While the messaging surrounding Valentine’s Day in our culture often depicts it as a holiday reserved exclusively for romantic love, we believe in celebrating all kinds of love—whether that be romantic love, familial love, love for friends, or even a more general love for the world and for those around us. Romantic love is not mutually exclusive from other kinds of love; not having a romantic partner doesn’t mean that one’s life is loveless by any means. Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to celebrate love in all of its forms and manifestations.
As we’ve written about in the past, Ayurvedic tradition teaches us that our internal emotional state has a profound impact on our overall health; as a result, it is necessary to cultivate self-love, compassion and care in order to maintain our well-being. Ayurveda posits that one’s own well-being is also directly tied to one’s environment and those around them. Making an intentional effort to cultivate love and harmony with both the people that are close to us and those with whom we engage on a cursory level in our everyday lives can have a profound impact on our mental and physical health. However, we can’t cultivate love with others without first having established a strong foundation of self-love.
This Valentine’s Day, we encourage you to elevate the role of love in your life by engaging in meaningful practices of self-love, which will in turn inspire you to share love with others. Here are four ways to practice transformative, contagious self-love this Valentine’s Day!
The indulgent practice of self-massage is a profound way to bring about immediate tranquility, groundedness and self-connection. By simply massaging essential oils into the skin, you can experience immediate feelings of relaxation and stress relief. Furthermore, the intimate act of caring for one’s body can help those who self-massage to feel more emotionally accepting of and connected to themselves. Self-massage leaves one’s skin and soul feeling immediately relaxed and rejuvenated.
You can even personalize your self-massage routine by choosing targeted essential oils and applying them to areas that might need an extra amount of love. For example, sesame and mustard oils are excellent for pain relief, while bhringraj oil is fantastic for boosting hair growth and preventing dandruff.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of self-massage, you can check out our blog post on it here.
TAKE A LONG BATH
We all know the transformative feeling of dipping into a bath at the end of a long and stressful day. In Ayurveda, bathing has been a revered ritual for thousands of years due to its ability to relax the spirit, soothe muscle tension, improve mental focus and balance the emotions. Furthermore, the practice of bathing detoxifies and purifies the skin, leaving it cleansed, hydrated and rejuvenated.
Similarly to self-massages, you can enhance the myriad benefits of any bath by adding targeted essential oils, or a general bath oil (like our Pure Calm Wellness Bath Oil). Simply add a few drops to the bath and enjoy an indulgent aromatherapy experience. Thanks to the extremely calming and grounding effects of bathing, you’ll leave the bath feeling centered, revitalized and more connected to yourself and the world around you.
For other ways to enhance your bathing experience the Ayurvedic way, you can check out our blog here.
Journaling is a deeply therapeutic practice that allows us to feel more deeply connected to our experiences and emotions. During a time when self-love is rightfully touted as an enjoyable and empowering experience, it’s also important to remember that self-love also means putting in the work to process emotions that might be painful or challenging to confront. Journaling is a great way to self-love that allows one to embark on the path of healing, to cultivate gratitude for one’s blessings and to make peace with one’s past.
“When we write out our thoughts and feelings we are having a conversation with our subconscious and our heart,” says R.A. Leslie in our Q&A. “When one practices journaling for a while they see the benefits firsthand and we unlock the magic contained inside of ourselves. It takes time to heal. Journaling can help you heal.”
Leslie recommends journaling morning, noon and night (and whenever else the urge to write arises). But even starting off by journaling once a day, perhaps in the evening in order to reflect on the current day and set intentions for the next day, can have a profound impact on your mental well-being.