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[#RapplerReads] Books to help you build self-love this Valentine’s Day

Saab Lariosa

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[#RapplerReads] Books to help you build self-love this Valentine’s Day
Because you don't really need a lover to be a lover

Editor’s note: #RapplerReads is a project by the BrandRap team. We earn a commission every time you shop through the affiliate links below.

How’s your Valentine’s Day looking?

Whether or not you’ve got a date this year or looking to spend the season alone, one can’t deny the looming presence of the love month – and how it can make you look inwards at your own ways of loving.

While spreading love has always been the norm during Valentine’s, have you stopped and considered how you return that love to yourself? 

Yup, we’re talking about self-love. Wait no, don’t cringe just yet. Contrary to what we see online, self-love isn’t just about skincare, bubble baths, positive affirmations, or even constantly thinking highly of yourself. It’s often showing up to become a better version of who you were yesterday, and being confident enough to stick to your decisions.

When we think of self-love as a precursor to being a good person, rather than the end-all-be-all of living, it becomes a greater task in forming healthy relationships. It’s no easy feat, but definitely an endeavor worth taking.

Check out these books that aren’t just for singles, but for everyone looking to build their sense of self for this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Starting off strong with this 2018 best-seller. In bite-sized essays, journalist Dolly Alderton chronicles her early to late twenties, from blacking out and chasing boys to growing in her career and finding solace in friendships and with herself. 

Whether or not you’re a single girl living it up like Alderton, you’ll find comfort in her journey of not just self-love, but in finding a community in your twenties.

I Decided to Live as Me by Soo-Hyun Kim

What does it mean to live as yourself, without social media, the pressures of society, and the rush of a timeline? It can be difficult to answer this question for many of us, but it’s one we have to face anyway.

This straightforward book is chock full of quotes (with adorable Korean illustrations too) that tries to lead us to the path of least resistance – the one we make for ourselves. It also isn’t too overwhelming and can be easily picked up whenever you need the reminder.

Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster

Albeit the initially aggressive title, ‘Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies’ turns the concept of a self-help book on its head by making its author go on the journey at the same time as you and being as relatable as can be.

Although Shuster’s advice isn’t necessarily groundbreaking (journaling, being more mindful, meditating, spoiling yourself when you can), it’s in these little rituals that one can ultimately build a healthy routine. As author Annie Dillard put it: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

How to Do the Work by Dr. Nicole LePera

Again, self-love isn’t just about the aesthetically pleasing parts of life. Sometimes, you just need to sit down and do the work. Dr. Nicole LePera (better known as @the.holistic.psychologist on social media) takes readers on a journey of recognizing one’s patterns, healing from the past, and moving forward from there.

Unlike the other memoirs and self-help, LePera gets into deeper topics such as stress responses, codependency, trauma bonds, and more.

Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown

Brené Brown has long been one of the leading thought leaders on the human social and emotional experience, and in this latest read, she compiles 87 “of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human.”

Whether we’re in a relationship or not, there’s much to be said about having the vocabulary to say what we feel. Similar to “I Decided to Live as Me,” this book is also filled with images and diagrams for the visual learners out there.

Self-love may have become a well-loved buzzword over the years, but it’s high time we define it on our own terms, and it starts with finding (and reading) the right words. What books have you been loving this February? – Rappler.com

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Saab Lariosa

Saab Lariosa is a content producer for Rappler’s BrandRap.