10 Self-Love Practices to Implement this Valentine’s Day by Racquel Coral

As a self-proclaimed self-love activist, keeping my self-love practice is always at the forefront of my mind. Partially because as we’re still living in this pandemic, we need to pay better attention to ourselves and the love and care that comes with it, but mainly because there once was a time when I depended on outside sources to shower me with the love that I desired, rather than looking inward.

Historically, self-love has been synonymous with bubble baths, spa treatments, solo dates, self-acceptance, and shopping sprees. But there’s so much more to it. Self-love includes how we care for ourselves both internally and externally. It has to do with what we subject ourselves to, how we show up and advocate for ourselves, and what we feed our minds, bodies, and spirits. Of course this also includes rituals with cannabis and hemp, which are largely individual, and can be used as a checkpoint to discovering and manifesting your own desires and needs.

I know that for myself, especially within the last few years, I have been hyper-focused on my intentions, listening to myself more, being gentle to myself, and coming to terms with what matters I need to release. Since redirecting my focus towards those areas, I have noticed changes in myself that I am now proud of.

I’d like to share 10 self-love practices that you can implement now to ensure a lighter and more fulfilling life:

  1. Opening up – Yes, it’s time for you to open up more. You have been holding on to so much for so long, causing you to feel heavier with each passing day. The weight of everything that you have been carrying has been weighing you down, holding you back, and interfering with every facet of your life. And it’s time to stop. It’s time for you to understand that there is nothing wrong with sharing the most intimate details of your life with those who you hold close. There’s nothing wrong with freeing up that space in your mind that once housed your pain, your trauma, and your worries so that you can welcome better, happier, healthier thoughts to receive the clarity that you’re seeking.One of my favorite rituals for opening my heart and mind is by taking a hit of a bong or a few hits of a joint and doing a 5 minute meditation. 
  1. Take that leap of faith – Because some of you are wandering through life wondering what if. What if you did that thing that had been on your heart for years? What if you took that opportunity when you had the chance? What if you bet on yourself? What if you choose yourself? And what if you just have said to hell with your plans and jumped? The sad reality is that due to a lack of faith, a lot of you are frustrated, feel unfulfilled, and always think you’re missing out on something. So for once, try getting out of your way, and say yes to what you don’t see. The outcome may not always be what you expected, but at least you would have found satisfaction knowing that you tried. I like to start anxious days with a low-dose edible, so I’m still highly functional, but more at ease when I take conscious leaps of faith.
  1. Invest in yourself – And it doesn’t always have to be monetary. Some investments include improving your diet and implementing more exercise, words of affirmation, drinking more water, using cannabis or hemp in your wellness routine for its anti-inflammatory effects, enlisting some accountability partners, taking your vitamins, less screen time and more books, taking that class that you’ve been interested in, strengthening your spiritual practices, adopting a ritual, taking an audit of your friend circle, and aligning with people who fall more in line with your purpose. These investments, while small, can make a huge impact on our day-to-day lives.
  1. Leave people where they are – Simply put, everyone isn’t equipped nor are they assigned to join us on our journeys. And we are not obligated to stay where we are to make the people around us comfortable, happy, or secure. Also, understand that leaving people where they are, has to do with choosing to turn the other cheek when their toxicity becomes too much. Sometimes going tit for tat with folks does more harm than good, and we have to understand in our quest to have the last word, sometimes it’s best to walk away and leave them to wonder what went wrong.
  1. Release our control – Understand that our constant need to be in control of a thing can cause it to become out of control. Sometimes it’s not our place to have a solution to every problem. Sometimes it’s not our place to fix everything. Sometimes it’s best to enlist the help, suggestions, and input of others. And sometimes it’s best to leave things alone to work themselves out.
  1. Practice better discipline – Because sometimes it’s not our goals that are unattainable, it’s our lack of discipline that hinders us from reaching the heights that we’re supposed to. With cannabis, this could even mean a conscious tolerance break or making that 8th stretch a little longer using the Ardent FX to fit cannabis into your budget.
  1. Mind the business that pays you – I hate to say it, but a lot of us are more focused on what others have going on, and that is severely impacting our ability to live life to the fullest. We can sometimes become so consumed with the next person’s moves that we fail to realize how much time is being wasted. And that’s a problem. Some of us need to spend less time concerned with the thoughts, opinions, and actions of others, and more on our hopes, dreams, wishes, and goals.
  1. Practice stillness – How can you tell what your next move is supposed to be if you’re constantly on the go? How can you hear your intuition when you’re always distracted? How can you be sure of a thing with all of the clutter and chaos that’s taking place in your background? It’s time to take a minute and ground ourselves and become still to receive those downloads from the Universe. So that we can receive our next instructions and get the confirmation that we’ve been searching, asking, and praying for.
  1. Live – Because we only get one chance at this thing called life. And we can’t enjoy it to its fullest if we’re always in a perpetual state of worry or concern. Learn how to live. How to love the hardest. How to laugh the loudest. How to dance like nobody’s watching. How to smile the widest. How to enjoy each day as if it’s your last. And how to be unapologetic, unfiltered, and unbothered with what anyone has to say about it.
  1. Breathe and find your happiness – With so much going on in the world around us, we must pause to inhale the good, exhale the bad, and find the little bits of happiness sprinkled in between.

Know that your self-love practice is a never-ending, evolving journey that can also include giving yourself grace, practicing forgiveness, feeling your feelings, practicing boundaries, and so much more. However you choose to practice self-love is completely up to you. What’s most important is that you are patient, open, and honest with yourself about what you need and pour that into you as often as you need to. Because self-love is a necessity.

About Racquel Coral

Racquel Coral is an experienced lifestyle writer focusing on self-love, growth, body positivity, living life unapologetically, and profiling various Black owned businesses and business owners across America. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Defender (check out her Ardent feature), xoNecole, The Everygirl, and a myriad of other publications. Follow Racquel on Instagram and learn more about her work by visiting her website.