Love is…

“You have to love yourself before you can try loving someone else.”


In honor of Valentines day, I’ll jump on the love bandwagon for this post.  Let me preface by saying that I am very very single.  So rather than spending this Valentine’s day cuddled up with a boyfriend, that I clearly don’t have, I’m spending it with myself. My day was filled with a few errands, self-care activities and reflection time. Part of that reflection time includes writing this post. So here goes.

This year I want to love myself. I have spent the past four years of my life in a battle full of self-loathing. I’ve tried changing who I am in hopes of a greater self acceptance, which has miserably failed time and time again.  So in a change of spirit, I wanted to spend Valentine’s day this year doing things I love with the people I love.

The first thing on my agenda, aside from breakfast, was to go with my mom to my aunt’s doctors appointment. I got to sit in on the appointment, which if you don’t know much about me, I hope to be a doctor one day so this was super exciting.  After the appointment the three of us did a little shopping, my all time favorite activity. We then proceeded to go out to get lunch. This was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time, but in the spirit of the holiday I said yes without question.

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I then returned home and immediately changed into my pajamas, because why not. Instead of simply sitting on the couch and watching TV like I normally do I decided to incorporate some self care, switching up my ordinary couch routine. If you’ve followed my instagram for some time then you know I love face masks. I decided to get creative and make my own. (I will attach the recipe to the bottom of this post). This was definitely the highlight of my day.  I had the house to myself, relaxing on the couch in my pajamas while engaging in a self-care activity was the perfect way to practice loving myself on a day like today.

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My mom returned home from her errands to find me on the couch, asleep. Thankfully I washed the face mask off prior to taking a nap.  She woke me up just in time for dinner.  We had invited over my youngest brother’s girlfriend along with my grandma to celebrate with us over dinner.  My mom had made everyone’s favorite foods for tonight. Steak and corn bake for my brother, scallops for myself, and broccoli for my grandma. It was a random mix of food but we all got what we loved most which was important to her for this Valentine’s day. Following dinner, there was creme brûlée for dessert and then it was present time. Ever since I can remember my mom had always given my two younger brothers and I a small gift bag on Valentine’s day.  This year I received the cutest coffee stuffed animal along with mini minion figures (my favorite), and a bracelet that says “she believed she could so she did”.

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As we wrapped up our little celebration, everyone went their own ways to do their various activities. My mom and dad to the dishes, my brother to the basement, and my grandma returned home. I retreated to my room to reflect on the day and write this post.

I spent the day practicing self love. I was surrounded by family doing some of my favorite activities, eating my favorite foods, and most importantly taking some time to love myself. It is hard for me to stand in the mirror and say “I love you” to my body. So rather than doing what one would assume is the typical form of self love, I try to find it in the smallest of things: doing a face mask, cooking myself dinner, or going to bed an hour early.  I’m no pro at it yet but I try to practice some aspect of self love every day.  These are all things that I enjoy and am doing for myself. Nobody is telling me or pressuring me to do them. I do these things out of my own will, to care for myself. And most importantly to work on loving myself.

***Refreshing Face Mask Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 avocado

1 ripe banana

1/4 cup oatmeal

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. honey

Instructions:

Mash the banana and avocado together in a bowl. Add in the oatmeal, olive oil, and honey. Spread evenly over face and let sit for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water.

-Shayna

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