First thing’s first: I’m kind of indifferent about Valentine’s Day.

Some people hate it and blame the candy hearts and red roses for making them feel like they’ll die alone, while other people use the made-up holiday to flaunt their love for their *perfect* significant other (which, like, you could do on literally any day of the year but that’s a different rant for a different day).

And so, usually this day of the year comes and goes without a second thought. Some years I have a Valentine and we go on a date or make dinner or whatever, and some years I am single and end up just doing my own thing. And thus far, after 25 years of Valentine’s Days, I have been happy and content and I have survived EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM, so really, when push comes to shove, I truly do not give a shit about Valentine’s Day.

But at like, 11:52 last night it hit me that some people might not hate Valentine’s Day because they don’t have a significant other or because they’re worried they’ll die alone. It may be because they just have a really, really hard time feeling love and happiness toward themselves.

And THAT is something I can definitely relate to.

An average, holiday-less Tuesday is hard enough when you don’t like yourself.

But a Tuesday where half the world is screaming “LOOK AT MY BOYFRIEND HE BROUGHT ME FLOWERS OH EM GEEEEEE I AM THE LUCKIEST” and the other half is screaming “I AM A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN WHO DON’T NEED NO MAN TO BE HAPPY” can seem like the damn near end of the world. On days like this, it’s really easy to get in your head and scream at yourself for all your shortcomings, all your flaws, all the things you don’t like about yourself.

And so. I put together a few things that help me get through the days when I like myself least. So when things get hard today, try to remember one (or all) of the following ideas.

5 Things to Remember If Valentine’s Day Is Hard This Year

1—It is okay if you’re sad today.

Whether you’re sad about being single, sad your relationship isn’t progressing as quickly as you’d like, sad your best friend is moving away, sad that you can’t seem to shake an eating disorder, or sad for no apparent reason, YOU ARE OKAY. Sadness is nothing to be ashamed about, so just let yourself be sad.

Please don’t complicate things by throwing shame on top of your sadness. It’s all okay.

2—Your relationship status does not define you.

If you ARE sad about being single, know first of all that you are not alone. I’m a firm believer that we’re all on this weird planet with billions of other people to form relationships, so it’s only natural that we ALL long for deeper, more meaningful relationships.

But if you’re not currently in a relationship, please do not give into the thought that you’re an unlovable garbage monster. You are not a garbage monster. You are a flawless unicorn who is whole and complete by your damn flawless self.

Remember that. Write it on your mirror. Text me every day for a reminder if necessary.

3—Valentine’s Day is about more than romantic love.

When I was a sophomore in college I wrote for BYU’s newspaper, and I wrote a REALLY cheesy article about how Valentine’s Day is about more than romantic love. As my then-roommate so aptly put it, “it’s about every kind of love…family love, friendship love, roommate love.”

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, focus today on ALL the love you have in your life. One of the thoughts I have on my worst self-loathing days is NOBODY LOVES ME I HAVE NO LOVE IN MY LIFE I AM WORTHLESS. But like, that is zero percent true. I have an amazing family and badass friends who love me and I love them. And I know for a freaking fact that you have people in your life who love the shit out of you, so focus on them if you’re feeling down.

4—It is okay to be alone and spend time alone.

Okay, so maybe you don’t live close to your family. Maybe all your friends have plans. Maybe you’re in a long-distance relationship. Maybe you just want to chill by yourself. Whatever the case, if you are alone today, THAT IS OKAY.

Spending time by yourself does not make you a weirdo or a freak or an outcast.

SELF-CARE ISN’T SELFISH.

And if caring for yourself means taking time for you, by God, you take time for you. Do not apologize, do not feel bad, do not feel like a lesser person. Remember: YOU ARE A FLAWLESS UNICORN.

5—If you are not where you want to be today, have hope in the future.

 There are two keys to getting through the dark days when you don’t like yourself. The first is believing that there are bright, happy days ahead of you. The second, and more important one, is taking actions to make better days a possibility.

For a long time I thought if I hoped hard enough and prayed hard enough, that eventually God would just make my life better and one day I’d magically wake up and hate myself less. That the debilitating anxiety would just disappear and all of a sudden I’d have zero desire to cut myself or skip meals or punish myself.

But recently I realized that if I am not ACTIVELY trying to make tomorrow a better day, it is never ever gonna get better. Zero plus zero does not equal one. Complacency does not lead to progress. Inaction does not lead to change.

And so.

If today is hard, here are 8 ways to love yourself today while also setting yourself up for a better tomorrow.

• take a warm bubble bath while listening to your favorite song on repeat.

• watch the sunset.

• watch your favorite movie and eat your favorite food; try not to feel guilty about the calories or the time you could have spent “doing something more productive.” just relax, enjoy, be.

pet a furry animal; animals have no idea what Valentine’s Day even is so just hang out with an animal until you forget what it is, too.

• if you’re religious, spend some time with God. PRAY. ask Him to show you what HE sees in you—I promise the answer will change your life.

• grab a dry erase marker and write all the things you like and love about yourself on your mirror; do not erase until you’ve read them on some really bad day in the future.

• take a nap. in the middle of the day. go home and nap harder than you have EVER napped.

• get outside of yourself and do something nice for someone; whether you compliment a stranger or show up on your friend’s doorstep with an ice cream cake, doing nice things for other people has a funny way of making us feel nice about ourselves.

• treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting for a while because retail therapy is REAL, y’all.

• • • • •

I didn’t come into this blog post knowing where it was going, but now that I’ve written almost 1,200 words, I think I’ll stop ’cause I’m sure most of you already stopped, too.

But if you ARE still here.

Know that you are allowed to have a hard day today. And tomorrow. And any other day you want to have a bad day. Because through it all, you are worthwhile. Valuable. Loved. A flawless freaking unicorn.

And don’t you ever forget it.

If you DO plan on treating yourself today, treat yourself to some positivity! Use code TAYLOR10 for 10% off your entire order at wearyourlabel.com. Because you can never have too many shirts reminding you that YOU ARE ENOUGH.

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