KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — While Valentine's Day can mean rom-coms playing on loop and fancy dinners, it doesn't have to be all about romance.
It's an important day to focus on self-care too.
"If you don't love yourself, you can't love anybody else," Madeleine Steiner said. "Spreading love into the world is important so Valentine's day is important for that."
For Karen Robnett, self-love is one of the most important things.
"It keeps you mentally balanced," Robnett said. "I love myself because I'm happy. I'm a happy person."
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Multiple studies have shown she's right.
In 2017, a study published in Health Psychology Open found having more self-compassion can help you handle stress better when it comes to "personal failures, struggles and difficult circumstances."
Another study suggested self-compassion can help support your physical and psychological health.
"For me, I'm going to say 'Happy Valentines to me and always make sure you stay on the bright side,'" Aylanna Black said.
Dr. Kristin Neff is a leading expert on self-compassion. She said there are three elements of self compassion.
The first is self-kindness versus self-judgement, which means "being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate" rather than criticizing yourself.
The second is common humanity versus isolation, which involves recognizing that you are not alone in going through hard times or suffering.
The third is mindfulness versus over-identification, which Neff describes as "taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated."
Jaime Pinko said he tries to love himself every day because life is too short to worry.
"I live once and I die once," he said. "I love myself, so I accept myself."