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Self-love chronicles: Craft a love letter to your truest companion – you

  • 9 min read

Got big plans for Valentine’s Day? Whether you’re making a grand romantic gesture, showering your loved ones with pressies or celebrating in your own unique way – don’t forget to show some love to your most loyal and constant companion – yourself.

No one deserves a little pampering more than you do!

Besides the fact that it feels good to indulge yourself from time to time, practising self-love also offers tangible benefits for your personal growth and well-being.

According to psychotherapist Sharon Martin, self-love helps cultivate healthy relationships and personal boundaries. It gives you confidence to pursue your goals and interests, and instils a feeling of pride in your identity. 

Holistic psychotherapist and life coach, Lucía Garcia-Giurgiu, adds that far from being self-indulgent, practising self-love lowers anxiety and helps you to feel greater control over your life, as well as providing the necessary grit and resilience to persevere when times are tough. 

Without self-love, you’re likely to end up imposing unrealistic expectations on yourself and dishing out harsh self-criticism. What’s more, you’ll be more inclined to tolerate mistreatment from others, resort to people-pleasing behaviours and disregard your own needs. This lowers your self-esteem, causing you to make choices that are not in your best interests. Let’s face it, it’s a downward spiral you can do without.

How to practise self-love this Valentine’s Day

There are a number of ways you can practise self-love and self-care all year round, but since it’s Valentine’s month, we’re going to focus on the simple, but powerful, act of writing a love letter to yourself. 

Here are a few pointers to remove the awkwardness and get your self-love practice underway. So, grab your favourite notebook or journal and let’s dive in.

Set the stage for self-love

1. Choose the right notebook or journal

A dedicated notebook or journal is the ideal place to record these precious moments of self-love and self-reflection. There are so many reasons to choose sustainable stationery, that it really goes without saying that your notebook or journal should be made from sustainable materials. But it’s just as important to choose one that resonates with your personal style and preferences. 

For instance, you might be inspired by our blossom or botanical journals, enjoy the tactile experience delivered by our textile-covered B5 journal. Our A6 pocket notebooks are great if you like to do your journaling on the go. And our artist collection is chock-full of stunning cover designs guaranteed to inspire you.

Once you’ve made your choice, have some fun and express your creativity by personalising your notebook or journal. Add stickers, glitter, drawings, pressed flowers, quotes in funky coloured pens – whatever inspires and delights you. This will give your notebook or journal a welcoming, intimate appeal that will help take the edge off any anxiety you might feel as you approach the page.

2. Select your perfect spot

Start your self-love practice by creating a safe personal space where you feel comfortable expressing emotions and where you’ll be undisturbed for an hour or two. It may seem selfish now, but it will be so worth it!

This could be a sunny spot in your living room where you can curl up with a cuppa in your favourite armchair. A fragrant bubble bath surrounded by candles, with your favourite tunes playing softly in the background. Or a special spot in your garden, in a park, or out in the bush where you can breathe the fresh air and soak up the vibrant energy all around you. 

3. Create a loving atmosphere

As you would when planning a date with that special someone, it’s vital to create a loving atmosphere in which to write your self-love chronicle. 

Set the mood by surrounding yourself with some of your favourite things, such as a stack of comfy cushions, a stunning picnic rug, fresh flowers, candy, chocolates, figurines, crystals or candles. If music is your thing, play some soothing tunes softly in the background – as long as they don’t distract you from the letter-writing process. 

4. Take a few deep breaths

Before putting pen to paper, centre yourself in the moment by taking five or six deep breaths, letting the air out slowly each time. 

5. Use stream-of-consciousness writing to clear your mind

This is a great way to clear your mind before embarking on your self-love letter. It is especially effective on days when you feel blocked or when your mind is racing, and you’re finding it hard to settle down.

With stream-of-consciousness writing, you simply start writing and see where the process takes you. The idea is not to think, but simply to write down whatever comes to mind. Keep writing until your mind is quiet and you feel ready to begin your letter. 

Writing your self-love letter

Once you have your notebook or journal, you’ve carved out a few moments of ‘me time’ from your busy schedule, and you’re feeling secure and cosy in your chosen spot, you’re ready to write. But what should you write about?

Here are a few ideas and prompts to get you going. Just remember: there is no right or wrong approach to this. Feel free to experiment. Whatever works for you is right for you.

1. Focus on your positive attributes

Imagine you are writing to a loved one. You’re likely to start by telling them all the things you admire about them. Start your self-love letter in the same way. It might be helpful to write to yourself as if you were addressing someone else. Here’s an example.

Dear Jo,
I’m writing to tell you how much you mean to me. I love the loyalty and devotion you show to all your friends, your generous spirit and willingness to help others whenever the need arises. You have a great sense of humour and love to make people laugh, which helps them to forget their troubles for a while.

2. Reflect on and acknowledge personal growth

It’s important to recognise the value in your own personal growth – even if it means recalling some of the hardships you’ve experienced. Take a moment to consider the journey you've undertaken to become the person you are today. Write about your strengths and vulnerabilities. What challenges have you faced? 

Here are a few prompts to help you unpack the different aspects of your personal growth story.

Personal accomplishments

  • What are some specific accomplishments, big or small, that you are proud of?
  • How have you progressed in your personal and/or professional life over the past year?
  • Consider moments where you stepped out of your comfort zone. What did you achieve as a result?
  • Reflect on any goals you set for yourself and successfully accomplished.

Moments of resilience

  • Reflect on times when you had to adapt to unexpected changes. How did your resilience shine through?
  • Recall challenging situations you faced. How did you get through them?
  • Think about times when you felt overwhelmed. How did you bounce back and overcome adversity?
  • Consider instances where you faced criticism or setbacks. How did you respond and grow from those experiences?

Lessons learned

  • Reflect on challenges, mistakes or bad decisions that taught you something valuable about yourself or others.
  • What lessons have you learned from your successes and failures?
  • How have you applied the knowledge gained from past experiences to make better decisions in the present?

Personal development

  • What steps have you taken to invest in your personal development, such as learning new things or improving existing skills?
  • How have they contributed to your personal or professional life?

Relationships and connections

  • Write about the ways in which you've positively impacted the lives of others, whether through acts of kindness, support or inspiration.
  • How have you nurtured and strengthened connections to others?
  • Reflect on any challenges in your relationships and how you handled these. How have you grown as a communicator and collaborator?
  • Consider moments of kindness or support you've extended to others.
  • Reflect on your role in your community. How has this contributed to your personal fulfilment?

Self-care and well-being practices

  • Reflect on any self-care practices you already apply in your life. Are there any habits or activities that stand out as having positively impacted your mental, emotional and physical well-being?
  • Write about any boundaries you've set to protect your time and energy. How have these boundaries contributed to your overall happiness?
  • How have you prioritised self-care in your life?
  • Reflect on moments when you listened to your own needs and took steps to fulfil them.

3. Express gratitude for who you are

Expressing gratitude to yourself is a profound and transformative aspect of writing a self-love letter. Showing gratitude is a powerful way to affirm the love you have for yourself. It sets a positive tone for the future and reinforces the idea that self-love is a journey worth embracing. Remember to express gratitude for your physical capabilities as well as your mental and emotional ones. Here are a few thought-starters.

Celebrate your unique qualities

Take a moment to express gratitude for the unique qualities and characteristics that make you who you are – no matter how strange they may seem to others. Celebrate the fact that you’re an enthusiastic yaybahar player, an avid collector of Victorian mourning jewellery, or an extreme ironing champ (yep, that really is a thing – check it out), just as much as you celebrate your other sporting achievements, academic talents, hobbies and interests. 

Reflect on your body and its capabilities

Express gratitude for your physical health and the strength that allows you to navigate through life. Appreciate specific features that make you unique, whether it's the colour of your eyes, the curve of your smile or the way your body moves.

Dive into your emotional landscape

Express gratitude for your resilience in the face of challenges, and your ability to bounce back from setbacks. Recognise the depth of your emotions and your capacity for empathy and compassion. Celebrate the moments when you've shown kindness to yourself and others. Express gratitude for the lessons learned, the wisdom gained, and the strength you’ve developed. 

Be thankful for your self-love practices

If you've developed self-love practices – even if (so far) it’s just writing this letter – show gratitude for the tools that contribute to your well-being.

Recognise the effort you've put into nurturing a positive relationship with yourself, following a healthy diet and exercise regime, taking time out to relax, being more mindful – or any other self-care activities you enjoy.  Write about how these practices impact your mindset and overall happiness.

Show your appreciation for the love you show to yourself. Acknowledge the courage it takes to engage in self-love practices. Express gratitude for the commitment to prioritise your well-being and embrace self-love as an ongoing journey. Acknowledge that by showing gratitude to yourself, you are fostering a deeper connection and appreciation for the person you are becoming.

4. Seal your self-love letter with compassion

Including self-compassion in your love letter is a beautiful way to round out an intimate conversation with yourself. The way we speak to ourselves internally has a profound impact on your self-esteem and overall well-being. 

Closing your letter with self-compassion and forgiveness fosters a supportive inner dialogue and nurtures a healthier relationship with yourself. Self-compassion cultivates a positive and nurturing attitude towards oneself, and serves as a reminder to treat yourself with kindness, understanding and forgiveness. 

Everyone makes mistakes, but all too often the burden of regret weighs heavily on us. It may even prevent us from moving forward in certain areas of our lives.

If you’re struggling to make peace with things you said and did in the past, use this opportunity to let them go. Acknowledge the regret, forgive yourself and give yourself permission to move on. Beating yourself up about the bad decisions you made years ago will not change the present; it will only keep you from creating a better future for yourself and those around you. Take the lesson, leave the rest behind you.

Forgive yourself, and while you’re at it, let go of any grudges. They’ll only slow you down and take your focus off what’s really important – making the most of all the opportunities on your doorstep.

Revisit your self-love letters

Don’t forget to take note of the dates on which you write your self-love letters. This not only marks the moment, but also serves as a reference point for reviewing your personal growth.

Revisit your letters during challenging times, or whenever you need encouragement. Your self-love letter serves as a tangible expression of self-appreciation and a testament to your journey toward self-actualisation. Rereading your letters will remind you of your positive attributes and help you to see how far you’ve come.

Show your love for the planet with sustainable stationery

Notely notebooks and journals, you can embark on this amazing self-love journey and celebrate the unique individual you are while still being kind to the planet. Enjoy the clarity and mindfulness of this incredible self-care practice, safe in the knowledge that all our mission to replant the planet – one note at a time. Through our partners at Reforest Now and One Tree Planted, we replant one tree for every order you place. Plus, your third order funds the protection of two square metres of native rainforest with Rainforest Rescue.