I have historically had mixed feelings about Valentine's Day. When single, it feels like some kind of cruel joke. When in a relationship, it builds up expectations that can be hard to meet. In many cases, it can cause more stress than joy. If you have felt the same way, it may be a good year to make February 14th a day about loving yourself. Here are a few ways to do it:
1. Compliment yourself
This is the simplest but most important thing you can do. It's likely that you have an inner critic following you around most of the time, but what about an inner cheerleader? You can give yourself props for anything from the simple and mundane to the profound. Try a few of these cheers on for size:
"You are an amazing (your profession here)."
"You look awesome in those shoes."
"Way to go for flossing/paying your bills on time/emptying the dishwasher!"
It may seem silly at first, but just see how you feel after spending the day giving yourself positive feedback.
2. Love up your space
Now that you have established how amazing you are, it's time to devote attention to your surroundings. I always feel better if my surroundings are (somewhat) in order. If you feel the same, you could start by spending just 10-15 minutes tidying up.
If that sounds like the last thing you want to do, no problem! Maybe you always fee happy if there are fresh flowers in a vase. Maybe you want to put on a favorite music playlist (if you haven't already, you should try Songza...I'm obsessed!). Just do one thing for yourself to make you home your favorite place to be.
3. Make a date
Or maybe you're in the mood for going out? Whether singled or partnered, attached to a big group of friends or more of a lone ranger, we can all benefit from a little time out in the world by ourselves. An outing by yourself allows you to relax and explore with only your own agenda in mind. You could go window shopping or to an art museum, movie, or coffee shop. Perhaps this is just me speaking as an introvert, but an occasional date with myself makes me feel recharged and more ready to spend time with others.
4. Make a green juice or smoothie
You know how we're all supposed to eat more green leafy vegetables? Yeah, not the easiest thing for me either...unless I take to leafy greens and make them drinkable. The easiest (and least noticeable) combination is half a banana, a cup of frozen berries, a handful of spinach, and almond milk or water.
If you're ready to step up your green drink game, check out this list of favorite combos from a variety of healthy movers and shakers from the website Well+GoodNYC. I have tried several of them, they're great, and not all of them require juicers.
5. Indulge without guilt
As much as I believe in the importance of feeding your body whole, healthy food, I also believe in treating yourself. We all have foods that we don't want to live without. Whether it's a decadent brownie, a chewy focaccia, or some salty tortilla chips, feel free to give yourself a pass to truly enjoy a treat. Small treats here and there can't hurt (unless you have an allergy, of course) and, at least in my case, help in warding off binging and restricting behavior. Here are a few tips for having your cake and eating it too:
- Be present while eating. Focus on the taste and texture. What's the point in having a treat if you're not going to appreciate it in the moment?
- Keep an eye on portions. Just try not to overdo it.
- Remember that this is not the "last time" you will have this treat. If you tell yourself you're going to have these cookies and then swear of sugar forever, you are much more likely to eat as if there is no tomorrow.
6. Upgrade to a green product.
There's no better way to tell your body you love it than by ditching harmful chemicals in your home and personal care routine. This Valentine's Day, why not make one clean switch? Try one of these DIY green cleaning recipes for an inexpensive change to your household products. Or treat yourself to a clean beauty product. My most recent obsession is this Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Lotion. It's got a lovely citrus smell that is sure to brighten a gloomy February day.
It's good for you and it's contagious (in a good way, unlike the seasonal viruses that have been making the rounds this winter). You could enjoy a funny movie or TV show. Or you could brighten up your commute or household chores with a podcast. I love How Was Your Week with Julie Klausner, Spilled Milk, and The Bugle.
Be well, Lovely!