Last year’s Valentine I wanted to get myself a bunch of fresh flowers, and I was certain I was going to as I had just begun to appreciate flowers. (And had only received flowers ever on the day of our wedding & when I failed my driving test). But I just really wanted to do something for myself that day. Not because I didn’t think I’d get val’ed so to speak. But because I felt like showing myself love in a tangible way.

I have no objections at all to celebrating Valentine as a lovers day. As a matter of fact, I think it’s kind of cute – as it was to see so many people (particularly older men) at the store at about 6pm (obviously last minute decision makers like me) struggle to find the perfect greeting card which captures their feelings.

No doubt it’s great to be in a loving relationship around this time to be loved & to love. But you know what I’ve come to really appreciate as I grow older, self love. Because it’s so so true what they say – you can’t pour from an empty cup. And you can’t give what you don’t have. I’ve come to realise that on days I’m cranky, unhappy, deflated – it’s genuinely hard to love. And it’s probably also harder to be loved.

So with each passing day, I’m a little bit more conscious of self love. But hold up. This doesn’t mean pride or narcissism or selfishness. It’s simply a regard for your own well being and happiness, self acceptance and not necessarily seeking validation from someone else. You know what they saw about peaches:

You may be the juiciest, ripest peach in the whole world and there’d still be someone who doesn’t like peaches.

And here are some great ways to practice or build self love!

1. Accept those flaws!

If you asked me a few years back what’s the one thing I’d love to change in my body I’d probably not let you finish before I respond “my feet!”. I thought they could do with being narrower and prettier (all the pretty shoes are narrow! Someone fix this please!). But now, I couldn’t honestly care less (maybe because I’ve seen some feet that I’d rather not have). But the point is we’re all gonna have flaws. Some of which are basically beyond your control. The sooner you accept those, the better.

Read: 6 Ways to be More Grateful in Our Everyday Life

2. Realise how awesome you are

I have a hard time receiving compliments – but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m pretty awesome (Haha!) And you should too. No matter how many flaws above you’ve come to accept, I bet there’s so many many other things that make you pat yourself on the back. If you’re struggling to find it, you know what to do. Grab a sheet of paper & get writing. Or be more attentive to the compliments people give you – and write those down too!

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance”

— Oscar Wilde

3. Buy yourself a tangible gift

I have this weird thing I do, particularly when I buy myself a slightly expensive purchase. I gift it to myself (only if the gifting service is free though!) so it says “From Kachee, to Kachee, because you deserve it! It really does go a long way. So whether it’s a bunch of fresh flowers or a designer hand bag, be conscious about gifting yourself too!

4. Indulge in intangibles

Arguably, this is more important than buying tangible items. Those things that make us feel alive – whether it’s a fresh manicure, going to the movies getting your makeup on fleek or just having a good night sleep. They make us walk with our shoulders higher & make us happy from within. I overhead someone say recently that he was overwhelmed with life’s daily activities & had no time to go to the gym (the one activity that makes him feel great!). I know with all of life’s lemons it can be hard, but hopefully if we prioritise and manage time wisely, it can be done.

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others”

— Parker Palmer

5. Positive Affirmations!

I’m believing in this more daily! And why shouldn’t you – there’s nothing to loose! So asides from realising how awesome you are, say it out. Affirmations have been proven to work and help to empower you, through the thought-speech-action process. And we should affirm the good in every other parts of other lives – business, relationship, health – you name it!

Take care how you speak to yourself. You are listening!

6. Celebrate your victories

How many times do you knock yourself for the many things you’ve failed to achieve. But then fail to pat yourself on the back for the excellent ones you’ve done right! You know what to do, fix it and celebrate every little victory – these are the victories that add up to the big ones!

7. Let go of past emotions

There’s a traditional Igbo proverb that says something about people who only wash the back of a cup but leave the inside dirty. No matter how much tangible items we buy or make time to get those eyebrows right, we must realise the need deal with our insides. And I know it can be pretty tough. Past breakups, neglect, hurt and even your own past mistakes . So acknowledge them & try to deal with them else they’d just keep weighing us down.

8. Surround yourself with positive people

Even after you’ve let go of all the hurt, realise how awesome you are and constantly affirm good, if you have negative people around you, they are sure to constantly pour a trailer load negativity into your life. So severe those relationships. From those who gossip about others, to those who constantly bring you down. Nah, flip the coin & make sure everyone around you is adding good value. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have people who give constructive criticism or never tell us the bitter truth – as we need that in order to truly grow.

Read: The Sandwich Method of Giving Criticism (+How to Deal with it)

9. Quit Comparing!

Ugh! We’ve said this a million times, but we’ll keep saying it. Stop it already. We’re all running different races, we have different gifts & purpose. We’re simply different with different DNAs, tongue patterns and finger prints. Okay, I accept it’s not that easy particularly in this social media age. But it’s possible (and oh so necessary!). If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others you’d be filled with so much negative emotions on the outside – and that also means you’ve got too much time on your hands, & you’ve taken your eyes off your own goal post!

Read: Social Media Envy & Comparison - 10 Tips to Kill it Dead

10. Be Present & Mindful

Thanks to my friend whose boyfriend is Danish, I’ve recently come to learn of the concept of Hygge (pronounced heu gah). It’s as real to the people of Denmark, perhaps what Jollof rice is to Nigerians & Sunday roast is to the English.  Hygge is basically all about feeling present and mindful living to actually recognise and appreciate the little moments, as well as creating simple rituals that give that warm fuzzy feeling away from the daily hustle & bustle (and our phones & TV) – whether it’s enjoying a cup of tea all by yourself or stretched out in bed and reading a good book, let’s try to live more in these moments.

11. Show love to others!

In one episode of the amazing sitcom FRIENDS, Phoebe claimed that nothing we need was truly altruistic but at the end of the day, was for our own benefit – even showing love to others. She claimed that we still did that so we could either feel good about yourself or because of the belief that we’d be rewarded if we’re kind to others. I guess it’s kinda true – maybe like a chicken & egg situation. But showing love to others (particularly those who have less) defintely helps us often see how blessed & fortunate we are, which in turn should help us love ourselves!

I know these all seem easy to write & harder to put in practice. But if we’re conscious about it, step by step – we’d see the changes!

“You have to love yourself. Because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.”

— Dodinsky

As popular Nigerian crooner,  Onyeka Onwenu says it. “Learning to love yourself is the greatest gift of all”

Out of a 10, how much will you say love yourself on the average? And which of these (if any) do you need to pick up or improve on? or me, its number 10 – being more present & mindful. By the way, do you think this is stuff everyone already knows? I sometimes struggle with these kind of posts…thinking “duh, this is basic knowledge…”


Kachee… Xx

ps: Last year Valentine, I wrote about my preference for tangible gifts over experiences – actually I’d love both, but I think I’m beginning to prefer the latter. Read it here and take the little poll if you missed it.

ppS: if you’d rather read something mushy on this day, you can try How We Met & Our First Date or see photos from our Civil Wedding Ceremony & Pre-Wedding Shoot

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  1. Zinny

    February 14, 2017 at 20:28

    I can’t emphasize the importance of positive affirmations enough. I have seen it work wonders in my life! I think that’s the best way to practice self-love, because every other thing flows from there.It’s also good to surround yourself with positive people. Becoming conscious of your actions like you said, makes it easier to practice all these points. We just need to keep reminding ourselves of the importance of self-love.Thanks for this lovely write up!

  2. Tega Enai

    February 15, 2017 at 06:06

    I have been ‘lucky’ to love myself beyond reasonable doubts. I will say 9 out of a 10. Like you, I also need to be more present and more mindful.I believe every one knows the need to practise self love as a whole – like you said its basic knowledge but most people still have no clue what that even means! Practising self-love can however be very challenging, especially in times when we face serious challenges. You just have to learn the best way to appreciate yourself more and make it a lifestyle. If you don’t love yourself who will?Also, like Zinny said, the importance of positive affirmations can’t be over emphasized…Even the bible says there’s power in the tongue. I tell myself everyday that Tega you’re an achiever, you’ll make it and I also have seen it work wonders in my

  3. Indya | TheSmallAdventurer

    February 15, 2017 at 07:10

    I’d say six, on a good day. My self esteem has definitely improved over the last few years (having better friends and partner around me definitely helped with that, as does blogging), but I’m certainly no stranger to the evilness that is comparison.It really is such a difficult thing to NOT do, when it’s so easy for people to share everything they’re doing at any moment on the day on a handful of different social media accounts, but I’ve just got to remember that people usually only share the good stuff, and that everyone has their issues. We’re all unique and leading different lives.http://www.thesmalladventur

  4. Abisola

    February 15, 2017 at 11:31

    You referenced the TV Show, Friends – I officially love you! lol. #bestshowever. I stumbled on your blog a few weeks ago and I can’t get enough! You writing is so captivating.Back to the post – this year actually, I’ve been making an effort to celebrate the small victories and I’ve also been trying out positive self talk – I can be so mean to myself sometimes. So now, I’m making an effort to treat me better – if I won’t talk to family/friends in that manner, I can’t talk to myself that way. Learning to accept those flaws is still a work in progress!

  5. Live In Ibadan

    February 15, 2017 at 12:27

    Out of 10, I will give myself a 9. This time some years back, I would have given myself a 1/2 because I wanted to be fairer, I wanted a smaller breast and a bigger butt. I wanted to be slimmer and taller. But now, I’ve grown and realized that it was all due to the fact that I wanted to be like someone else and not be me which was very wrong. Self-love is very important, really because many people are really suicidal because they feel they don’t look good enough even when they are all shades of awesome. They are always waiting to be validated by others. I gave myself a 9 just because I still want a bigger butt… Lol. I will outgrow it though.

  6. Oreoluwa Aremo

    February 15, 2017 at 12:56

    I think I need to pick up 11. To be honest, I show love to others, but I think I need to do more! My Bible reading for the past few days have been directing me to giving more and loving more, however, I still feel limited. Not sure why, but I do.2017 is that year! Hahaha. Thank you for sharing!Oréoluwa’s blog

  7. Precious

    February 16, 2017 at 04:59

    “From Kachee to Kachee because you deserve it.”I am so stealing this.”From Precious to Precious because you deserve it.”Thanks for sharing, Kachee.Self-love is so healthy. You can’t truly love others if you do not love

  8. Demilade

    February 16, 2017 at 08:29

    These tips are all so great, self-love is really important. Not comparing yourself to others is such a major key, these days when I catch myself doing it I stop it immediately and tell myself that we’re all different. It actually works! Letting go of past emotions and accepting my flaws have also really helped. On a scale of 1-10 I believe I’m a 7/7.5. Thank you for sharing Kachee.

  9. Ireju

    February 17, 2017 at 17:09

    I would rate myself 6/10. Although I had struggled with insecurities all my life, about 3 years ago it got better and I was a 9/10, but in the last year my confidence has taken a hit. Probably moving to a new town, struggling with family issues, dealing with a breakup, being around negative people who judge your worth based on how Instagram followers you have, I’ve been struggling to find myself because I don’t fit in. I struggle with no. 9 and need to do more of no 2. Writing beautiful quotes or scripture verses on your wall or on cardboard paper on the wall also helps, had this in my corner in university. Kacheee thanks for the uplifting write up.

    • Kachee ||

      February 17, 2017 at 17:37

      I totally understand where you’re coming from. Everyone struggles with number 9. But it takes constant effort to remind yourself that there’s no need. I agree with writing beautiful or inspirational quotes. And do try to write out that list showing how awesome you are.! We need to get you back to a 9/10!

  10. Tamie

    March 6, 2017 at 17:17

    Outta 10 I would rate myself 6/7and would need to work more on 1,2,10.These kinda posts may be basic reminders but they may also be for that one person that really needs to read it. So struggle less and just go ahead and post them. Cheers dear.