How to love yourself

This Valentine's Day, love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye

By Hugh Upsher

“If you like the way you look that much, Oh baby you should go and love yourself” – Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran.

Even though we all know the line is supposed to end with ‘Go and f**k yourself”, I’ve decided to take inspiration from these little rascals anyway. Loving yourself doesn’t always come naturally, especially if you’ve ever been bullied as a kid. But now that you’re an adult, perspective has made you realise that the bullies were the ones with the real issues, and you can discover how interesting and amazing you’ve become. I’ve decided to look at a few ways of practicing that inward type of loving that so many people neglect.

Be kinder to yourself

“We are so often our own worst critics, continually inspecting our least favourite attributes, constantly focusing on our little flaws” said this hack writer that isn’t nearly as funny as he thinks he is. Self-critiquing can help to push you towards becoming your best self, but sometimes you have to give yourself a break from all that noise. Embrace your imperfections. Snicker at your own lame jokes. Rub your belly in the same loving way an eight-month pregnant woman does. Stroll through your old tweets to remind yourself of how kooky you are. Look in the mirror and say something complimentary to yourself like "I could have turned out much worse than it actually did.”

Treat yourself

Think of something really nice you could do for someone else, and then just do it for yourself instead. Get yourself a massage voucher, a bouquet of flowers or a fancy box of chocolates. The cashier won’t even know you’re breaking precious social norms, unless you audibly thank yourself at the check out. It’s not about the amount of money you spend, rather the gesture of knowing that someone is looking out for you.

Get some quality alone time

When was the last time you got to spent quality time with yourself? I’m not talking about binge-watching old 30 Rock episodes in your underpants or scrolling Instagram for an hour straight, I'm talking about the real quality time. Try going for a long drive with your favourite artist blasting out your radio or cook yourself an extravagant meal that takes three hours to prepare and three minutes to devour entirely. Maybe block a whole day off to focus on relearning how to play the intro to ‘Nothing Else Matters’ on guitar. Whatever it is, be unapologetically selfish for once in your life.

Valentine's Day is supposed to be about love, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be about projecting love onto someone else. The more you like yourself, the easier it becomes for other people to start liking you, in the same way people who dislike themselves can often discourage others from liking them. Whether you’re happy about it or not, you’re going to be spending the rest of your life living with yourself, you better make sure you guys get along.