Oftentimes, we focus on the love we give each other more than the love we give ourselves. But, as corny as it sounds, your relationship with yourself is just as important as any other one.
While Valentine’s Day does allow us a moment to appreciate the ones who mean the most to us, the day can bring about vast amounts of anxiety and stress. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “a US poll found that a third of people (including those in relationships) say they feel more dread than excitement about the day”.
However, Feb. 14th can provide the perfect opportunity to love yourself and appreciate your needs as much as you would if you were appreciating someone else’s.
Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, so why not celebrate loving yourself?
Approaching self-care on V-day shouldn’t just be about doing one small thing for yourself, or simply pretending that the day doesn’t exist. Instead, it should be about nurturing yourself and feeling at peace with whatever situation you’re in at the moment. Try these following self-care ideas for a more peaceful and fulfilling holiday.
1. Hang out with friends
You don’t need to be alone on Valentine’s Day if that’s going to leave you feeling miserable. Have a “Galentine’s Day” celebration with some of your best girlfriends or have a low-key night seeing a movie and grabbing dinner with some buds. Have them over for wine and binge-watching or just meet up for some coffee. As long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters.
2. Make a list of at least 3 things you love about yourself
Whether it’s a part of your body, something about your personality, or a special talent you have – write it down and show yourself some love.
3. Make something you love for dinner
Cooking for a table of one can be seen as a modern-day form of self-care – a process that not only nourishes your body but also your mind. Additionally, it’s a great way to improve resilience and well-being. So, make your favorite meal or something you really like, like mac and cheese or pizza. Or if you love to cook, challenge yourself by trying something new and exciting.
4. Go shopping
It’s nice to be able to buy something for yourself, especially if it’s something you really wanted. With all of our daily responsibilities, it’s easy to forget about our own happiness. A shopping spree, when you have the funds, can help facilitate happiness and confidence. Give yourself permission to splurge a little – you deserve it.
5. Pamper yourself
Another way to treat yourself is to have a bit of a spa day. Whether you decide to book a massage or facial at a high-end spa or light some candles at home, put on face mask and zen out – spending the day of love pampering the most important person in your life is a wonderful option.
6. Do something that makes you happy
Self-care comes in many forms and looks different for every person. Do something that makes you feel good and keeps you smiling.
7. Write down what you’re grateful for
It’s easy to feel like you’re missing something in your life on Valentine’s Day, even if you’re generally pretty happy. To get around that, write down a list of everything you’re grateful for. Read it over and really think about it – focusing on what you’re grateful for can help put things into perspective and not put so much emphasis on the stressors you might also be dealing with
8. Meditate, practice yoga
Meditation can help reduce blood pressure, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression. Don’t know where to start? Remember mediation doesn’t have to be a huge time investment (and you don’t have to totally clear your mind). Try to find a few moments within your day to simply sit or stand and just connect with your senses in the present moment.
9. Take a social media break
Social media can be exhausting on Valentine’s Day. For a straight 24 hours, people are only posting one of two things: pictures of how they’re celebrating with their significant other, or memes and quotes on how much they hate the holiday. This energy can be particularly negative and it could really bring you down. Try taking a break from social media for the day, or for at least a few hours.
10. Wear something that makes you feel good
Strut your stuff today in your favorite jeans, shoes or jewelry.
11. Check something off your to-do list
One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to accomplish something you had on your plate for a while. So, try to check at least one thing off your to-do list on Valentine’s Day, whether it’s something small or big. You’ll feel awesome about yourself for getting it done.
12. Do something that helps you de-stress
Maybe you need to let out some anger or sadness, or you’re feeling like you need to let off some steam. Exercise is a great and healthy way to feel better and let go of negative emotions. Adult coloring books are a fun way to de-stress. You can also have a good cry if you really need to.
13. Take a new route to work
It turns out that, like the rest of your body, your brain is subject to the “use it or lose it” theory, says Vernon Williams, M.D., founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute. Take care of your brain by challenging it.
14. Confront your negativity – on paper
Write down the lies – the negative self-talk, self-doubt – and then combat that with what you know to be true, what you’re capable of. Putting that on paper helps to acknowledge the negative, while not letting it overtake the positives in your life.
There are plenty of options for those who have self-love in mind this holiday. Whatever you chose to do – remember, there’s nobody who can spoil you like you!