Making Valentine’s Day about self-love and gratitude can do wonders for your mental health
When you think of Valentine’s Day, your mind might jump to the thought of romantic couples, date nights, receiving chocolates or flowers, and so on. The truth is, although Valentine’s Day is a day of love, it is not reserved for expressing love to a significant other. Instead, it can mean giving love to yourself.
Regardless if you’re newly single or have been enjoying the single life for quite some time, this day can give you an amazing opportunity to do more things that bring you joy. Celebrating Valentine’s Day as a single man or woman is a wonderful experience — so long as you open your heart and mind to it.
Learning to Embrace Self-Love
While Valentine’s Day has been socially constructed to make people believe they need a partner to share their love with, it is quite the contrary. Reframe your mindset about this day by celebrating yourself and embracing self-love on a whole other level.
Considering Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to put yourself first and show how much you truly love and appreciate yourself can be an invigorating experience. Not only does this help you get through the day, but it also motivates you to celebrate yourself more often. Even if it’s something small, treating yourself can set you on the right path towards embracing more self-love on a regular basis.
How to Treat Yourself this Valentine’s Day
While Covid-19 restrictions continue across the country to keep us safe, there are still plenty of fun and entertaining ways to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day. Here are 10 fun ideas that are sure to put you in good spirits.
- Buy yourself a gift: Spoil yourself this Valentine’s Day by buying an adorable gift that you’ve been thinking about. Even better, there are plenty of local shops you can support that go the extra mile to make you feel special. There are stores all around offering gorgeous flower arrangements, delicious chocolates and cupcakes, and so on.
- Have a spa day: Spend a couple of hours in the day pampering yourself. Sit back and enjoy a relaxing bath, a deep cleansing face mask, freshly painted nails, or maybe even a massage. Any type of physical self-care can be incredibly refreshing for both your mind and body.
- Enjoy a book or movie: Pick out your favourite novel, movie, or t.v. series you’ve been excited to get into and make a night out of it. It’s a great time to sit back and lounge in some cozy pajamas.
- Have a workout: If you’re looking for a quick and effective mood-boosting activity on Valentine’s Day, exercise is just the thing for you. Whether you head outside for a run, sign up for a workout class, or try yoga at home using a YouTube video, you’re sure to turn your mood around in no time.
- Bake something delicious: If baking has a special place in your heart, try your hand at a fun and tasty new recipe. Even if you’re not so inclined to eat an entire tray of self-made cookies, consider donating them to a local charity in need.
- Get creative: If you’re looking for ideas to take your mind off of Valentine’s Day altogether, try getting creative. Pull out your art supplies and paint a bright and colourful sunset or hop onto Pinterest to learn how to make a cute candle. You may even come up with an innovative idea to create gifts for your loved ones along the way.
- Plan a virtual date night: Round up your single friends and arrange a fun-filled games night over FaceTime or Zoom. The abundance of online game apps lets you and your friends hangout in a safe and socially distanced manner.
- Spend some time in nature: Spending a little time outside every day helps you to feel more connected to yourself and the world around you. This is especially true on Valentine’s Day. Regardless if it’s a little chilly this time of year you can bundle up, throw on some headphones, and take a walk through nature.
- Treat yourself to some takeout: If you’re not in the mood to cook for yourself, consider checking out a local restaurant in your community for some fresh and delicious takeout food. Not only will it satisfy your hunger, but it also helps you to give back to your community in need when you support local.
- Give back to others: If you have a friend or family member who may be single and down on themselves, it’s always thoughtful to reach out. Whether it’s through a gift, a card, or even a short and sweet text message, a little goes a long way! This person may appreciate the gesture even more than you even imagine.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Not having that special someone to share Valentine’s Day with can be very difficult for many people. Finding this day to be a little more lonely or anxiety filled is completely normal and likely more common than you think! No matter what you decide to do with your day, it’s most important to take care of your mental health.
Take a break from social media
If you find yourself aimlessly scrolling for hours on Valentine’s Day only to feel a little more lonely than before, you may want to consider taking a break from social media. For the sake of your mental state, there is no reason to put yourself in this sort of position. If you have limited self-control, it may be a good idea to delete the apps from your phone ahead of time — you’ll thank yourself later!
Be kind to yourself
At the end of the day, it’s important to know that it’s okay to not feel okay on Valentine’s Day. Give yourself permission to feel any sort of way. Accepting your actions and emotions can be incredibly helpful. If you’re feeling down and want to curl up in a ball and eat chocolates until you fall asleep, so be it! Just know that you are not alone in feeling this way. Acknowledge that you may need to have a ‘down day’ and be kind to yourself about that.
Connect with a trusted therapist
If you’ve become increasingly overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety, you may want to consider connecting with a trusted therapist. No matter where you are, On Your Mind Counselling offers virtual visits with certified counsellors to accommodate individual circumstances. Whether or not you’ve attended therapy in the past, this is a great opportunity to express your emotions in a safe and non-judgemental space. Book your visit today.
Written by Tori Mudie, BA, MA, RP, CCC