Grocery aisles are adorned with chocolates, sweetheart candies, and countless other goodies. Radio stations, billboards, magazines, and television are flooded with advertisements for Valentine’s Day specials. Everywhere you look (and listen), you are reminded that Valentine’s Day is only a few days away.
What Do You Think Of Valentine’s Day?
If you’re like most people, you probably have deeply-held opinions about Valentine’s Day one way or another, but your viewpoint will likely depend on your relationship status. If you’re single, you may swear off Valentine’s Day and dismiss its romanticism as gooey nonsense. If you’re in a relatively new relationship, you may find yourself swept up in the romance of this special holiday. If you’re in a long-time committed relationship, you may find that you forget to dedicate much attention to Valentine’s Day since you’re busy taking care of the kids, the house, and the other responsibilities of adulthood.
None of these positions are wrong, and none of them are better than the other. They are all simply a depiction of the different priorities and opinions you will have at different stages in your life.
Who Should You Focus On?
In my opinion, the only real problem with the way most people celebrate Valentine’s Day is that it puts all the focus on other people. If you’re in a relationship, all of your Valentine’s Day focus will go towards your special someone. If you are single, you may find yourself wishing that you had someone to share the day with. Either way, you may find that all of your attention goes towards other people, whether they are actually in your life or not.
Regardless of your relationship status, I think it’s critical that you give a little Valentine’s Day love and attention to the person who is most important in your life, yet who gets pushed to the back burner all too frequently… yourself.
Take Time For Self-Care
Self-care and self-love are the most important aspects of your life. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the energy to take care of the other people in your life. If you don’t love yourself, you may underestimate the type of love you deserve and find yourself in unsupportive (or worse, abusive) relationships.
Regardless of your relationship status, I challenge you to share a little love and attention with yourself this Valentine’s Day. Here are a few simple ways to devote some energy towards self-care this holiday (and every other day).
When is the last time you turned up the radio and danced around your kitchen or living room? Life can be hard, and sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in everything. Dancing is an excellent way to channel some positive energy into your life. Even if you feel silly at first, stick with it. You’ll be glad you did!
2. Stretch Every Morning
Have you ever watched your pet wake up? No matter what time of day it is, cats and dogs always stretch a little bit as soon as they wake up. When is the last time you stretched as soon as you got out of bed? Stretching is a great way to revive and energize your body on a cellular level. It doesn’t have to be a long routine to have a positive impact.
3. Read A Book
When is the last time you read something just for fun? Most of the time, the material we read is for work or school, or it’s intended to teach us how to address a new situation in life. Reading for fun allows you turn off your brain and escape to a different reality, one without all of the responsibilities of everyday life.
4. Take A Bath
Unplug for a little while and allow yourself to simply relax. Fill a tub, add some bubble bath or bath salts, and let yourself unwind for a little bit – even if only for a ten minutes. If showers are more your thing, let yourself take a few extra minutes to stand still and simply let the water run over you.
5. Don’t Make “You Time” Optional
For many of us, self-care is something we squeeze in when all of our other responsibilities have been fulfilled. Unfortunately, the to-do list is endless – every time you scratch one thing off, you add something else in its place. Instead of waiting for the opportunity that may never come, make time for self-care a priority. Write it on your calendar, and treat it with the same respect and commitment that you would a meeting for your work. It’s just as important.
You are an amazing and unique individual. You deserve all the love, respect, and admiration in the world. It starts with YOU – once you learn to love yourself, you can surround yourself with people who will give you the love you deserve.
Remember that you are never alone on life’s journey. I would be honored to offer my services as an experienced online mental health counselor to support you on your path.
Samantha M. Ruth, Transformational Psychologist