Valentine’s Day can be a difficult holiday.
Relationships, like everything else in our lives, are complicated. So having one day a year where all of our attention is drawn to the romantic love (or perhaps lack thereof) in our life adds a level of pressure that really none of us need in an already stressful time.
This year, instead of devoting your Valentine’s Day to a romantic partner, we think you should dedicate it to yourself.
We can definitely all use a little extra love this year, so why not give it to yourself? Take this one day this year to express some real, true gratitude for yourself, and to take extra, intentional care for yourself.
Ways you dedicate this Valentine’s Day to yourself:
Write Yourself A Valentine
This one might sound a little silly. And it might even make you feel a little silly. But remember how much fun it was as a kid ot make and decorate Valentine’s for all of your friends? No one was concerned with the romance of the day–it was just about expressing joy and love to the people in your life! This year, take that energy and save some of it for yourself. Get crafty and act like a little kid (it’s good for you to act like a kid sometimes!). Write to yourself like you’re a friend. What do you love about yourself?
Eat Your Favorite Meal
Food is one of the most basic ways we take care of ourselves. Through the actual nutritional value of the food, to the social connections eating and food rituals bring, or the emotional bonds we have with memories linked to certain foods. So picking one food you love to eat and making it for yourself is a wonderful way to show some love and gratitude to yourself.
Call a Loved One
We’re limited in how we can spend time with one another right now. But even if your Valentine’s Day is dedicated to yourself, that doesn’t mean you have to spend it isolated. If you’re lonely, remind yourself that this is a lonely time for so many of us and you are not silly, weak, or embarrassing for craving more connection. Recognizing when we need more connection and asking for it is one of the ultimate ways we can take care of ourselves!
Try something new
Trying new things is either really fun or really frustrating. If you’re a perfectionist you probably don’t like trying new things–because you can’t be perfect at them right away, so it feels frustrating! The fear of not doing something well often hold us back from trying. Treat this self care day as 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.
Look into online events
While not quite as fun as taking yourself on a date to a museum, lots of places are doing virtual tours amidst COVID. Look into your area and see what is available. You could spend an hour or so of your Valentine’s Day taking yourself out to a museum or exhibit that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought to go to!
Take care of your body
Are you feeling sore? Achy? Maybe you need a day to rest and relax! Take a bath, do a face mask, try some restorative yoga, drink some soothing tea.
Get goofy in the group chat
Send some pictures of you taking yourself on a “date” to your friends! Whether you’re taking yourself to the living room for a movie or the kitchen for a meal, share it with your friends! Ask them how they’re spending the day (maybe they had ideas you didn’t think of!) and to send pictures back to you. Serious self care (therapy, journaling, meditation) is crucial, but it’s also important to be a little goofy, and to bring joy in when you can. Don’t forget the silly self care too!
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About The Author
Noreen Iqbal, LCSW is the owner and director of the Olive Branch Therapy Group. Noreen works with adolescents, young adults, adults, families and couples. If you are interested in working with Noreen, contact us via email, phone or chat on our website.