February often brings to mind images of smoochy couples with cartoon hearts as eyes as they gaze doe-eyed at each other.

A good dose of feeling doe-eyed when you look at another can be wonderful, however what about feeling doe-eyed towards yourself?

It might not mean you have cartoon hearts in your eyes when you look in the mirror, but it might mean that you respect yourself and know you are worthy of respect from others too.

I have talked before about self-love and self-care. I think that self-love and self-care are like ‘cousins’.

They are connected but also different. Self-care is focused on actions – what you do.

Sometimes self-care might mean having a peaceful walk in the woods and sometimes it might mean returning all those emails you haven’t gotten to yet.

No matter what it is, it is action in its focus.

What about self-love?

It is similar insofar as it is all about caring for oneself however it is more of a value.

Self-love is the current that runs underneath how we move through the work.

Self- love is a tenant we can choose to live by and use as a model for our choices, responses, and behaviours.

Here are some examples of what self-love might look like:

  • If something feels sticky and uncomfortable to me – self-love might motivate me to speak up.
  • If I am grappling with a big decision to make – self-love might motivate me to consider how the different options might impact my wellbeing.
  • If I am grappling with a friendship or relationship – self-love might motivate me to honour myself in those interactions.
  • If I am facing anxiety or depression – self-love might motivate me to practice self-compassion and reach out for support.
  • If I feel like the world is coming in on my head – self-love might motivate me to find a pocket of space just for me.

What can you do to move towards self-love in your daily actions?