and energy medicine, all designed specifically to increase our self-love and self-esteem by realizing we are truly remarkable beings.

4. Anne A. Forrest

Loving Me Workshops

401 Shady Ave., Ste. 201-C

Pittsburgh, PA 15206


Professional counsellor and Self-Esteem Coach, Anne A. Forest has developed specialized sessions to help you get back your self-esteem. She offers an 8 week program designed to increase your self-esteem and self-love through acceptance. Her course focuses on: Loving My Mind, Loving My Emotions, Loving My Body, Loving My Inner Child and Loving My Spirituality.

This February, make sure you take some time to love yourself. Even if you’re not fully there yet, by following some of this tips, you can lay the groundwork and be well on your way to giving yourself more love.

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