February is known for cold weather, Groundhogs Day and Valentines Day. With that comes stores and commercials with brightly colored gifts, chocolates, and jewelry to show your loved one how you “feel.” Valentines Day is supposed to be a day “all about love, romance and relationships.” What about those that aren’t currently in a relationship? What do you do then?
Why not focus on the most important relationship of all?
The relationship you have with yourself.
Self-love and self-care is an important part of maintaining your mental health. However, a lot of people fall into the trap of being too hard on themselves and not giving themselves the same affection that they give others. I propose this Valentine’s Day, be your own Valentine and take some time for self-care!
There are many ways to Practice Self-Love and Self-Care for Valentine’s Day
- Make yourself a nice dinner of your favorite food or treat yourself to a meal out. This doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or money. Treat yourself to something you enjoy or haven’t had in a while. Whether you are cooking at home or going out, make it a special occasion. Get dressed up, play music you enjoy, or use the special plates. Put the thought and effort into making and preparing the meal for yourself as you would for someone special, because you are special!
- Take some time for a thorough self-care routine. Getting into self-care routines can be challenging. We all have several excuses as to why we don’t routinely do something. This Valentine’s–make a date, set an appointment. Get that hair cut you’ve been putting off all year, schedule a massage, go to the library and check out a good book or a book you’ve been wanting to read. Small things can make a big difference.
- Do something that makes you happy that you might not normally have time for. Read a good book, watch the sunset, or go for a walk. As our lives get busier it is hard to remember what makes us happy, as individuals. The pressures of family, work, etc. Do things that make you happy.
- Get some sleep! Staying well-rested is incredibly important for maintaining your mental health.
- Buy yourself one of those heart-shaped boxes of chocolates or something else cute that you’ve had your eyes on. Though, if you wait until the day after Valentine’s Day, all the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates will be half off.
- Do something that empowers you! Different things empower different people. Above all, on a self-love day, it is important that you do things that make you feel great about you.
- Get active or take a break! If you enjoy working out, hit the gym, go for a hike, or go running. On the other hand, if you don’t enjoy working out, feel free to give yourself the day off to do something else that makes you happy.
- Declutter. Cleaning can be a way to cleanse your space, so you feel calm and organized.
- Unfollow people on social media who don’t make you happy or who post things that don’t make you feel good about yourself. Other people’s negativity is not something that you need in your life.
- Practice self-acceptance. In order to feel good about yourself, you must forgive yourself for past mistakes, appreciate yourself for who you are, and enjoy the person that you are becoming.
This Valentine’s Day, whether you are alone, in a relationship or still figuring that out, take time for self-care for yourself. Holidays can be hard, however they don’t have to be if you connect with the one who matters most, YOU!
Written by Randi Hollis, APRN, FNP, PMHNP