5 ways to practise self-love on Valentine's Day

14th Feb 18 | Lifestyle

Why not make today about loving yourself?

Rear view of woman stretching in her bed

Valentine’s Day is here, which means you might be scrambling to pick up a gift for your significant other, or trying to set up a last-minute date so you can feel some love on what’s supposed to be the most romantic day of the year.

People tend to feel fear or resentment towards spending this day alone, but what many of us forget is that your relationship with yourself is way more important than any other in life, which is why Valentine’s is secretly the best time to prioritise your own needs and show yourself some compassion.

Handsome guy giving a present for her beautiful girlfriend, red roses, gift box, balloons on St. Valentine's day. On pink background.
Valentine’s day is traditionally about putting someone else first (Thinkstock/PA)

Learning to be comfortable alone – especially when everyone else is spending today in a loved-up bubble – isn’t easy, but once you’ve mastered the skill, getting away from everybody else’s demands can be pretty blissful. Self-care is a really important ritual for emotional health and studies have show that it can help you to manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression and more.

And hey, if nothing else, it means you have nobody else to impress on this soppy day but yourself.

So light some candles, block out the background noise and follow these self-care rules to have your best Valentine’s Day yet.

1. Bust out the bubble bath and sheet mask

Weekend vibes in full swing. #iamwellandgood #regramlove @citysage

A post shared by Well+Good (@iamwellandgood) on

Self-care isn’t all bubble baths and scented candles, but pampering and relaxation are pretty valid acts of self-care that can help you de-stress after a busy day. Treating yourself to a long soak in a hot bath isn’t just soothing for the mind, it can also improve blood circulation, lower your blood pressure and boost your chances of a good night’s sleep. Throw in some essential oils, pour yourself a glass of wine, whack on a podcast and you’ll be well on your way to a heavenly evening in – who said romance was dead?

2. Be active, be silly

Remember how good laughing until your sides hurt or flinging yourself from tree branch to tree branch felt when you were younger? Responsibilities like work, family and relationships can often get in the way of having the type of good, clean fun we enjoyed as children. Instead of sticking to your adult routine, mix up your schedule and plan some playtime into your day. Play and exploration trigger the secretion of BDNF, a substance essential for the growth and maintenance of brain cells – plus all of those endorphins are great for boosting your mood. There are plenty of activities you could try, such as acroyoga, wrestling, dancing or bouldering – basically, anything that satisfies your inner child.

3. Step away from social media

A person looking at their phone
Ditch the notifications for a day (Thinkstock/PA)

We all know that one of the worst things about Valentine’s Day – whether you’re single or in a relationship – is the endless barrage of materialistic displays of affection on social media. The whole day has become an outward competition; if you’re single, you feel unloved, and if you’re in a relationship, you start to compare your relationship to everybody else’s. Instead of spending the evening scrolling, shut down the app for the day. Your brain will thank you.

4. Put Netflix on

Happy Valentines! ❤️ #themarinesmovie #netflixandchill #cremebruleeicecream

A post shared by bea sanchez (@harlainesanchez) on

The best thing about spending Valentine’s Day alone? You don’t need to wear make-up, shave your legs or share the remote with anyone else. If you’re feeling mentally exhausted, spend the evening chilling out on the sofa, eating your favourite foods and watching your ultimate zone-out TV. No judgement necessary.

5. Get an early night

The power of sleep on your overall wellbeing is pretty potent – studies have shown it can affect your health, mood, weight and even your sex life. During sleep, free radicals are scavenged in the brain, minimizing its ageing process and preventing brain degeneration, so it’s pretty important to clock up enough hours snoozing. Get that Sunday feeling in the middle of the week by powering down earlier and turning in for an early night – you’ll wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed, happy and ready to seize the day.

© Press Association 2018

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