Valentine’s Day. It’s a day synonymous with red roses, chocolate, and love. For many though, the day is not full of happiness. Some may be reminded of a painful past relationship, or even left feeling alone if they are not currently in a relationship.
Whichever category you fall into this year, we hope that everyone can take the time to show themselves a little love, on February 14 as well as every other day of the year.
Valentine’s Day does not need to be about romantic love. Instead, let’s flip the tables and practice more self-love. It’s likely something we can all be doing a little bit more.
Research shows that self-love and contentment not only positively affects one’s mood and well-being, they also help build a strong foundation for healthier relationships with others. Taking care of oneself and practicing self-love is a lifelong journey, and not always easy. It can, however, start from an early age, by practicing self-love in front of our children, teaching them about healthy body image and consent from an early age, and talking to teens about health relationships and respect - for both themselves as well as others.
Going hand in hand with self-love, is self-care. Taking care of yourself and your health is a key component to self-love. On this Valentine’s Day, think about doing something kind and loving for yourself. Even the smallest of gestures will do! To help you out, we’re giving you 6 simple ways you can love yourself today!
Easy Ways to Practice Self-Love
Cook a healthy meal - Nourish your body with some delicious and healthy food. If you want to celebrate the day, pick up some naturally red fruits and veggies like cherries, cranberries or beet. Enjoy the meal solo or with a loved one. Either way, your body will thank you for taking care of it.
Take some quiet time - Set aside some solo quiet time. Grab a good book or magazine and a warm beverage, or simply “be” with your thoughts. Silence and solitude can really help with internal self-reflection and are so needed in today’s over-stimulating and busy age.
Take yourself on a date - Think about your favourite things to do and take yourself out on a date! Maybe you’ll head to a coffee shop, hit up a local theatre for a good play or head to the movies. You could go shopping, grab some lunch, head to a yoga class. the sky’s the limit. Show yourself some love!
Pamper yourself - What better time to get pampered than Valentine’s Day? If it’s in the budget, book a massage with a professional therapist. Massage therapy has all kinds of health benefits, including helping alleviate stress and relaxing the body. If you’re staying in, give yourself a pedicure or a face mask. Or, if you’re with a loved one, a simple back rub or foot rub can be truly pampering.
Get outside - Ahh, the Great outdoors. head up to your closest hiking or walking trail. Use the time to relax and breathe. Just being in nature can be incredibly soothing. If you’re with a partner, getting outside in the quiet of nature can be the perfect foundation for intimate conversation.
Talk about it - Take this opportunity to seek out professional help or counselling support, if needed. Take care of your mental health by speaking with a professional who can truly help. The support can be life-changing. You do not have to do this alone.
Most of all, remember: Be kind to yourself. Be gentle to yourself. Love yourself.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, know that you deserve to be loved and cared for, and there are resources to help you create a safety plan and receive the support you need.