Five Ways to Practise Self-Love This Valentine’s Day
From trawling around the shops for a gift and picking out the perfect card to endless swiping through profiles on a dating app in the hope that you might get a last-minute date by the 14th February, Valentine’s Day can be mega stressful! Lots of us get bogged down by the material things and forget to take a step back and appreciate what we already have.
It’s important to put down your phone, take stock of what you’re already grateful for, and show the person in your life just how much they mean to you. Sure, many people think that this one-day event is about putting someone else first, but if you don’t have a partner to spend Valentine’s Day with, you’re not alone! According to recent studies, more than 100 million people all over the globe will be spending Valentine’s Day single, and many of them tend to feel resentment towards spending the day on their own. Well, we’re here to tell you that this is, in fact, the ideal time to look after yourself, prioritise your own needs and think about number one: you! So put down that tub of ice cream, whack on your favourite playlist (mainly to drown out all of those TV adverts harping on about Valentine’s Day… yawn!) and keep reading for our top five ways to practise self-love on the 14th February.
ONE: SAY SO-LONG TO SOCIAL MEDIA
There’s no worse way to spend Valentine’s Day than trawling through your Facebook news feed to discover friends and relatives enjoying romantic, candle-lit dinners. Instead, turn your phone off and treat yourself to a few hours of screen-free time.
Whether you put down your phone and pick up your paintbrushes to pursue a neglected hobby, try out a new recipe you’ve been meaning to challenge yourself with, or simply cosy up on the sofa and read your favourite book, this is the perfect time to focus on you, and only you. In Food Fitness Flora’s recent blog, she spoke about focusing on ourselves and self-improvement, saying, “I think sometimes we can spend so long pointing out others’ inadequacies that we forget to look within at the places we could improve.” So take some time away from your phone to do something you enjoy or even try something new.
TWO: GET ACTIVE
Get your trainers on and get out there! Not only does exercise help us on our journey to fitness and improved wellbeing, but it also makes us feel good thanks to the release of endorphins. Have fun while you’re being active, too! In fact, PlayTone, a workout class for adults that focuses on the art of having fun, believes that we need to relearn the art of playfulness, and getting active is the perfect time to do so!
Whether you devote half an hour to your favourite yoga flow or take a walk around your local park, it’s time to practise some self-love by improving your fitness and wellness. If you don’t fancy taking a jog by yourself, rope in a couple of friends and take the opportunity to socialise with your awesome support network as well as having fun by being active.
THREE: PAMPER YOURSELF
Pick out a new face mask, run a hot bath and have a soak while watching your favourite Netflix series or reading a book. If you want to make things even more atmospheric, light a few candles and burn an incense stick for the ultimate relaxing, sensory experience.
If you’re into mindfulness, why not take some time to meditate while you’re relaxed and at-ease in the bath? If you’re new to meditation but fancy giving it a go, there are several apps that offer free meditation guidance, and it’s definitely worth trying it out while you’ve got some time to yourself. Mindfulness is important and, as The Naked Professor, Ben Bidwell, explains, “life is for living, and it starts with the mind-set we adopt.” A meditation session in a soothing, relaxing setting is sometimes just what is needed!
If you need a kick up the butt to get your mindfulness in check, take a trip to Oxford Floatation Centre, where you can chill out and relax in a pod of warm water. It’s ideal for encouraging mindfulness and relaxation.
FOUR: DECLUTTER YOUR LIFE
This is one of our faves! Decluttering the physical spaces in your life can have a hugely positive impact on your mental state and wellbeing, too. From small things, such as your sock drawer getting out of hand, to your computer desktop being overloaded with files and photos that you’ve been meaning to organise into folders, this is a great time to declutter your life. Zen Den Oxford are passion about creating tidy, zen spaces. They are advocates of decluttering and tidying because getting organised is a great form of therapy, and will make you feel more in control and on top of things.
If you’re clearing out clothes and shoes, make a pile of things you could sell on the internet, and you might just make an extra bit of cash, too, which you could spend on making yourself feel good. If you need a new outfit to boost your confidence, John Lewis & Partners offers free personal styling services.
FIVE: NOURISH YOUR BODY
It may be tempting to stuff your face with stodgy cakes, sugary doughnuts and tubs of your favourite ice cream, but now is the perfect time to practise some self-love that you can continue throughout the year and your whole lifetime. Nourishing your body is one of the most important things you can do to take care and responsibility of your wellbeing and lifestyle.
If you don’t have time to cook every day, take the opportunity this 14th February to get your apron on and do some batch-cooking! Megan from Strength Chef is a batch-cooking expert, and believes that one of the best things you can do to consistently eat healthily is get organised with meal-prep.
Take time to cook a nourishing vegetable stir-fry or a deliciously wholesome soup, and your body will feel replenished. Show your body that you care. If you’re feeling lost at the thought of cooking and nutrition, it might be time to consider seeing a nutritionist, like Annabelle Baker, who will be able to help you achieve your healthy eating goals.
We hope we’ve inspired you to devote a few hours to yourself. Remember that you don’t just have to wait until the 14th February to practise self-love – you can focus on you any day of the week! After all, you’re most important!
If you’re after some more self-love encouragement and motivation to get fit and improve your wellbeing, check out Healthier Leila’s inspiring blog.