Love is in the air, and if you take a big, honkin’ sniff in, you might notice its scent of late smells a bit… familiar.
The tastemakers are at it again, and this time the person they’re telling you to love most of all is, well, yourself.
Maybe you’re not into Hailee Seinfeld, the actress/model/pop star who hashtagged the idea last summer (“Love Myself“) or perhaps you can turn away from the infectious groove of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” — potentially a fuck-you to his ex, who is doing an impressive job of her own self-worship of late — but when the boy croons it, I’ll take it at face value.
Outta the mouths of babes, sure, but when you think about it, all they’re doing is quoting Kierkegaard (“Don’t forget to love yourself”), Rumi (“If I love myself / I love you, If I love you / I love myself”) and Lucille Ball (“Love yourself first and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”) — among others, amiright?
Well, that and evoking masturbation to sell music. But I digress.
With V-Day around the corner, I’m with the kids and the masters alike in noting that all relationships start with the one you have with yourself.
So before you run out to buy your sweetie a box o’ chocolate or a bunch of roses, I’d advise you do a little sumpin’ sumpin’ for your own sweet self. From my personal annals to the advice garnered from my self-lovin’ tribe o’ bitches, here are 69 ways to love yourself:
1) Take a bath. Or allow someone else to bathe you.
2) Go outside and play. Whatever that means to you.
3) Drink something that brings you joy, and then chase it down with water. Your body loves it when you hydrate =)
4) Get some sleep. Deep, uninterrupted, beautiful sleep. Bonus points if you give in to that nap you’ve been dying for.
5) Fly solo for a day. Or even an hour. Five minutes should do it…
6) Call your oldest and dearest. Not text… not email… call. And if you can face to face it, do it!
7) Meditate. You CAN do it, even for a few minutes — and I promise it’ll help you to see things, especially yourself, much clearer.
8) Go look at or make art.
9) Smile when you look in the mirror. Not a fake smile; a genuine, I’m so damn happy to see you shit-eatin’ grin.
10) Give yourself a compliment or two. Or six.
11) Eat something that makes you happy. It could be a kale salad or it could be a sea salt caramel. No judgment here.
12) Read some poetry or better yet, write some. (Here are a few places to start, in no particular order: Amber Tamblyn [try her Dark Sparkler for a kick], Amy Clampitt, Ntozake Shange, Kahlil Gibran, Pablo Neruda, the aforementioned Rumi, etc.)
13) Choose positive words when you talk to yourself (and others, of course) — when you come from a place of love, it always sounds better.
14) Forgive yourself for whatever it is that you need to let go.
15) Take a yoga class. Even if you don’t know your asana from your elbow, you’ll dig a restorative or gentle yoga class.
16) Start therapy. Or go back to therapy. Whichever suits you best.
17) Take an ass-side up selfie and put it somewhere you can admire it. (This is a Kardashian technique and it seems to work — so have at it!)
18) Write yourself a brilliant love letter.
19) Stop comparing yourself to others — this may include <<gasp!>> taking a break from social media.
20) Choose to watch programs and films that make you happy. All due respects to Making a Murderer, sometimes a little rom-com can lighten the mood and well, get you more into the mood for more, shall we say, upbeat pursuits.
21) Block, hide, unfriend the toxic deals in your life.
22) Stretch for 10 minutes a day.
23) Take up a hobby you have always wanted to do OR resume one you abandoned.
24) Crank up tunes in the car or on your way.
25) Dance like nobody’s watching, regardless of if you’re in da club or home alone.
26) Feel the resistance, and honor it. And decide if what you think you have to/are supposed to do is better taken off your To Do list and put on your To Don’t list.
27) Bring in good smells. Light a candle, burn some incense, make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. (And don’t forget to save me one=)
28) Accept offers of assistance.
29) Kiss someone you love, even if they don’t want to be kissed. (I’m thinking about my teens, now. Among others…)
30) Subscribe to and read Lenny, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s Fem-tastic email newsletter. Recent letters had pieces on Rachel Maddow, Tori Spelling, and Senate hopeful Donna Edwards. Smarty pants fun!
31) Put down the phone, log off the interwebs, pick up a book, crank up the tunes, and/or do what makes you brain regain its happy.
32) Get thyself to a beach, stat! Turquoise waters optional, yet preferable.
33) Workout like a beast, and then get rubbed.
34) Forget about working out, just get rubbed.
35) GET RUBBED.
36) Hire help. Clean and organized can be just what the doctor ordered!
37) Accept reassurance — even the most passive aggressive type — that all will be fine.
38) Buy yourself a pair of Wonder Woman or Superman underwear, and wear them whenever you need them.
39) Get the damn whipped cream on your Frapuccino — g’head, live a little!
40) Buy yourself front row seats to see your favorite band. (Suggestions include The Foo Fighters, Sleater-Kinney, and Bruce Springsteen. Guess which ideas came from a middle-aged dude and which from a teen girl. When you realize you can’t then, you know you’re one of my bitches =)
41) Remember the past is not your present and it’s also not a predictor of your future. But enjoy nostalgia if it makes you happy.
42) Go to a film festival. Because haven’t you ALWAYS wanted to go to a film festival?
43) Listen to your Universe — it never lies to you.
44) Stop saying you’re sorry for things you’re not sorry for. Maybe the person you really owe an apology to is yourself.
45) Take credit, or at the very least, stop discrediting yourself. There’s a fine line between the two.
46) Flip the switch on negativity. For example, if you have to be up early in the morning, instead of bitching about how tired you are instead focus how amazing things look in a soft morning light… and how flattering it is on your exhausted face at an ungodly time of day. (This is a mantra for those of us who have early wake-up calls from kids, dogs and our own goddamn internal alarm clocks!)
47) Validation from others is nice, but embrace the idea that it’s not necessary.
48) Count your failures as the blessings they are. (Feel free to flip off anything that trips you up, though.)
49) Laugh as often as possible. (Have you seen Billy on the Street yet?)
50) Toss a few positive affirmations at yourself throughout the day. Then pick your fave, and make it your mantra. (Maybe it’s your three words?)
51) Choose your favorite imperfection and give it a big heap o’ love. If you think your lips are too thin, throw on some sexy gloss. If you think your legs are too short, buy some chunky boots or hot heels. If your belly bothers you, put on a bikini and get a tan on that sucker. And so on…
52) Take a moment (or two or six or more) to get metaphysical. It’s a lot easier to let the self-love flow when you realize you are not alone in your suffering.
53) Help someone else, and drink in the joy of being kind and compassionate.
54) Let a primal scream or two rip. Get that angry out of your insides is a loving practice for yourself. (Can’t vouch for those around you, though).
55) Cop an attitude of gratitude.
56) Put tasks that YOU need to do on top of the list. If you have to literally block out a time on your calendar to take care of yourself, then do it. It’s just like any other meeting or appointment.
57) Get a manicure or a pedicure, or both. This is not a gender specific practice, yo.
58) Don’t postpone joy. Seriously, put that shit on the fast-track.
59) You really are your own worst critic. So when you feel like putting yourself down, take a deep breath and then if you still don’t have anything nice to say, seriously — don’t say it.
60) Recognize your disappointments, honor them and then get over it. It’s time, know what I’m saying?
61) Write in your journal if you have one, or get one if you don’t. It’s a safe space to say what you need to.
62) Build yourself an altar — it’s just a space that you can fill with things that support your spirituality, creativity, dreams and aspirations. For example, mine includes a bunch of candles, a Mick Rock picture of David Bowie, a variety of kick ass talismans, a hunk o’ rose quartz, my pet skull (Henry), a portrait of Frida Kahlo, a picture of my muse, an M&Ms flavored lip smacker and of course, office supplies.
63) Whatever you’re eating or drinking, try adding bacon.
64) Stand up straight. I know, I sound like your mother, but it does open up your heart center.
65) Speak up when someone disses you. Come from a place of love, certainly, but don’t be a doormat.
66) Be mindful of your thoughts as you travel throughout your day. And silence the grumpy asshole in your mind.
67) Surrender, Dorothy.
68) Be ruthlessly optimistic. Even if it kills you =)
69) Masturbate. I mean, obviously that’s what this whole list is about anyways.
So if you see me crafting a love letter, just know that it’s definitely for you…. but it’s also marked return to sender.
Big love to you for V-Day, my bitches!