Instinctively, many often put the needs and wants of others before their own. If we don’t take some time to physically and mentally rejuvenate ourselves, our support reservoirs run empty. We can’t give what we don’t have. Being low on kindness, love, understanding and compassion makes it hard to pay these qualities forward to others.

Although the month of February is known for showing love for others on Valentine’s Day, a special Self-Love Day is held on the 13th, to remind us to show ourselves the love we show to others. It’s just as easy to take a few minutes for yourself as it is to keep putting it off.

Start with self-appreciation day on February 13th, then try to incorporate the practice monthly, then weekly. It will become easier to take a couple minutes of your day just for you. With a variety of ways to show yourself some kindness, you’ll surely be able to find one that works best for you.

  • Make some time for yourself. Visit a favorite spot, do some window shopping or take yourself out for a treat.
  • Map out your family tree. Appreciating our family history helps us to understand ourselves.
  • Reminisce to a warm-hearted moment in your past.
  • Complain less. Try to focus more on the positive moments of the day and less on the negative ones.
  • Start each day off right. Take an extra minute to make your bed, eat a healthy and hearty breakfast and enjoy your favorite cup of coffee or tea.
  • Every week write an encouraging note to give to someone and write one for yourself. Keep your notes in a jar and pull one out to read on a bad day. If you can’t think of anything to say, simply write “I love you.”
  • Start an exercise routine or go for a walk. You will reap benefits physically and mentally.
  • Listen to a favorite podcast or song. Don’t multi-task while listening – focus on what you are hearing to really enjoy it.
  • Spend some time doing a favorite hobby or try something new! It’s never to late to develop a new skill.
  • Sleep in for a few extra minutes.
  • When your eyes open in the morning, remind yourself of something positive before you climb out of bed. Comments like, “It’s going to be a great day,” “I feel great today,” “It’s great to see the sun shining,” or “I can’t wait to see what the day brings” can start your day off on the right path.
  • Find a way to laugh. Tell a joke, watch a funny video or show or chat with a friend who always lifts your spirits.
  • Be present in the moment. While driving to work, waiting in line or in traffic, walking the dog or even waking up with your cup of coffee or tea, slow down and savor the moment. Look around you as you take in some deep breaths. Take a moment to appreciate your blessings, including the little things in life.
  • Cut yourself some slack. Be understanding, appreciative, compassionate and non-judgmental with yourself. Instead of putting yourself down with an “I can’t do that,” change the thought to “I can try that,” or “I might not be able to do that, but I can do this instead.”
  • Accept your faults. Embrace your quirks. It’s what sets you apart from others.
  • Appreciate the body you were given. While being critical of our own body, we’re overlooking our other assets and strengths. Appreciate your health, wit, strength, kind heart, compassion, empathy, understanding, passions and the other beautiful qualities inside you. You’re not like anyone else; it is truly good to be one of a kind.
  • If someone pays you a compliment, accept it graciously. Give yourself some credit instead of shrugging it off.
  • Enjoy something, by yourself. Want to watch the latest movie? Read a book you’ve heard about? Get a massage or a spa treatment? Do it. You don’t need to be invited as an excuse to do something fun.
  • Maintain your boundaries. Do you often over-extend yourself by taking on too many tasks? Stay within your limits to maintain your happiness.
  • Loosen up – learn yoga or tai chi, try some simple stretches or spend a few minutes meditating to help clear your mind.
  • Take some time to do something you truly enjoy. Do you love to garden, star-gaze, spend time with animals, spend time outdoors, play a sport or simply gaze out the window? Include time for this each week to help refresh your spirits.
  • Reach for a healthy snack and drink more water. A healthy diet leads to a healthy body and mind.
  • Ultimately, care as much about yourself as you do for others. Your needs are important and you’re not selfish to include caring for yourself as part of your daily routine.

Practicing these techniques will help you develop a better sense of understanding yourself. Acknowledge your talents and take pride in who you are. When you have a more positive outlook about yourself, that outlook radiates to others. As Pierre Corneille said it best, “selflove is the source of all of our other loves.”