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I fucking LOVE Valentines day. 

Before all you Valentine's haters get all up in my face - it's not because I have a boyfriend who is going to whisk me away on some romantic date, or because I am going to be sent boxes on boxes of chocolate (although that would be great - so actually IF ANYONE WANTS TO SEND ME A FEW BOXES OF CHOCOLATE, DON'T HESITATE...). The reason why I am so enamoured with Valentines day is simply because I love love and I think it's effing great that there is a whole day dedicated to it. 

Somewhere along the road Valentine's day became this cheesy AF Hallmark holiday where the mere thought of February 14th sent couples out frantically booking dinner reservations, while simultaneously making single people everywhere try to not vomit up their dinner reservations from the night before...

We lost sight of what this day represents in it's simplest form which is love. 

Whether you've been married for the past 10 years to the love of your life or want to die alone in a castle with 400 cats, I think self love is something we can and should all practice.

When I was younger I found this card in one of my mummy's journals, but it wasn't until I came across it again a couple years ago that I really found the value in it. 

(with notes from me)

1. STOP ALL CRITICISM - This is probably one of the hardest things to learn - accept yourself as you already are. Constructive criticism is ok, you are allowed to have things about yourself that you'd like to change, but it is important to acknowledge that you are 'good enough' already the way you are.

2. DON'T SCARE YOURSELF - I will admit, I am VERY guilty of this and it is something I still need to work on - As hard as it is, there is no point terrorizing yourself worrying about the 'what if's' and/or worrying about the future - most of the things we worry and stress about don't even end up happening anyway. It is important to try and always focus on the present and only deal with stressful situations when and if they ever come to light. 

3. BE GENTLE KIND AND PATIENT - 'treat yourself as you would someone you really love', be patient and kind with yourself.

4. BE KIND TO YOUR MIND - I recently got into meditating, and it has had a tremendous impact on the amount of stress I hold within myself. Even if you just set aside 10 minutes every day to meditate, I promise it will really clear and ease your mind.

5. PRAISE YOURSELF - You are a talented, beautiful, loving, badass m*therfucker. Remind yourself that every day. 

6. BE LOVING TO YOUR NEGATIVES - Personally I don't like the way this is worded. I wouldn't refer to something within you as 'negative', instead I'd phrase it as something that you'd like to 'work on'. No one is 'perfect', and I think even the most self aware/self loving people still have certain aspects about themselves that they'd like to work on. 

7. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY - Whether it's eating right, working out, or meditating - properly taking care of yourself mentally and physically can really change your whole outlook from negative to positive.

9. MIRROR WORK - This may seem totally crazy to some people, but its really important to be able to look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful inside and out. I will admit the first time I did mirror work I felt like a full nut-job but it gets easier and more natural with time. Look in the mirror every morning and night and tell yourself you love yourself. 

10. DO IT NOW - you don't have to wait until everything is 'perfect' or you have everything that you want. Make the decision to work on your relationship with yourself right now, all of the things that you want out of life will come soon after!

Wearing : Teagan Set - exclusively designed for Valentine's Day by Mary Young
Photography : Steph Verschuren | Visual Disco
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