Valentine’s Day, which is coming up next week, is celebrated in many countries around the world and has been for years. The first references to this holiday began as a celebration to one of the early Christian saints named Valentinus. The earliest associations with love and romance came from the Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love started to flourish. Over time, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for one another by presenting flowers, offering desserts and sweets as well as sending greeting cards, which eventually became known as “valentines”.
Unfortunately, however, many of us have mixed feelings about this holiday, perhaps due to childhood rejections or from quantifying our worth by the number of “valentines” we received. But as we grew older, the holiday became all about romance and finding that special someone, as it has grown into a huge commercialization with sales of tons of chocolates and flowers.
This year, save yourself the stress and take it back to the basics by thinking about what YOU love. Especially those small playful things that make you smile. Rather than focusing on what makes our family and friends happy, take some time to focus on yourself. More often than not, we are all too busy looking for someone to love us that we forget about the one person we need to love first – ourselves.
This Valentine’s Day, whether you are single or in a relationship, it’s very important to remember to love YOU. According to Science Daily, acceptance is the attribute most closely tied to self satisfaction and happiness; yet, we find it hardest to accept ourselves. Here are some tips to inspire and help you to stay on track this Valentine’s Day season.
HAVE THAT CHOCOLATE YOU’VE BEEN CRAVING
Of course what you’re putting into your body is important, but denying yourself can also deplete your willpower and make it harder to stay healthy. Cynthia Sass of The New York Times explains, “Not finding a way to build-in indulgences is the primary reason many people ride the weight rollercoaster—lose 20 pounds, gain back 25, lose 30, gain back 40. Trying to be ‘perfect’ week after week typically leads to feelings of deprivation, resentment, even anger or depression, and culminates in either binge eating, or diet abandonment.” So, don’t deprive yourself of the festivities that Valentine’s Day might bring. Instead of fighting the day-long battle to grab that orange instead of the Valentine’s Day candy, you may be better off simply enjoying a piece as a reward and moving on.
MAKE TIME FOR YOUR SELFIE
No matter what your story is, you likely have people in your life who rely on you. While it’s beneficial to build strong relationships with peers, friends and family, it is equally important to make some time for yourself. Balance is not just focusing on your physical health, but your mental and psychological health as well. Psychology Today lists many benefits of finding solitude in your day, such as giving you the time you need to find your own voice. No matter what your plans are this Valentine’s Day, remember who you are, and take the time to do something that you love. Join a pickup basketball game, take a stroll, or relive your glory days with a high-energy dance class.
TAKE A MINI VACATION
If you can’t remember the last time you got away, it might be time to take yourself offline and book a trip. It doesn’t have to be anything major that involves travel agents and a huge budget. Maybe you have a friend you haven’t seen in a while, maybe you can surprise yourself by discovering a place only a few short hours from where you live. During the colder months many of us start to feel cooped up in our homes due to the weather. A few days doing something fun, providing ourselves some TLC, is often all we need recharge.
With the craziness of life, the feeling that we are often being pulled in a ton of different directions and, sometimes, just feeling like all you can do is survive, it is always important to take a step back and get to the root of what matters most – YOU. This year, as Valentine’s Day approaches, remember, the level of love you can give to others equals the level you can love yourself first. So find ways to give yourself what you need most.
Happy Valentines Day!