The month of love, heart-shaped chocolate boxes and bouquets of flowers is officially upon us with Valentine’s Day speedily approaching. As a kid, I used to adore this day of love. Middle school classrooms filled with glittery hearts, themed cards sealed with dainty heart stickers and streamers galore of red and pink hung high. Today, I regret to admit that Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. Perhaps it’s because I’m a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic (I’m a poet I can’t help it) or because I’m currently in a relationship. I can’t help myself from being immersed in all the love, you know?
Regardless of my stance, it’s generally great to have love in our everyday lives. From the friends who motivate us to study to the furry friends that keep us warm, the emotions conjured are admirable. There are many benefits to loving others and being loved. An increase in happiness is a big one. Although we are all aware of the many advantages of having consistent love, we still find it difficult to love ourselves. While most of us are our own worst critics and often lack the time to nurture ourselves, let this month’s thematic messages of love serve as a reminder to do exactly that.
This is evidently easier said than done. If it was that easy, all of us would be doing it, right? However, the methods of going about self-love can be ridiculously simple if you allow them to be. For example, while walking to class last week, I witnessed a fellow student jamming out to music playing through their headphones, comforted in their own solitude. They were alone and vibing to their own rhythm. I must say that I was a tad envious of their effortless nature doing such a personable activity in a public space — but that’s not the point. The point is, we shouldn’t have to shy away from publicly loving our own company and presence in case it comes off as forced or squirmy.
Buying yourself coffee on campus before heading to class. Soaking in the sunshine on Memorial Glade’s patches of lawn. Giving yourself the permission to feel the multitude of emotions we as humans and college students feel without feeling guilty about it is important too. These are some of the many easy, yet effective, ways to go about taking care of yourself. Being yourself isn’t something to be ashamed of. Loving and prioritizing yourself is welcomed. So the next time you feel like dancing in public, do it. Eyeing those daisies at Trader Joe’s entrance? Purchase them. It’s the little ounces of love that go a long way.
Whether you’re the type of person to dig this sort of holiday or not, use this yearly reminder to love others, but most importantly, love yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day from the Clog!