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Reinvent Valentine’s Day After Divorce

When you’re divorced and on your own, Valentine’s Day can be a painful reminder of your single status. Whether you’re wishing you had a partner on 2/14 or you’re content with going solo, you can reinvent what Valentine’s Day means to you by acting as a loving partner to yourself. Directing love to yourself is a healthy habit that pays off. Research shows that self-acceptance and appreciation reduces susceptibility to stress, depression and anxiety while increasing self-confidence and optimism.

Here are five simple ideas you can use to transform this Valentine’s Day into the first day of your ongoing self-love practice:

1. Dancing With Yourself

Make an “I’m All That” playlist filled with songs that make you feel gorgeous, sexy, amazing, inspired, too cool for school, joyful or all of the above! Play it while dancing your heart out and singing loudly.

2. Hug it Out

You don’t have to miss the feeling of being hugged on Valentine’s Day or any other day. Hugging yourself is the perfect way to give yourself love, warmth and comfort. Put your arms around yourself, one on top of the other, and give yourself a nice squeeze. It feels wonderful. You can also hug a pillow, stuffed animal or pet.

3. Write “I Love Me” Notes

Think of at least 10 things you love about yourself–anything from “I love my eyebrows” to “I love that I’m a good problem solver”– and put each one on a sticky note. Mount them around your space to remind yourself that you are amazing and deserve your own love and appreciation. Add new ones as ideas occur to you.

4. Date Yourself

Don’t wait to meet a partner to go on fun dates–with yourself. Write a list of ideas of what you would consider to be great date activities. Then, plan one and go! Take a friend or go on your own. My post on Getting Serious About Fun may give you some inspiration!

5. See Yourself Through Loving Eyes

You can support your self-love and acceptance by “seeing yourself with an angel’s-eye view” (if the angel image doesn’t work for you, think of how a grandparent looks at a grandchild). This is simple and just takes 30 seconds.

  • Get a picture of yourself as an infant, toddler or young child. See how darling and precious you were! If you don’t have one, find a picture of a child who resembles you to represent your younger self.
  • For a few seconds, look into the eyes of your younger self and feel the love and compassion that wells up for that baby. Think or whisper to precious little you, “I love you,” “You are precious” and “I’m here for you.”
  • When you really feel the love for your younger self, look into your adult eyes in the mirror and see that the beautiful baby is still in there. Say, “l love you,” “You are precious” and “I’m here for you” while looking into your own eyes.

Make this exercise a daily practice to develop a loving and supportive way of seeing yourself. When you have a negative or critical thought about yourself, think of how you would talk to your innocent, trusting baby self and be as loving to yourself at that moment as you would be if she or he were right in front of you.

Mix and match these ideas to reclaim Valentine’s Day and use it as a catalyst to live with more love and compassion for yourself that will naturally overflow onto the others in your life.

Deb Purdy, is a transformation coach, speaker, workshop leader and author of
Something Gained: 7 Shifts to Be Stronger, Smarter and Happier After Divorce.

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