10 Self-Love Activities for Valentine's Day
Valentine's day is loaded with messages stressing the importance of being in a relationship, experiencing romantic love, or having someone that you're interested in - also be interested in you. This sets us up big time for feelings of inadequacy if we're single, we don't have these relationships, or if we do, they aren't functioning well or they're unhealthy. No wonder why Valentine's Day is so triggering!
A great way to take on the stressies and depressies of Valentine's Day is to delve into radical self-love. This will not only help reduce negative emotions on February 14th, but this is a great way to direct all the Valentine's Day vibes of love and caring towards the most important person in your life…. YOU. Don't know where to start? No biggie. I have you covered with 10 self-love activities for Valentine's Day.
Cook yourself dinner
It doesn’t have to be overly complicated or worthy of being on the food network. It's can be really fun to just make homemade pizza and bake yourself cupcakes. If you don't like cooking at all, consider getting your favorite take-out, or have a three-course gourmet meal delivered!
Write yourself a love note or sonnet
Consider the things about you that are worthy of your love, and then allow yourself to write them into a love letter for you to receive. If you're into writing, try writing a love sonnet to yourself! This site from No Sweat Shakespeare breaks down the process.
You heard me. And why not make it extra special on Valentine's Day? Set the mood with candles, get yourself a new toy or outfit. Take your time, indulge in your fantasies, and give yourself some pleasure!
Make a list of things that you are grateful for about YOU. Gratitude journaling is proven to help you feel happier, and Valentine's Day is perfect for focusing on self-gratitude.
Care for your physical self
Who doesn’t love skin care products, massages, manicures, or bubble-baths? Pick your favorite and treat your body to some pampering. Not able to splurge? Make yourself a homemade body scrub like this one from Simple-Veganista:
Have a solo dance party
Turn up Lizzo to 11 and dance around your living room. You’ll increase endorphins and lower your body’s stress response, even if you dance (vigorously) to one song! So put on some music, and start feeling yourself!
Get yourself flowers and candy
This is just a fundamental human right on February 14th. Get yourself your favorite chocolate, or one of those cheesy big red hearts where you have to bite the chocolates in half to see what's inside.
Get a Valentine's Day tattoo
What better reminder to love yourself is there? Check out some self-love tattoo inspiration online, or go with a fun Valentine's Day tattoo like these candy hearts! With a lot of tattoo shops having Valentine's Day specials, why not?
Build up your coping skills
Investing in your emotional health is a great way to love yourself. Ok, maybe I'm a little biased… but identifying coping skills is giving yourself the gift of knowing what you need when you're distressed. Check out this list of coping skills and worksheets for self-exploration from Positive Psychology to get started!
Hang with friends (safely)
Schedule something fun with your roommates, or others in your social pod. Feb 14th is just as good of a day as any to have a good time.
This list is certainly not exhaustive, as self-love is just as diverse in expression as love. If nothing on this list seems to be the right fit, keep looking! And remember to be kind to yourself and to choose at least one thing to treat yourself on Feb. 14th.
If Valentine’s Day causes you distress, consider making a plan. Going into the day with some idea of how you are going to spend it will help reduce day-of stress and worry. Contact friends to see if they might want to hang out, book an appointment for that manicure, or call up your local tattoo shop to see what their specials are ahead of time.
If you'd like to learn more about self-love, check out the Self-Love Workbook by Dr. Shainna Ali, Ph.D. and the book The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW.