Is it like Marmite to you, either love it or hate it? Maybe you’re ambivalent, or perhaps you couldn’t care less? I’m more towards the latter two – I hope those doing something with their special someone enjoy it, but for those struggling in their relationship, have lost a significant other or are spending the day solo, take heart – it’s just a day, a social convention, it only means something if you give it meaning.
Valentine’s Schmalentines, I just like the novelty tat & chocolate that’s half price or less the day after 😉
Allergy alert : This post may contain some Cheesey, but true, clichés.
Valentine’s has a way of making those going solo right now feel awful and alone. It’s silly how one day can do that.
This year, I’d like to suggest a new meaning to be attached to Valentine’s for those of us who are over the commercial propaganda and in-your-face loved up-ness on social media. I propose a focus on giving ourselves a little more kindness & making a little more time for self-care.
Giving Valentine’s A New Meaning
Self-care is not self-indulgent. It is not selfish. It is vital to mental & physical health, helping you to live your best life & be there for those around you, too.
Without self-care, we can easily become more exhausted, overwhelmed, utterly frazzled, frustrated, and even resentful.
We need maintenance, fuel and rest.
Self-care is about taking responsibility for ourselves. It’s about putting into action that we’re worth looking after. It gives us a chance to take a breather and slow things down so that we can face the world with a little more pizazz.
With chronic illness thrown into the mix, or any kind of challenging life events to deal with, it’s all the more important to focus on taking care of ourselves, mentally and physically.
Whether you’re with someone or not, more regular self-care days, or even an hour in a day, should be scheduled more often. You deserve to look after yourself, and there’s no better time like the present.
This is also a good time to reach out to others who may be alone or struggling right now.
Make sure your basic needs are met first. Then show yourself care and treat yourself with kindness and without guilt.
- Nutritious food. Adequate fluids.
- Take your medications and supplements as directed.
- Get enough sleep and rest.
- Feel safe, clean and warm.
A Few Self-care Ideas
Self-care goes beyond candles, bubble baths & chocolate. This is time to do whatever reduces your anxiety and stress, and makes you feel good. It’s entirely up to you what this involves and how you want it to look. Paint your own self-care canvas and fill it with whatever makes you feel nourished, inside and out.
- Fresh bedding, fresh clothes, a nice hot shower if you want to be invigorated or a long bath if you want to be relaxed. Moisturise.
- Don’t save the best ‘for the right time’. There’s no time like the present. Dig out the nice linens, put on that special top, use the nice cleanser, watch that much-anticipated film.
- Reach out to friends and family, online and off-line. Blog friends, forums, social media & support groups, and the good ol’ fashioned way face-to-face. Feel connected and know that you’re not alone.
- Speak to yourself kindly. Remind yourself of what you’re good at, what your strengths are, what you like about yourself or what others have complimented you on.
- Show your body some love with some stretches, gentle exercise, a little walk for fresh air if you can.
- Indulge your inner child and have some fun. It can be as silly as you like, whether that’s finger painting, temporary tattoos or watching childhood cartoons. Laugh a little (YouTube is great here).
- Take a digital detox. Curl up & loose yourself in a good book. Unleash your creativity. Write, draw, paint, sew, reach for a colouring book, knit, play an instrument, or just sing to your heart’s content when nobody’s home.
- Listen to music that soothes & uplifts your soul.
Ditch the guilt. Easier said than done, but this is one of the most important aspects.
Ditch the ‘shoulds’.
Ditch the to-do lists for a while and practice the power of ‘no’.
Give Yourself A Little Kindness…
Some alternative gives that are priceless and far more valuable, even if you can’t put a bow on them.
- Personal boundaries
… And keep the gift giving to yourself going all year.
Be your own love of your life this Valentine’s, because you are special enough & good enough, just as you are.