Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love — and not just “traditional” romantic love. What do we mean by that? It’s a time to think a little outside of the box, and fill yourself up with self love.
Oftentimes, human beings tend to want validation from an external source: a romantic partner, parental approval, career success, likes on Instagram, fitting into a friend group, compliments from strangers . . . You get it. And this can be quite damaging (watch Taylor Swift’s new Netflix documentary for further evidence). But what about using Valentine’s Day to empower yourself with internal validation?
Just like Lizzo would tell you, you’re your own soulmate!
This isn’t mutually exclusive to being in a romantic relationship, mind you, but learning to get that sense of fulfilment and validation on the inside can make you a happier, healthier person. One psychological study from 2019 made this observation: “Where Western society and mass media over the years have portrayed self-love and self-care as selfishness and self-indulgence, humanistic psychology and mindfulness interventions promoted in Eastern cultures instead encourage self-care, framing it as self-nourishment, where at the end of the day, we have more ‘good stuff’ left over to give others, rather than less. Through humanistic psychology and mindfulness, we learn how to cultivate such inner reserves.”
So what about this concept: treating yourself like the love of your life on Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re in a relationship or paving your own way, this practice can feel exceptionally empowering. Think about the things that you’d normally receive from a partner — or what you would do, buy, or plan for a partner.
Envision all the luxurious gifts and experiences that you can give to yourself, and start to cultivate that sense of empowerment and inner joy . . . all while indulging yourself. You’re worth it.
- Cook Yourself a Special Meal. And we’re not just talking dinner-for-one at home. Take yourself on a romantic trip to a foreign land with a cooking class! Head to a local culinary school or a Sur La Table to whip up a new Italian, Parisian, Mexican, Thai, or Japanese recipe while learning some new skills. Not down with leaving the house on couple’s day? Find an online cooking tutorial (MasterClass has some awesome classes with the likes of Gordon Ramsay), get your ingredients ready, and sharpen your skills in the home arena. You’ll eat something spectacularly tasty, feel confident from improving your skill set, and have an experience to remember. Add “personal chef” to the reasons why you love yourself.
- Create a Luxe Night In. Homebodies and introverts, unite! JOMO (joy of missing out) is the name of the game with this V-Day plan. Order in a fancy delivery meal, rent a movie or two (whether you’re in the mood for rom-coms or horror is totally up to you), put on your most luxurious PJs, and have a lazy night in. Take it up a notch: turn your phone off (yes, unplug!), light some candles, fill the tub for a hot soak (CBD bomb FTW), put on a face mask (we have some suggestions for those, too), and read a book or meditate or listen to music. Picture your dream day at home, with no obligations or plans or responsibilities, and then create that.
- Work Out. A sweat sesh helps you feel calm yet energized, and strengthens your body and mind. Plus, endorphins! Take a long, 90-minute yoga class, or book a private Pilates session (so fancy!) to give your body some TLC and work on your “temple.” Feeling extra? Hire yourself a personal trainer for a month, or gift yourself a new studio or gym membership.
- Get Out. Sometimes you just need to get outside . . . or out of town! Go for a walk on the beach or through the park near you, or take a weekend trip somewhere in the great outdoors and escape the hustle and bustle with a dose of nature. Maybe you want to go wine tasting with your best friend, or go real big and book and plan a dream vacation for the coming months. Yes, book it! Fantasizing about Tuscany or Paris? Maybe trekking through Cambodia? Now’s your time.
- Buy Yourself Flowers. If you’ve ever longingly anticipated a bouquet from a secret admirer or loved one, you know how much a good bunch of blooms can brighten your day. Pick out a gorgeous arrangement, or do some floral arranging with your favorite flowers to make the perfect bouquet (hot tip: Trader Joe’s has a pretty exceptional selection for being a bargain grocery store).
- Take a Recovery Spa Day. TREAT.YO.SELF. Envision an entire day dedicated to caring for your body and relaxing deeply. Hit up a recovery boutique with luxe treatments like a float tank, NormaTec compression, and a soothing infrared sauna. Get a deep tissue massage — a CBD massage would be even better! And round it off with a manicure and pedicure, so you leave feeling a little glam, too. The sky’s the limit, sister.
- Go Shopping. Listen, you don’t have to be a department store diva to enjoy a shop (but those who love getting lost in the shoe department, this is definitely for you). Consider spending a couple hours in your favorite (new and vintage!) bookstores, take a luxurious spin through Bloomingdales, stroll the aisles of Whole Foods (personal fav, TBH), peruse antique shops, bury yourself in leggings at Lululemon, let your Marie-Kondo-heart sing at the Container Store — or whatever makes you feel luxe and spoiled. There’s something for everyone. Make it a dream day! And if you are really ready to give yourself an ultimate Valentine’s gift, splurge on something you’ve been dreaming about. The handbag, the shoes, the refrigerator organization set, the vintage bottle of wine, the first edition book . . . You get it.
There are so many things you can do for yourself on Valentine’s Day (and beyond!), so hopefully this gets the wheels turning for you to start practicing big and small acts of self love from here on out. Happy indulging!