It’s that time of year!
The time where it feels like there are hearts and chocolates and little flying Cupid’s everywhere we turn. Just like any day with a lot of expectations placed on it, Valentine’s Day can be difficult for a lot of us. It can feel like a lot of pressure to live up to, and if you’re not engaged in a romantic relationship, it can often feel like you get left behind!
So how can you make Valentine’s Day a more positive experience for yourself this year? In years past, we’ve put together a few ideas on how to dedicate Valentine’s Day to loving yourself, so this year we’re gathering all of those ideas for the Ultimate Guide to Loving Yourself this Valentine’s Day!
You don’t need to be part of a romantic relationship to fill your day with love and affection. Here are 11 ways you can do it!
Get crafty with your Valentines
Do you remember how much fun Valentine’s Day was in elementary school? Everyone in class would decorate a box and bring in Valentine’s and candy, and then everyone went home with fun little cards and treats from all of their classmates. When was the last time you let yourself have fun with Valentine’s Day? This year, instead of worrying about not having a romantic partner to shower with affection, go back to that childhood joy for Valentine’s Day. Get some construction paper and markers and glitter and make some valentines! For yourself, for your friends, for anyone whose presence you appreciate in your life.
Treat Yourself to Your Favorite Meal
Preparing food for a loved one can be such an intimate way of showing them love. It shows you took time to learn what they like, and wanted to prepare it just for them to enjoy. This Valentine’s Day, do that for yourself!
Take Care of Your Body
Take a moment to consider your body: what are you feeling physically? Are you sore or feeling achy at all? Consider what your body’s needs are this Valentine’s Day, and be intentional about meeting them with care. Maybe you need to spend the morning by the windows stretching. Maybe you need a bath to soothe your muscles, or an afternoon of restorative yoga, or just a walk outside.
Celebrate Other Relationships
There are so many kinds of love, romantic love is only one of them! Your valentine doesn’t have to be romantic, it can be you, or a friend! Take time to remind your friends and loved ones that you appreciate them, and that your life is much richer because they are in it! Remember all the other ways you receive love and care in your life that aren’t romantic.
What are your friends doing this Valentine’s Day? Share the ways you’re taking yourself on a date this year, and ask them to send pictures of how they’re spending their day back to you!
Try something new
Treat this Valentine’s Day as a self care day and a “free pass” day. You get to mess up today and none of it counts! Pick something you’ve been wanting to try (maybe making bread or learning an instrument, etc) and make it a solo date! Show yourself some love by letting yourself do something you’re not perfect at, and enjoying the time you spend on it anyway.
A classic self love activity! It’s been a very tense few years, so chances are you could use a bit of relaxation. Treat yourself to a nice spa day–you can do it at home with candles and soothing music and a bath or a face mask, or you could get fancy and book a day at a spa!
Move Your Body
Loving our bodies is a great way to show ourselves some love. And loving your body doesn’t mean just feeling attractive in it–it means literally showing love and care to your body. That includes getting it moving! It doesn’t feel good when we’re sedentary for too long, we can start to cramp and ache and it can deplete our energy and mood overall. You don’t need to do an intense workout, but find ways to move your body that feel good and fun to you. This could be walking a dog, going for a leisurely bike ride, dancing to some music, etc.
Write It Down
You don’t need a romantic partner to point out what is loveable about you! This year, take time to do it for yourself. What do you love about yourself? Write down everything you love or appreciate about yourself–no matter how small! There are so many things that make you unique and amazing, be sure to take time to remind yourself of them.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about loving others, or having a partner. We want it to be about loving yourself. This Valentine’s Day, take 20 or even just 10 minutes to find some inner peace and try meditating. Let go of all your outside worries for a few moments. Focus on you and just you.
Wear Something You Love
Do you have clothes that make you feel extra confident? Like it’s an outfit that makes you feel perfectly yourself? Wear that today! When we feel confident in how we look, we innately feel better about ourselves. Even if your favorite thing to wear is a cozy pair of pajama pants, if it makes you feel good, great!
Counseling or therapy is a great opportunity to slow down and really focus on yourself. Remember, your emotional and mental well-being is just as important as your physical health. Even if you feel like you don’t have significant “problems,” sometimes connecting with a professional therapist can help you figure out ways to mitigate stress, maintain healthy relationships and otherwise navigate life’s challenges.
At Olive Branch Therapy Group, we offer many different types of therapy, such as psychotherapy and EMDR therapy. We appreciate each person as their own unique individual and therefore strive to find the type of therapy that best fits you. Want to learn to love yourself a little better all year round? Check out our professional team and contact us today!