I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day, even as a child. I always felt the idea of Valentine’s Day was lost with people trying to compete for big displays of attention while corporations made bank. And honestly, to this day, I don’t really do much to celebrate with my husband. We cook dinner, eat ice cream and tell each other how much we love each other. Oh, and we get each other the most outrageous Valentine’s Card we can find since we are both card people.
But then a friend of mine changed my perspective on Valentine’s Day: why not get yourself your own gift no matter if you’re in a relationship or not. Now, I already like to buy myself flowers on Valentine’s Day. I know my preference for flower bouquets, and I deserve to get myself something nice. So when my friend told me about giving myself a nice gift, I felt like such a dud. Why hadn’t I ever thought of getting myself something?
Then it hit me. Why not get me something to help me practice self-care? With Valentine’s Day being all about love, I deserve to show myself some love by taking care of my physical, emotional, and mental needs. Practicing self-care is all about creating an environment that caters to your needs where you can make mistakes and grow into a beautiful flower. It only makes sense to practice self-care on Valentine’s Day. And you don’t need a huge budget to practice self-care.
So this year, I will be taking charge and celebrating V-Day by taking care of my needs. And honestly, I think you should do the same. Take time out of the day to love every part of you. Read your favorite book, take a bath, be alone and maybe even get yourself something. It is a good time to fall in love with yourself or at least to start that process.
If you need some ideas to practice self-care on a budget, here are some free, or at least cheap, things to do:
Read a Book for Fun
I have read that reading for pleasure can improve relationships with others, help reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall wellbeing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read the book a million times, or it is new to you; let yourself get lost in someone else’s world. To stick to the theme of self-care on Valentine’s Day, I would suggest reading Sarah Dessen. Sure, she is a YA author, but her books are not just about romance. The protagonist goes through growth, with romance being the subplot of the novel. You can always stick to the usuals like Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Nothing wrong with reading something you know will help you de-stress and relax. Warning: I am not responsible if you read a new book and fall in love with the main character.
Shut Off Your Phone
Log off from social media and turn off your phone. Social media can be dangerous in regards to self-love, especially on Valentine’s Day. No joke, I have seen people try to make others feel bad for not having significant others, and that is absolutely disgusting. Honestly, get off and don’t let the whirl of love proclamations stress you out. Focus on you, boo.
Take Yourself Out on a Date
I always say that no one will ever love you as much as you love yourself. And that means you should take yourself out to eat. Obviously, with Covid, this isn’t a good plan, but order some cheap takeout and take yourself to the dining room. Light some candles, play some great music and enjoy your own company. And while you’re at it, get yourself a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. You deserve it. PS: I would suggest going to the movies by yourself, but maybe do that next year if things are better.
Watch Romantic Movies/TV Shows
I am a huge sucker for RomComs, especially teen films. You can bet that I will be watching To All the Boys: Always and Forever on Netflix, followed by other of my favorite teen romance films like The Kissing Booth and The Duff. Honestly, I might even watch the Galentine’s Day episodes of Parks and Recreation too. And if you aren’t in the mood to celebrate the Day of Love, suspense movies are also fine. You do you.
Write Yourself a Love Letter
Have you ever written a love letter? I have written a few in my time, and while they never ended up in mutual feelings, I was told that it made them feel special. So why not do the same for yourself? Grab a piece of paper (or even a Valentine’s Day card if you want to add that extra sparkle) and write yourself a letter. Write about what you love about yourself, share your favorite memories, and maybe your favorite achievements? Just let your brain control the pen. And when you are done, save it for a day you don’t feel your best.
Listen to a Pop Love Album/Playlist
Play your favorite Taylor Swift album/playlist and dance around your house. Oh, and obviously sing on the top of your lungs (if you can, anyway). Find some playlists that allow you to relax, have fun and let yourself be free. Here is one of my favorite Spotify playlists, filled with many catchy Top 40 songs that will definitely make you feel good about yourself.
Have A Good Cry
Crying can be good for you. A few benefits of crying include having a soothing effect, enhances your mood, relieves stress, and even lowers blood pressure. So listen to Taylor’s most recent albums, watch the Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercial or listen to a Spotify playlist with sorrowful songs. Here is my favorite go-to sad playlist that never fails to make me cry.
Wear Your Favorite Outfit
Go through your closet and find your favorite outfit and wear it the entire day. Wearing it will help you feel more confident and enhances your mood. While you’re at it, have a photoshoot of yourself. Take as many photos as you want and let your inner model come out. You are beautiful so SHOW OFF THAT GORGEOUS SMILE.
Check-In On Yourself
I am the type of person that will focus on how others are doing while neglecting my own needs. I am working on that, but you need to make sure you are doing the same. Check up on yourself and ask yourself how you are really doing. Allow yourself to pour out everything you are feeling, your concerns and fears. Be honest with yourself. Whether you journal, draw or talk it out, find a way to make sure you are doing OK. Use Valentine’s Day to take care of yourself. By doing this, it will improve your mood, productivity, and your energy.
Cook or Bake Your Favorite Meal/Treat
I wrote a whole blog post on self-care in the kitchen.
Get Yourself a Gift
Have you ever drunk shopped? I enjoyed drinking a few wine glasses and ordering something off Etsy, and forget all about it. And when it arrived, it would bring a smile to my face because I got myself something I wanted. Now, I am not telling you to get drunk and go on an online shopping spree. Get yourself something small. And if you don’t know what to get yourself for your V-Day self-care day, get yourself flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, or something off this list. The list contains a few of my favorite things that I love and are perfect for self-care days.