Valentine’s day is just around the corner and my relationship with this holiday is complicated. For a really long time, it depressed me every single year. When I became comfortable with being single – it became a day of celebrating my love for myself. Now that I’m married, it’s just another day where we show love to each other. We laugh together, we eat good food, and sometimes we exchange gifts, but it’s about the little lovely things.
And that’s what I think about when I think of this day. The little lovely things we can do for ourselves and for the people around us.
Here are some small acts of coziness and kindness you can add to your life!
Pamper yourself with warm gifts.
Fuzzy socks, large sweaters, and soft blankets! Since Valentine’s Day lands near the middle of winter, it’s a perfect time to focus on keeping yourself warm.
Make time for your favorite hobby.
Give yourself the gift of time spent with the things that bring you joy. Curl up with a good book. Have an old-fashioned movie marathon with popcorn. Put on soft music and work on a story or write something just for fun.
Do a guided meditation.
If you’re not familiar with meditation you might think of sitting silently in a room while you clear your mind of all thoughts. That’s a type of meditation but meditation is also a beautiful spectrum of experiences. We can meditate in so many lovely ways.
Imagine curling up with a pillow and your softest blanket. Maybe you have a heating pad or a weighted blanket. You could put on a fluffy eye mask to relax your eyes… pop in your earbuds and listen to someone with a soothing voice talking you through wrapping yourself in loving energy, or describing a relaxing beach scene that makes you feel like you can feel the sand in your toes.
Guided meditations are my favorite because they relax your mind (and body!) by engaging your imagination. Meditating regularly can help you to quieten your mind, relieve stress, and become more mindful. It’s a lovely practice that only takes a small portion of your day.
Surround yourself with loving people.
Loving people make you feel loved. That’s such a simple and obvious statement but I can’t count the number of times I’d look around and realize that my friends were not people who made me feel that way.
There’s this saying that we are ‘the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.’ With this in mind, would you be happy to be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with? If not, maybe it’s time to add to your support system.
(Almost) Every Thursday, I try to post a gratitude prompt on Instagram. For a large part of my life, I was in a deep depression and gratitude was alien to me. I was so sick that I couldn’t see or acknowledge the good things in my life because they were always so overshadowed by the bad. As I began to come out of it, I started a gratitude practice and it’s a way to tell depression to “Take that.” So even on the days that I’m struggling, taking a moment to acknowledge one or two things that are going right, really helps!
Get help if you need it.
For some, Valentine’s Day can trigger a lot of feelings, especially if you’ve been in difficult relationships that you’re still processing. Probably the kindest gift you can give yourself is being open to healing. Whether you’re just having a bad day and need to vent or you’re going through a seriously hard time, it’s important to ask for help.
You could look into NAD for addiction, or go to a meeting, make a therapy appointment or reach out to talk to a friend. There’s always that first step that changes everything.
Find a mentor.
Or find someone who inspires you. One of the essential aspects of my early self-love journey was finding people that I could relate to just so that I could see that I wasn’t alone. If someone else could do it, then maybe I could too.
Everybody can teach us something and in turn, we end up learning about ourselves through the process!