You know, I kind of secretly (or not so secretly) dislike Valentine’s Day.
I mean when you’re a dating or are in a relatively new relationship, things are a bit different. Truthfully, I hate to be one of those people, but when you have a great relationship with your partner (which sometimes takes some work) every day is like Valentine’s Day. Love (romantic or otherwise) should be celebrated every.sinlge.day.
I’m not too much into the whole commercialized thing that this particular “holiday” has turned to.
I DO, however, think that Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to show (and celebrate) some love towards yourself- because that, is not something we tend to do on a regular basis.
5 WAYS TO TREAT YOURSELF THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
1. WRITE A LOVE LETTER… TO YOURSELF
Some of us have difficulty talking about our feelings; we’d much rather express our love through actions, rather than using words. This is even more difficult when it comes to one of the most important relationships in our lives: one with have with ourselves. We struggle with acknowledging the good while pinpointing the bad, the mistakes, the failures, all come easy.
When was the last time you told yourself “I love myself?” When was the last time you looked back at how much you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come?
Many years ago I was told by a therapist to write down 10 things that I love about myself. I sat at my desk, in front of that piece of paper, and waited, and waited. I seriously couldn’t think of a single thing to write down. I began to cry and I thought to myself “how could that be, is there really nothing that I love about myself?” It was then, that I told myself that from now on, I am going to practice self-love and nourish my relationship with myself, just as I nourish my relationships with my husband, my sister, my mother, my friends.
What are some things that you love about yourself?
Take a piece of paper and a pen, maybe grab a glass of wine or a cup of your favorite tea and write a love letter to yourself. Think about all the things you learned, obstacles you overcame, think of the ways you’ve grown, think about your body, how strong it is and all that it does for you, every single day. Write a love letter to yourself, and read it as often as you want or whenever you need a little pick-me-up.
2. LEARN TO SAY “NO”
The other day, I was talking to a friend and we were half-joking about how much it sucks having to come up with an excuse whenever you’re invited to do something or go somewhere you don’t feel like doing/going. It started as a joke and as he said to me “yeah, but at least you’re married, so you have an excuse, I’m single and always have to get creative with my excuses” I thought to myself, why?
Why can’t I just say NO to someone, without feeling the need to have to come up with an excuse?
Sometimes you just need to learn how to put your own needs first. Whether it’s someone asking you for yet another favor, or someone trying to drag you to a club on Friday night when you’re already wearing your PJ’s and reading a book- if you don’t feel like doing it, don’t. And don’t text them saying “shit… I was on my way to your place and I just hit a deer, he came out of nowhere!! I’m afraid I can’t make it tonight !” Just say “NO“, and don’t feel guilty about it.
….this is actually a good advice for life in general. Learn to set your own limits and make healthy boundaries.
3. TRY SOMETHING NEW
After years of suffering from social anxiety, I have my husband to thank for, for actually being able to leave the house and enjoy myself. For years, I hated trying new things. I hated not being in control all the time, not being able to feel confident in social situations. After a couple of times of literally being forced to try new things (like snowboarding, skydiving, hiking, visiting a new restaurant, taking a road trip) I realized how much fun it is to try something for the first time.
The more I went out and experienced new things, the more confident I felt about being around other people, socializing, having fun and just enjoying life- rather than constantly overthinking every situation.
When was the last time you did something for the very first time? It doesn’t have to be anything crazy; learn how to bake, try a new restaurant, take a dance class, do something fun and new with your kids, or…
4. TAKE YOURSELF OUT ON A DATE
Go or do something fun, all by yourself.
You invest a lot of time in your relationships, but how much time do you invest in the relationship you have with yourself?
Go to the movies, a museum, go for a walk and leave your phone behind, or grab lunch at your favorite place- all by yourself. I love spending time alone sometimes and always feel recharged and happy after taking myself on a little “date.” If this is something you’ve never done before, try it- and if you feel awkward or uncomfortable about going out by yourself- don’t. Or do, but go out and do those things anyway.
Then, of course, there are simpler ways to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day: buy yourself some flowers, have a movie marathon, or get a facial and a blowout, buy yourself the comfiest set of Pjs you can find, or, bake a delicious cake and eat it.
5. ATTEND TO YOUR FEELINGS
If there is something that bothers you, something that confuses you, something you’re not sure how to feel about- write that shit down. Journaling can act as your personal therapist. Most people, when they think of treating themselves to something, they think of a long bath or a new pair of shoes. Your mind-body connection is one that needs nurturing too. Make yourself a priority, show up for yourself. If you feel like no one hears you out, or that there are some things you don’t have anyone to talk about- just hear yourself out. Attend to your feelings, write them down- this is one of the best ways to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day.
Remember to stop once in a while and tell yourself that you’ve done a great job so far. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself with love and care, stop being so hard on yourself. Loving yourself isn’t selfish. It’s not about conceit. It’s not about thinking you’re better than someone else. It is, however, a lot more than just “accepting” yourself.
Also, don’t forget to have fun. Jump on your bed, spin around in circles, dance alone in your kitchen, do stuff that makes YOU feel good, things that will put a smile on your face.
What do you love about yourself?