By Lily Dulberg, Contributing blogger
Whether you’re in a relationship or flying solo this Valentine’s Day, there’s never been a better time to show yourself some love. With the pandemic changing the way we interact with others and ourselves, there’s a real need for genuine connection. Self-soothing can actually help you overcome challenges in your day-to-day life, and improve your mood during challenging times. Try these five simple but effective tips to nourish yourself with the care you deserve this Valentine’s Day.
1. Apply your love language -- to yourself!
Have you heard of love languages? Dr. Gary Chapman developed 5 key areas to show how people best receive and give love. The five love languages are quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, and physical touch. What you might not think about right off the bat is that these can be applied directly to yourself, not just to a partner.
For instance, if your love language is quality time, how can you build in more solo activities into your schedule -- things that truly bring you joy and connection? This might look like a walk in nature, time spent painting, listening to your favorite music, gifting yourself a massage, or trying that special Zoom workout class you’ve been wanting to attend.
2. Engage your senses
Indulge in an evening that engages all five senses. Ask yourself these questions to get started:
- What scents make me feel cozy and comfortable? Maybe you light a scented candle, some incense, or put a few drops of essential oil to spruce up your bathtime routine.
- What flavors do I love to taste? Maybe it’s a decadent mac and cheese dish or a chocolate-filled mousse for dessert. Spend time and put intention behind the preparation of this special meal for you.
- What music do I want to listen to? Whether it’s relaxing instrumentals or all-out energetic beats, put on your favorites and move your body to the sounds.
- What textures do I like to feel? Think about everything from your clothing to blankets and surfaces you feel most comfortable sitting on. Wear an outfit that provides soft comfort or interesting texture to feel for this special evening.
- What do I want to see? Maybe it’s a movie you watch or a new arrangement of your living space, but whatever it is, make your space visually pleasing.
3. Gift yourself a ‘do nothing’ day.
We are living in a time when work and home life boundaries can feel inextricably interwoven. Saturdays become workdays because, well, your workspace may very well be your kitchen or dining table! Build space and physical transitions between work and home by giving yourself permission to genuinely do nothing for a day. What does that look like, you might ask? It’s truly unique to you. The only rule is this: ask yourself ‘do I want to do this today?’ If the answer is no, leave it for tomorrow. Indulge in a day that requires you to do absolutely nothing.
4. Take small steps towards a goal
Research shows that the act of working towards a goal can increase happiness. Now could be the time to finally complete that DIY project you’ve been wanting to do for weeks, or to work towards a new step in your career. Do the research, take the necessary actions, and we’re almost certain you’ll feel satisfied from even spending just 10 minutes working towards one of your goals.
5. Write yourself a card of affirmations.
Imagine you’re writing a card to a friend. What would you tell them? What would you want them to know? Write down exactly what you appreciate about yourself. What are you proud of? What are some of your most cherished memories, affirmations, and quotes? Have fun with this one by using different colors, textured paper, pens, or whatever you have lying around! Don’t stress too much about the materials -- even a napkin and pen will suffice, and might even encourage you to get more creative.
This Valentine’s Day, whether you’re alone or coupled up at home, spend time taking care of your needs. Self-love is an act of kindness that you can embody in so many different ways. Give one of these a go and show yourself the care you deserve.