Practice Self-Love in the Month of Love

February may be the shortest month of the year, but we know we’re not the only ones who think it feels like the longest. However, as gloomy as the dark, cold, gray weather is, February is undoubtedly the month of love—and here’s how and why you deserve to show a little extra to yourself.

You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup

This adage says it all: you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s difficult to contribute to any type of relationship—friends, family, co-workers, or a partner—when your own reserves have run dry. And in a world where productivity and hard work are prioritized, it can be all too easy to forget to take care of ourselves.

Just think about it: how often have you turned down dinner plans to binge Netflix instead? Come Friday, many of us are thinking of nothing but some well-deserved R&R—not how we can support a loved one, provide a listening ear, or simply join someone for an adventure.

If we neglect ourselves, it makes supporting those we love a little more difficult. And, after the past few years we’ve had, many of us are at our wits’ end, finding it hard to find time to be the caring compassionate people we know we are.

Not only will a little self-love provide benefits for your own mental and physical health and well-being, but it’s one of the best ways to help others, too.

3 Ways to Practice Self-Love in the Month of Love

1. Start a morning ritual

Plan on waking up just 10 or 15 minutes early for a little “me time.” Here’s the kicker: you don’t need anything special to celebrate you every day. Simply add water to your kettle, prepare your favorite hot beverage, and enjoy a period of silence before the busyness of the day begins.

As you sip your tea or coffee, make a mental gratitude list. Gratitude is like self-care gold—it’s the easiest way to boost your mood, improve connections with other people, and contribute to your all-around health and well-being.

PRO TIP: For a little extra self-care (and better sleep), consider powering down your devices and turning off all screens 10-15 minutes early at night to compensate for your new morning ritual ;)

2. Keep comfort close by

You’ve likely experienced it yourself: that first sip of hot coffee in the morning, or the soothing cup of tea when you’re feeling sick. The benefits of warm beverages are many, making them the perfect self-love drink.

Because we can’t guzzle a piping cup of green tea, warm beverages also remind us of the importance of slowing down a little, all the while us ing our senses to feel warmth on our hands and inhale decadent aromatic vapors.

But perhaps even more important, research has demonstrated that warm beverages make our personalities warmer, too. A study found that those drinking hot coffee, as opposed to iced, were more likely to be generous, choosing a gift for a friend instead of for themselves.

Science has also shown that we’re likely to have a favorite mug, and something sturdier and heavier enhances our perception of our food or drink.

It all boils down to this (pun intended): hot beverages + a ceramic mug = happy, generous, satisfied moods.

3. Take More Time for Those You Love (Yourself Included!)

How often do we get caught up in some of life’s more tedious tasks? Between reading emails, sitting in traffic, and doing laundry, we spend a lot of time doing things we hardly love. While there isn’t a solution (yet) to simplify some of those tasks, we can cut down on the time we spend preparing tea and coffee.

Things like the brew bottle simplify our daily routines, making it far easier to make a pour over or cold brew, or steep loose leaf tea with ease. Simply add your caffeine source and water, then go spend time doing what really matters. It may be small, but just a few extra minutes here and there can make a world of difference for you, and those you love.

Use the Month of Love to Show Yourself Some

Even if you celebrated Galentine’s or Valentine’s Day (or devoured a box of chocolates and rom com instead), keep that theme of love continuing through the latter half of the month, and into the rest of the year. You deserve it, and the more love that you’re able to share with yourself, the more compassion and support you’re able to extend to others. And that’s what cupid had in mind, right?