As caregivers we seem to be a bottomless pit of love. We are constantly sprinkling love out to those we care for everyday, their families, our co-workers and our own families. Sometimes I wonder where in the world does all the love we have for people come from.

Of course, February is known as the month of love, with the 14th as Valentine’s Day, the day of love. We celebrate it by showing those closest to us just how much we love them with small tokens that demonstrate that we hold them dear to our hearts. But, there is always that one person we seem to forget to show this enormous amount of love to all year long.  Do you know who that person is? It is US. Being a caregiver to so many we tend to put ourselves in the back of our mind and forget our own well-being. This seems to be one major flaw all caregivers share. We do so much for others because it is who we are, we identify ourselves by what and how much we do for others. Yet we tend to let ourselves be forgotten in this process.

When we do not stop and be mindful of our own needs and wants, things such as frustration, burn out, tiredness and even resentment can creep into our souls. When this happens, we feel as though we need to break free of what we do best because we have drained ourselves until we feel as if we have nothing else left to give. However, that is not true, caregivers have a lifetime of love to give, we just need to recharge ourselves regularly.

February is also known as the month of International Boost Self-Esteem month. So, February 13th has been deemed International Self Love Day. According to GITNUX Market Data Report 2024, it states that 44% of people believe that self-love is an important aspect of mental health. Yet according to this report only 13 percent of women and 5 percent of men practice self-love daily. This report also states that over 70 percent of people believe self-love significantly impacts their career and job satisfaction. One in three people globally struggle with self-acceptance and self-value. There are ways we can all work towards developing our own sense of self-worth by practicing regular acts of self-care. Investing in yourself by growing your own feelings of love and acceptance for oneself will develop a lifelong benefit of your physical and emotional well-being. Based on the statistics from this data, a call for action to develop a nation that embraces all forms of beauty, no matter a person’s race, gender, or size.

So, I challenge you to take the Self-Love challenge this month. Some people may even ask, “Who even does this?” This way of thinking poses a blocking stone for people who may not think it “fits in” or is considered ineffective; but as someone who wishes to improve their self-love and mental state of confidence this challenge is a first step to learning to love yourself and accept you as you are.

During this month design a calendar where you perform some act of self-love every day. Now, it doesn’t have to be anything drastic or time consuming. We are all beginners here, so let’s all start small and build on what we do this month. You can add small gestures to your calendar such as getting up a few minutes early and stretching, meditate or do a short warm up by dancing to your favorite song, this will put a smile on your face. Write an inspirational quote on your mirror so this is the first thing you see in the morning. Jot down 3 positive affirmations, give yourself 5 compliments one day, wear something you feel super confident in, make a list of self-accomplishments that you’re proud of, watch a show that makes you laugh. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities you can do to show yourself some LOVE!!  Don’t be shy, start showing the love today!  After all you have to learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else!!