With February upon us, many are thinking about Valentine’s Day and spending it with that special someone. Or, maybe you’re single this year and this holiday is more of a single’s awareness day. Either way, you should be more focused on loving yourself. That’s where true happiness begins.

It’s hard to be ready for a fulfilling relationship without first loving yourself. And, if you’re already in a relationship, it’s hard to feel secure if you aren’t loving yourself. So, we wanted to give you 3 simple tips for loving yourself. You can start today! Here they are:

Care just as much (or more) about yourself than you do for others.

Caring about others tends to come naturally and often being “selfish” feels wrong for some reason. Well, we’re here to tell you that taking care of yourself actually isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. You have needs and they’re important. Show yourself some love by recognizing these needs and caring for them just like you would care for others; with gentleness, care, and concern

Maintain your boundaries always

Boundaries are a necessity when it comes to loving yourself. After you’ve identified yours, it’s important to communicate those with your closest friends or partner so they understand them. Your friends should recognize that what’s important to you is important and you it’s not just “okay” to have boundaries, but it’s actually a great step in loving yourself. It shows others that you have standards. If you’ve communicated these boundaries to a friend or partner and they continue to ignore them, create consequences.

Don’t sacrifice your boundaries. Yes, you can have patience with people who mistakenly break these boundaries. But it’s up to you to maintain and enforce them. If this continues time and time again, it might be time to consider new relationships.

Do what you need to do to be yourself.

How can you love yourself if you aren’t being yourself? It’s hard! How can you expect to feel good about yourself if you feel like the people you spend the most time with don’t know the real you? That’s also hard!

Maybe you need to do a personal inventory of things you do that make you feel more like yourself; things that “fill you up” and give you lots of energy. Do more of those things!

Maybe you need to stop doing some things that are causing you to stop feeling like yourself. This happens often with the demands of life; kids, work, finances, partner’s needs, friends’ needs, parents, school, etc. If you’re finding that you have too much on your plate, maybe you need to start saying “no” more often.

These three easy steps will help you love yourself. Give yourself a big hug and start loving yourself today!