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How to Enjoy a Self-Care Valentine’s Day

A woman relaxing on a bed and petting a grey cat.

Some people adore Valentine’s Day, while others couldn’t care less. No matter which camp you’re in, though, have you ever thought about turning Valentine’s Day into a self-care day? Even if you can only devote the afternoon to yourself before your hot date, it’s time to make at least some of Feb. 14 all about you!

If you already have plans for Valentine’s Day, you can still carve out some time for a bit of self-care. Make yourself a priority this year! Here are some tips to help you focus on making yourself feel more relaxed, peaceful, and happy this Valentine’s Day.

Plan Ahead

Even if you’re currently single, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Make the whole day about you and plan something special you’ve been wanting to do. Make a reservation at that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, book a massage at your favorite spa, or a mani-pedi at the salon.

If you have the funds, why not take a full-fledged vacation or long weekend somewhere warm? You’re likely to find some mega-deals on flights, hotels, and resorts this time of year, as well, so definitely poke around.

Or, you can gather all your friends together for a Galentine’s Day brunch, or just get together for the day and binge some of your fave rom-coms.

You don’t have to go anywhere at all if you don’t want to. Take the day off and sleep in, and then enjoy a spa day at home. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it involves relaxing and enjoying yourself.

Avoid Negative Triggers

A woman sitting on a park bench and looking annoyed by an affectionate couple.
Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock.com

Another key to enjoying yourself is to avoid places, situations, or people who might trigger negative emotions, like sadness, anger, jealousy, or depression. After all, those feelings will defeat the entire purpose of a self-care day.

If you’re not in the mood to see lovey-dovey couples canoodling on every corner, then you might want to avoid seeing a romantic flick or hitting a restaurant on Valentine’s Day (or the preceding weekend). After all, you’re trying to make this day about you!

Hate the consumerism associated with this holiday? No problem! Avoid shopping malls or crowded stores, as those locations will likely only spark irritation or anger, neither of which will elevate your mood or lower your stress level.

If the weather allows, hit the outdoors and hike or go for a bike ride. Stay in and read or watch films or shows you enjoy. Or, invite your friends over for a game night. The hilarious (and very adult) game Cards Against Humanity is sure to keep you laughing and/or gasping in shock. What you won’t be doing is thinking about Valentine’s Day.

Cards Against Humanity

The perfect anti-Valentine's Day game.

Pile on the Positivity

A woman sitting on a chair and wearing a sun hat in front of a TV with the ocean on the screen.

Lavishing yourself with care and attention, and participating in activities that only bring you joy is even more important than avoiding the stuff that has the opposite effect.

From simple things, like treating yourself to a present or a yummy meal, to the more extravagant options, like being pampered at a luxury spa or booking a getaway, do whatever makes you feel good, as long as it won’t break your bank. Still, give yourself permission to splurge a little and do something that will feed your soul.

To figure out what will light your happiness fire, just ask yourself what you would do if you could plan the perfect day for yourself. Think about every detail, from what song is playing in the background and the smell of your favorite meal, to what you would be wearing.

Are there people around you or not? Are you at the beach, driving in your car, or relaxing in bed? After you have a clear picture, it’s time to set your plan in motion! Figure out how you can make most (if not all) of it happen with the resources you have at your disposal. You might be surprised how far you can get if you get a bit creative.

Can’t afford to hit the beach? Get yourself a Light Therapy Lamp, turn on a sound machine that features ocean waves, and bring the beach to you! Or, you can hit the indoor pool at your gym. Can’t afford to drive across the country? Create your perfect playlist while you plan your trip for a later date.

As long as you can imagine it, you can create the good vibes that come with your idea of the perfect day!

LASTAR Sunlight Lamp

Bring the beach to you.

It Doesn’t Have to Cost a Thing

A man singing into a ladle in a kitchen.

Many people dislike the way holidays, especially Valentine’s Day, have been consumerized. Every year, we’re subjected to a media and brand marketing blitz that pressures us to buy expensive gifts and spend, spend, spend.

Of course, the truth is, love can’t be measured in dollars, nor should it only be celebrated one day per year. If the consumerism aspect bothers you, focusing on self-care is a fantastic way to spend Valentine’s Day. You can do it any way you want and without spending a ton of cash.

Here are a few free (or very inexpensive) ways to celebrate yourself this V-Day:

  • A home spa day: Raid your pantry, slice some cucumbers, and whip up a homemade face mask. Then, tackle those fingers and toes and give yourself a DIY mani-pedi.
  • Take a bubble bath: Gather all those bath salts and candles you’ve been getting every year for Christmas and your birthday and actually use them! You can also make your own bath bomb, if you prefer, with just a few common household ingredients you probably have in your pantry.
  • Catch up on (or rewatch) your fave TV show or movie(s): Heck, binge an entire season if you want! Today is all about you.
  • Cook your favorite meal: If you don’t have all the necessary ingredients, experiment with what you do have and see what you can come up with—you might even stumble upon a new fave.
  • Dance: Pull up that playlist, turn up the volume, and dance and sing your heart out!
  • Read: You know that book you picked up ages ago that you haven’t time to read? Put your phone in Airplane mode, grab a warm mug of tea, and dive in!
  • Hit the park or local trails: If it’s warm enough, take your pup for a walk at the park, or just grab your earbuds and go yourself. Hit a local trail and snap some pics of any wildlife or cool things you see.
  • Play in the snow: If you get a V-Day snowfall, engage your kids or friends in a snowball fight, build some snowmen, and make snow angels.
  • Go for a drive: Live near a scenic area? Take that playlist to the car and go for a drive. Don’t live near any mountains or lakes? No problem! Hit the highway and sing at the top of your lungs to all your favorite songs.

Self-care doesn’t have to cost a thing, just choose the activity that’ll make you feel the best!

Self-Care in a Relationship

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, self-care should be at the top of your priority list because you can only care for others if you do the same for yourself first. If you do have a partner, communication is key.

Let him or her know ahead of time how you’d like to spend Valentine’s Day and see if they’re game. You might be surprised to hear that your honey would rather stay in or hit the spa for the weekend, as well.

If you have different ideas about what to do, break up the weekend before, or the holiday itself, and engage in both activities so you’re both happy.

When it comes to self-care, you’re the only one who really knows what you want at any given moment, so it’s important to share that with your partner. If you leave him or her guessing, you’re far more likely to be disappointed. You’ll have a far more satisfying Valentine’s Day if you both get to spend (at least part of it) exactly the way you both want.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just about lovey-dovey couples Make it all about you this year and engage in one (or all) of these self-care activities. Come Feb. 15, you’ll feel completely refreshed and rejuvenated.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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