Valentine’s Day: Love Yourself

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flickr.com Quinn Dombrowski

With Valentine’s Day upon us, one of the most important relationship in our lives is the one we have with ourselves. Loving yourself is not instant—it is a gradual process riddled with trial and error. Some individuals spend years learning to love themselves while others never figure it out.

Amidst the stress and hectic day-to-day bustle, here are a few steps you can take to build a closer relationship with yourself:

Get to know yourself. Seriously, spend time alone to reflect on what you like and dislike. Find out what peaks your interest and holds your attention and discover what exactly makes you the unique individual that you are. If you can’t come up with one interesting fact about yourself during those dreaded “first-day introductions” of classes, then you don’t know yourself well enough.

Make decisions that will relieve your stress. Obviously, eating better and working out regularly drastically improves your life. Outside of developing a healthy lifestyle, stay on top of your workload and avoid putting yourself in stressful situations. If you know you have a test to study for or assignments to complete, then avoid going out with friends. Find balance in your life and remember that it’s okay to put your social life on the back-burner to ensure your success in school.

Set aside “me time.” Having downtime to relax is important. Whether it is watching your favorite show, reading a good book, or listening to your favorite music—unplug and unwind. Setting aside time for yourself is a personal recharge.

Distance yourself from negative relationships. Whether it is a romantic partner, friend, or family member—don’t tolerate undesired treatment. If a person is not contributing anything positive to your life, then an evaluation of the relationship is in order. As students, we are up to our eyeballs with stress from school, work, internships, future plans, and whatever social life we somehow find time for. There is no room for negativity to distract us from working hard and achieving goals.

Take advantage of being a student. You are on a college campus filled with exciting opportunities and interesting people around every corner. Try something new, join a unique club, develop a workout routine, take a cooking class—the possibilities are endless. The more you experience, the more you discover about yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day and whether you are flying solo or dating the coolest person ever, make sure you show yourself some love.