All kinds of love should be celebrated on Valentine’s Day, not just romantic love! And by far the most underrated (and often most difficult to express) kind of love is self-love. Whether you’re on your own this year or in a relationship, check out these books for strategies to get the most out of your you-time:
“Think of something you’ve judged about your former self, and then close your eyes and forgive yourself—your current self, for judging that beautiful person who has always deserved love and was doing the best s/he could.”
Tiny Buddha’s365 Days of Tiny Love Challenges is the perfect guide to get you on your way to practicing better self-care. Each week begins with an inspirational message written by members of the TinyBuddha.com online community, followed by seven days of short challenges that focus on self-love, giving and receiving love in relationships and friendships, and spreading love in the world.
“Giving yourself permission to be an adventurer — whatever that means to you — feeds you in the deepest way possible. You will be energized. Wisdom grows out of your experiences. So does compassion.”
Loving ourselves is incredibly important, but so is taking that love into the world. The Chocolate Cake Sutra is about how everyone and everything is precious – it charms and inspires as comfort food for the soul. Your life is a chocolate cake, and all you need are the right ingredients to make it wonderful: seeking out adventure, being a true friend, showing sincere generosity, practicing extreme tolerance, and expressing energetic effort – in short, learning to love the world fully and completely.
Plus, what’s more perfect for Valentine’s Day than a metaphor involving chocolate?
“You should treat yourself as you treat the person you love most in the world. If you address yourself with anything less than this level of consideration, catch yourself and work to redraft your thoughts. Be diligent and all-embracing with the love you direct your own way—there’s no reason to hold back.”
Okay, I know I was just talking about chocolate cake, so it feels a little cruel to go immediately to a book with “diet” in the title – but trust me, this is unlike any diet book you’ve read! According to doctors Connie Guttersen and Mark Dedomenico, the secret to successfully losing weight isn’t HDL, LDL, or DNA. It’s love: loving yourself, loving your body, loving your overall health. Self-doubt and self-loathing are responsible for our dysfunctional relationships with food and our destructive health habits, which inevitably lead to poor nutrition, unwanted weight, and dangerously low self-esteem. Learning to recognize your own worth is the first step to becoming your best and healthiest self.
“Loving yourself doesn’t always mean you have to also find a partner. Sometimes loving yourself is precisely enough.”
For most people, being single doesn’t mean being celibate, and that’s not something to be ashamed about! F*cked is a guide to love and sex for anyone — female, male, trans, nonbinary, and all!— fed up with double standards and the stigma surrounding sexual beings. It is for anyone who has ever felt afraid to be their authentic self. Corinne and Krystyna won’t talk down to you or coddle you because you’re better than that. They won’t explain why he’s just not that into you, because it doesn’t f*cking matter — you matter.
“We cannot be controlled if we develop a mind of our own, a desire for freedom, and health, and personal power. It is empowering to practice good self-care, though the tribes we belong to may not like it. People who are empowered don’t go along to get along.”
Waking Up in Winter. Told through intimate journal entries, the story follows Richardson as she enters midlife: from the first, gentle nudges of change to a soulful, spring awakening.
In the end, Richardson not only discovers what really matters at midlife, she invites you to join her in the inquiry process by providing thought-provoking questions designed to help usher your through your own season of transformation to a more authentic and meaningful life.
So no matter your relationship status this Valentine’s Day, take some time to love yourself! You’re worth it.