Valentine’s Day is a few weeks away – but it needn’t be just about cherishing someone else – nurturing your  relationship with yourself is crucial too!

We sometimes dismiss self-care as fluffy or indulgent, but it’s more than pedicures and spa days – it’s about practising mindfulness, kindness and compassion, giving you the means to be a better incarnation of yourself. People who are kinder to themselves are happier, according to psychologists, so try it for yourself with these ideas for ways you can really feel the love…

Be a happiness DJ

There’s no doubt music can lift your mood, adding happiness to your everyday actions. Make your own happiness playlist, using iTunes or Spotify to download 12 cheery tunes – roughly an hour’s worth of music – that make you smile when you hear them. Listen to your playlist throughout the day – bonus points for dancing!

Show yourself some love!

Embrace compliments

Words of admiration come from a good place, yet 78 per cent of us dismiss them. A self-loving response to a compliment is to simply smile and say thank you. As the Buddhist monk, Ajahm Brahm, said: “You don’t get big-headed when you practise self-compassion and praise yourself, you get big-hearted” – and who doesn’t want that?

Show yourself some love!

Get dressed mindfully

‘Enclothed cognition’ might sound like a strange term, but essentially it’s about the power of choosing an outfit to inspire self-worth. Rather than getting dressed on autopilot, ‘choose mindfully’. That could mean wearing some jewellery in a colour you find uplifting, or always using that lipstick you love rather than saving it for best.

Show yourself some love!

Read up on your passion

When was the last time you investigated a field that really interests you? Not scrolling Facebook, but ‘deep reading’ on a subject that really resonates with you – psychology, astrology, a foreign language – anything! This week, buy that book or borrow one from the library. Choosing to prioritise your interests is highly empowering.

Show yourself some love!

Read more self-love tips in the February issue of
Top Santè, out now