Valentine’s Day can sometimes be stressful if you don’t have someone to spend it with. Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship, single and ready to mingle, or somewhere in between, there is a lot of pressure to find someone to snuggle up with on February 14th.
But instead of worrying about finding someone else to love, why not spend some time loving yourself? We’ve compiled a few tips for having fun and falling in love with yourself this year.
Self-Care Tips for Solo Snugglers:
-Take a long shower or bath: The warm water is so calming, and you can let your mind wander. Put on a relaxing playlist, grab some tea, ice water, or another favorite beverage, and soak. Epsom salts are a great and inexpensive way to enhance a warm bath, and helps soothe any muscle aches you may be feeling.
-Start a compliments notebook: It can be a notebook, a digital document, some sticky notes on your wall, or whatever you have on hand. Keep track of the nice things people say about you so you can look back on them when you’re not feeling so great. It can be nice to remember that kind person who complimented your outfit, or your friend thanking you for being a good listener.
-See some sunlight: Sometimes being inside and in the dark can make you feel stagnant and bored. Even just going outside and sitting or standing outside your front door can be refreshing. The crisp air can do a world of good, even just for a few minutes. If it’s too cold outside, or if it’s difficult to get out of your house, opening the window curtains can bring sunlight into your room and brighten your mood. Plus, it can be fun to people-watch (or dog-watch) from your window.
-Do something you’ve been putting off: If you’ve been meaning to do the dishes for three days but haven’t had the motivation, do them! It will make you feel so much better once you have, and you can get rid of that nagging voice in the back of your head. You can do something as small as making your bed, or as big as alphabetizing your CD collection or color-coordinating your book collection into a rainbow.
-Dance!: Make a playlist of some favorite songs and move around. It can be a whole-house romp or just a small shoulder-shimmy while you sit on the couch. Try and get some blood flowing by getting your body moving. Plus, the upbeat music will help lift your mood!
-Write something down: It could be an idea that’s been floating around, a to-do list, or a stream-of-consciousness word vomit. Let it all out. You can go back to it later if you’d like, or if you’d like to get rid of some negative thoughts you can burn it/tear it up/use it to line your pet’s litter box.
-Think of your favorites: Eat your favorite comfort food, pull on your favorite sweater, or watch your favorite movie (Harry Potter movie marathon anyone?). Reconnect with what you love.
Longer-term Self-Love Tips:
-Mindfulness: take a few quiet moments to really think about your own needs. How are you feeling? What thoughts have been on your mind? Is there anything you’ve been wanting for yourself? If you haven’t been feeling so great, think of some things that make you feel better.
Do you have a favorite soft blanket? A movie that always makes you laugh? A book that you’ve loved since you were a kid? Being in touch with how you feel and what you want is a good way to understand yourself, and really love who you are.
-Set boundaries: Has work been overwhelming you? Are social obligations making you feel more stressed than supported? It is okay to say “no” and to take a step back. You are not obligated to take an extra shift at work, or to bring work home with you at night. It can be especially hard to refuse an invitation from a friend, but if you feel like your batteries are running low, it is fine to turn them down--you can always reschedule. Take at least one day per week to do what recharges you, whether that is having a meal with friends or staying at home with some mood lighting and Netflix.
-Let yourself make mistakes: We all mess up. It’s part of being a human person. But making mistakes helps us learn. I’m sure you hear this all the time, but one misstep is not the end of the world. It will be okay. It’s important to recognize the mistake, accept that it happened, and move forward. It can be really hard letting something go, especially if it’s embarrassing or affects other people. But ask yourself: will this matter in a week? In six months? In a year? It may hurt now, but the pain or embarrassment or guilt will soon fade. It’s okay.
-Unplug from social media: This is another tip that gets tossed around all the time. But when was the last time that scrolling through your Facebook feed made you feel good? Take a break from all of the noise and turn off your wifi--even if it’s just for an hour. You can respond to texts from friends if you’d like, but maybe keep away from Instagram and other feeds that might make you feel like you’re missing out on something. Instead of flipping through your phone, try taking an extra-long shower, calling or Facetiming a friend, or go outside (just bundle up--it’s very cold).
And if you’d like to spend some time with others this Valentine’s Day, come join us at the Pride Center for a showing of the movie Pride (2014)! Doors will open at 6, and the movie will start at 6:30. We hope to see you there!
Also- join us for a Mindfulness series with Katrina Dreamer on Tuesdays from 7:30-8:30pm, February 28th-March 21st.
-Alanna Moriarty, Blogging and Social Media Intern