Self care this Valentine’s day. Because there's more than one kind of love
We often get lost in the concept of “romantic love” during Valentine’s Day. We completely overlook the other kinds of love, whether that’s love for your family, your friends, the earth, or our topic for today, yourself.
Ya girl is currently the most single she has ever been since the young age of 15. I’m admittedly a serial monogamist and while I haven’t necessarily spent all of my Valentine’s Days with a boyfriend (I broke up with my first boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. Not even kidding.), this is the first time I’ll be spending my Valentine’s Day to really love and care for myself.
When I was younger, I used to think “self care” aka relaxation, was bad. Relaxing? Doing nothing? Why do nothing when I could be busy doing something? I’d feel guilty for watching Netflix or going through social media. And while there’s something to be said about watching The End of the Fucking World when I’m supposed to be studying for a test, curling up with a good book and taking some time to destress should not be something that makes me feel bad. I’ve realized that keeping busy is only good to an extent. After all, what use is overburdening yourself with classes, job, extracurriculars and more if you’re so tired by it all that you can’t give everything your best effort?
That’s why self care is so important. Taking time out of my day to check in with myself and see how I’m doing is just as important as the event I’m pulling together for the Fashion Society. Beyond that, I’m easily overwhelmed by my emotions, so taking time to decompress and relax helps me get rid of any negative energy I’ve been holding onto.
Another benefit of self care? If you’re taking proper care of yourself, you’ll feel your best. And when you’re at your best, you can do a better job of smashing the patriarchy. Take it from Audre Lorde, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
This Valentine’s Day, I’ll be getting political by taking the time to love myself. Here are some of my favorite ways to do just that, along with a few ideas from you guys!
1. Take yourself on a date. I personally enjoying heading over to my favorite coffee shop, Saint’s Cafe, to get their matcha latte with oat milk. (Total game changer, I can’t get the one from Starbucks anymore because it just tastes wrong.) Taking the time to sit down with yourself and just exist alone for awhile is incredibly centering. If you’re willing, bring a journal or a notebook with me and let your mind wander. Jot down some thoughts and questions you’ve maybe been avoiding and take the time to ponder them. Maybe you’ll leave your date feeling newly encouraged to pursue a passion or deal with something that’s been bothering you.
2. Coloring books. I’m a child at heart. I’m thoroughly living for the revival of coloring books through the various adult coloring books and coloring for meditation. If you’re ever feeling like you need a break from the glare of your phone and computer screens, this is a great way to relax and let your eyes take a break. There’s something about mindlessly coloring in a picture that always succeeds in soothing me. If you’re looking to escape your thoughts for some time rather than engage with them, this is a great way to do so.
3. Bubble bath. I seriously wish I had a bath so I could do what Kelly does. Every night, Kelly takes a bubble bath and reads poetry. That’s some real self love, there. I don’t have a bath, so I’ll probably pamper myself with a good shower followed by some fancy face masks and lotion. If you have a bath, though, take advantage of it. Bonus points for lighting candles in your bathroom and around your bathtub for that extra super soothing ~mood~ lighting.
4. Netflix. I know we joke about “Netflix and chill” all the time, but this is honestly really important self care for myself. I don’t watch a lot of movies or TV while I’m at school because I tend to feel guilty for not doing something “productive” but that’s such unhealthy thinking! Grab that laptop, some ice cream or your other favorite snack (I bought a box of 12 triple chocolate ice cream sandwiches the other day, so that’s where I’m at) and settle in for your own movie date with yourself and maybe Mr. Snugglebear.
5. Work out. Maybe this isn’t the self care you were thinking about, but hear me out! When I’m feeling really tense or anxious, a trip to the gym does wonders. Show your body a little love this Valentine’s Day by heading to the gym to take care of it.
6. Get cozy. A comfy environment can relax your body and soul. On days that my amazing friend Dan isn’t feeling great, he turns up the heat in his apartment, gets cozy in bed with some tea and reads a book or watches a show he really likes.
I hope you guys like these ideas! I made a self love playlist full of positive, upbeat songs to accompany some of these suggestions. Thanks to everyone who gave me recommendations! If you partake in any of them this Valentine’s Day, post about it on your instastory and tag me @a_nnabae so I can see!
Also, if anyone comes at you taking the time to pamper yourself, tell them what Audre Lorde said: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”