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I know for a fact that there are a lot of women who loathe Valentine’s Day and what it represents in society today. And that is completely understandable. But why does Valentine’s Day have to represent being in a relationship with someone? Why can’t it also represent loving ourselves in the present moment? Spending quality time with ourselves instead of mulling over the possible lack of an intimate relationship?
I think that for 2018, every woman should make time for some self-love and self-care. Whether or not you’re single. Self-love is something that is so important to our mental health and overall well-being. Taking 20 minutes out of your day just for yourself is not an unreasonable task. It’s actually a very easy thing to accomplish. Do something you love. Something that you know will make you feel great about yourself.
This Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to love yourself a little more and do one thing for you.
But that isn’t me anymore.
Maybe I miss a day or two a week where I really spend that time on me. Sometimes I just use it as a short break from the daily chaos that is being a mom. But I’ll never let myself forget who I am again.
They do say that in order to be able to truly give out love, you have to love yourself first. And I find some truth to that.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to give you a few self-love suggestions. Just a few activities that I find helpful, and I know other’s do too.
Self-Love Activities for Valentine’s Day
It can be difficult and uncomfortable to go all out and spend money or even time on ourselves. I struggle with this all of the time. It is definitely something I need to continue working to overcome. But I know I will. And it is through practicing self-love and self-care that I’ve been able to make it easier every day. It isn’t a bad thing to want something for yourself.
It’s only a bad thing if you don’t fulfill that need or desire.
Take some time on Valentine’s Day and choose an activity, maybe a few, and treat yourself for a change.
1. Try a 20-Minute Yoga Session
Yoga isn’t for everybody and I totally understand. But you’ll never know if you like it (or even love it) if you don’t give it a shot. Head to Youtube and try out a beginner yoga session. See what it’s about. But just a warning, it is really calming.
I loved taking yoga classes at my local YMCA. It is refreshing, energizing, and calming at the same time.
This may even be a great exercise if you occasionally struggle regulating your emotional reactions.
Again, this is one thing that is not for everyone. For me, I’d love to take time each morning to meditate for 5-10 minutes and follow it up with a 15-minute yoga session.
Can you imagine the relaxation you would start your day with? Problem is I can never wake up early enough to squeeze it in.
For meditation guidance, there are some incredible (and easy to use) apps on the market. They have beginners sessions as well as those for the more experienced. My two favorites are Mindfulness (available on Android and Apple) and Thrive. Thrive is great because it offers multiple different forms of meditation. Anything from Deep Muscle Relaxation and Deep Breathing, to more routine meditation. Plus it has calming games and activities to utilize when you are overwhelmed, stressed, or even sad and down.
3. Rent that new movie you’ve been dying to see
Sit back, make yourself some popcorn (or grab your favorite ice cream) and just sit back and enjoy. Enjoying a new movie gives your mind a chance to shut off and recharge. Let go of the stresses for a couple of hours.
Don’t worry if no one else wants to watch it with you. Just enjoy the time alone with something you want. Afterall, it’s Valentine’s Day and what better way to spend it than with the person you know best and a good flick.
4. Treat yourself to a manicure or a fresh new haircut
Changing your nail color or hairstyle can be one of the best ways to give you a newfound confidence. This is especially so if you’ve been a little down on yourself lately.
I know that I feel like a million bucks when I get a new haircut. Especially when it’s one I’ve wanted for some time. I actually started a new job recently and one of the first things I plan on doing is getting my hair dyed how I’ve wanted for a couple of months now.
5. Create your own relaxation space
Find a corner of your home that could serve a new purpose. Buy yourself a giant comfy pillow or chair and create a little space of your own to go to for peace and relaxation.
At my job, we have a room for patients that has a beautiful mural on the wall and some super comfy bean bag chairs. It’s a great place for them to go to, play their favorite music, and just find their center. I actually want a room like this of my own.
6. Create a vision board and make a plan to reach your goals
I actually love this one a lot. I’m big on goals and working toward self-improvement. I don’t always focus on things that would necessarily improve my family. Sometimes I’ll plan to drink more water, cut my fat and sugar intake, etc.
It’s a great way to realign with your hopes and goals for the future. And you’ll have a renewed sense of purpose. Which is at the heart of spirituality. Spirituality is important for mental health.
7. Identify your stressors
I actually like to call these triggers. As someone with mental illness, identifying personal triggers is a big part of my treatment. Knowing things that set me off or set me back allows me to learn better ways of coping.
This strategy isn’t only for someone with mental illness though. We all have stressors or triggers that cause us to be overwhelmed and stressed out. See if you can identify triggers that you’ve most recently been affected by.
Once you identify a couple of them, generate a plan to learn to manage these better.
8. Try a new craft idea or hobby
I’m one of those crafty/artsy girls. I love making things, painting things, drawing things, etc. It’s a lot of fun to learn a new skill. I took up knitting on a whim once, and now I’m working on a large throw just because I wanted a new blanket.
Just doing something creative is enough to bring me to the present and clear my mind. Having a distraction from negative thoughts can actually teach you healthier coping skills.
9. Pick up a new book and get to reading
I am a book nerd. There’s a certain excitement that comes with buying a new book. The idea of “entering a new world” and experiencing the lives (albeit fictional) of others that brings peace to our own. And often times, you may find emotions expressed in the book that you can relate to.
I find this to be therapeutic. Just knowing that others identify with that emotion or the feeling. Knowing that you’re not alone or not the only one.
And quite simply, just the act of reading something you enjoy gives you time for you. Enjoying something you like.
Tips on Loving You
Don’t just save self-care and self-love for Valentine’s Day. Take a proactive role in your own life and start practicing self-love on a daily basis. Practice daily affirmations, set a healthy routine, and eat and exercise in a healthy manner.
You’ll never regret doing things to better yourself. And it’s the best way to begin to feel better about yourself.
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