Valentines can be tough. There’s a huge focus on Love and being in a relationship. In my personal opinion, if you live in America it’s just another holiday that’s been ruined by companies pressuring you to buy stuff to be happy. I think we’ve really lost sight of love. To be honest, it’s so hard and so “Not Special” going to a restaurant on Valentines, that my husband and I have actually moved the date to the first weekend after.
I was not taught a lot about self-care or self-love…In fact, I’d venture to say that I haven’t really started learning about “myself” until very recently, and learning about yourself is different than loving yourself. You can learn about yourself and hate who you are.
Love is something that is cultivated over time, and I’d like to preface this post with saying that no matter how many bubble baths you take, no matter how many times you do your nails or have facials, it’s not going to matter unless you cultivate a real heart love for yourself and that will take time. That said, as you do these activities, remember to remind yourself over and over that you are deserving of these things, and that you are being kind to yourself because you deserve it!
Wow, I know this might have felt like a huge slap in the face, but I see a therapist twice a week and she has been extremely helpful in showing me how I treat myself, why I do what I do, and how I could do better. Talking about your problems with someone who can offer amazing advice and help you become a better person is the pinnacle of self-love I think even if it hurts to do.
Every religion has a ritual for letting the past go. As someone who has come from an abusive church background, I’ve had to recreate what that “letting go” ritual is. For me, it started on my trip to Australia. Every morning I’d meditate, then I’d go down to Coogee beach which was just steps from my Air BnB, and I’d write the things I wanted to let go that day in the sand. I’d watch as the waves took each one out to sea. Then I’d go swimming and every wave that came to me I imagined was bringing me good things. It took away the bad and brought back the good. I imagined the water as a cleansing power. Now that I’m home in Massachusetts in the middle of winter, I don’t have a warm beach to sacrifice my pain too. So my ritual has changed and I’ll probably post about it in the future, so if you want to be notified of future posts please go HERE.
Find a way that you can “cleanse” yourself of negative emotions and set your intentions for the day! You can write things on small slips of paper and burn them, write them in the sand and let the waves take them away, bury them in the ground, or write them on a balloon you release (which I do to commemorate my mother’s passing). Don’t forget that it’s not all about letting go, but also about getting back! Make sure to create a ritual to remind yourself that good things are coming!
I eat so nicely on vacations. Seriously, I see vegetables as nourishment, not punishment. I see smaller portions as more realistic to feed my true self. I eat fresh and organic, and I rarely snack because I want to have room for my next nice meal. I might occasionally have pasta, or pizza, or something sweet, but I’m starting to see how well the rest of the world eats in comparison to the United States. We tend to eat “sad” food. We eat food full of carbs, fats, cheese, and sugar thinking it will make us feel better (and maybe it does for a time), but it also makes us sadder (and now fat on top of it). Being away and looking at how other people honor their bodies has really got me thinking about how I should honor mine. I will not be giving up carbs (I’d rather die), or my occasional treat or glass of wine, but those are treats, not for every day. See what I mean?
Take some time, go on Pinterest or any healthy food blog and plan something for yourself that honors who you are as a loved person. You’re not cheap, or easy and neither should your food be! Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy on sale (cuz I do), but it does mean, that you shouldn’t sell yourself short, or just buy a microwavable because it’s the quickest thing to make. Put on some music, put on an apron, and make it a ritual of honor to cook for yourself! YOU DESERVE IT!!!
Now that you’ve done something for your mind and soul, as well as engage your sense of taste, now would be a great time to engage your sense of smell and touch. Get a bath bomb, or add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a nice bath, relax, exfoliate, shave, and don’t forget to add some really nice lotion to the mix and top it off with your favorite PJ’s. Mine are usually these really fluffy pants and a tank top.
I have a list of favorite movies “Eat Pray Love”, “Under the Tuscan Sun”, ” and Blue Crush” are just a few that I run to when I want to watch something positive. The news and media can be really negative and it seems to be everywhere. I noticed when I’m upset I tend to watch sad or upsetting things like Crime TV, or scary movies. This has NEVER helped me feel positive, motivated or inspired and often pulls me deeper into feeling sad. So while you might really love a good slasher film, if you’re trying to celebrate your best self, wouldn’t it be better to watch something that brings up feelings of happiness?
If you need a little nudge in the right direction, Ted talks are amazing, and even straight up funny animal videos on Youtube can help inspire good feelings. If you want some extra credit, try creating a “Happiness” playlist on Youtube. I actually have one which I listen to in the shower and you can check it out HERE!
If you’re not up for watching something, I suggest either getting a little notebook, journal or starting a Pinterest board just for self-care and self-love things and keep it private. I have one, and I like to start my mornings off scrolling through kind affirmations and advice on what I can do to treat myself with love and compassion.
I hope this list helps and if no one else has said it, I wish you a very happy Valentines Day! Full of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-compassion. You deserve your love. Are there anyways you show love to yourself? Let me know down in the comments! If you would like to be notified when I post again please SIGN UP for email notifications and if you would like exclusive content into my life then feel free to follow my social media’s listed on the sidebar! – Heather Astaneh