As Valentine’s Day approaches (and, let’s be honest, a bit of splurging), it’s pretty hard to miss all the reds and pinks, hearts, Valentine’s Day sweets, and balloons filling up every grocery store in America. And for those of you with kiddos, you’re probably already familiar with the Valentine’s cards and candy popping up on their school shopping lists this February. But here’s a thought: regardless of whether you’re single or coupled up, why not use this month as a way to shower some love on the most important person – yourself? It’s the perfect opportunity to step up your self-care game and take a good look at how you’ve been treating yourself. Plus, it’s an ideal time to make some tweaks and changes in your life, focusing on what’s best for you. ANDDD it can be a time to also love on people around you too.
I firmly believe that it’s time to challenge the notion that Valentine’s Day is exclusively for those in romantic relationships. Why not expand the celebration to encompass all types of love? While this may include the affection we share with our partners, yes, but also the love we have for our friends, family, and the love we have for ourselves. How can we give away what we do not possess within? It’s about recognizing and cherishing the various forms of love that EMPOWER our lives, not just the romantic aspect. Let’s make Valentine’s Day one where love in all forms especially self-love, is acknowledged and celebrated. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the diverse relationships that bring joy and fulfillment to our lives, and to also turn inward and honor our own worth and well-being.
Join me as I share tips on how we can practice self-love and self-care for Valentine’s Day. You are worthy of love, so let’s dive in!
Morning Routines for Self-Love
I remember nursing heartbreak on V-Day and feeling like a complete wreck. I wasn’t nice to myself and I let negative thoughts and my inner critic to creep in and allow my relationship status to define my worth. Past mistakes and decisions pushed me into a variety of negative mental spaces. I love romantic love, but I understand that we can’t love others well if we don’t love ourselves well. No, I don’t mean perfection or that you have to show up as the best version of yourself to receive love. Moreno, being able to see yourself in the mirror of God’s lens and show up accordingly. Scars, flaws, and all.
To all the single women (single people in general) who may be having a tough time on Valentine’s Day start your day off with self love and daily affirmations. Instead of going on social media and allowing yourself to be triggered by all the posts, show yourself some unconditional love and remind yourself that you ARE a good thing. Don’t let one day of the year move you to question the beauty of you. First thing is to say a prayer, light a candle and repeat these positive statements:
- I am loved and appreciated for who I am.
- I deserve love and give it freely.
- My heart is open to receiving love from all directions.
- I celebrate the love I have in my life and look forward to more.
- Love surrounds me every day in all that I do.
- I am grateful for the love I give and the love I receive.
- I am worthy of deep, fulfilling love.
- I radiate love and kindness to those around me.
- Self-love is a natural part of my life.
- Every day, in every way, I am becoming more loving and loved.
- I attract relationships to me that are for the highest good of all.
- I allow love to find me easily and effortlessly.
- I am surrounded by love.
- My relationships are always safe and fulfilling.
- Today, I choose to love myself a little more than yesterday.
- I am deserving of the love that I receive.
- I spread love to those around me and it returns to me in abundance.
- My heart is always open to love.
- I love who I am, and so does my partner.
- I am in a loving and supportive relationship.
It’s a good ideas to make positive self-talk a large part of your daily routine/self-care routine. Not just on Valentine’s Day but everyday. To be honest I thought affirmations initially were a bit woo-woo. I think it’s sad that speaking life over yourself makes us question everything.Rule of thumb – would you talk to your dearest friend the way you speak to yourself?
For any of you psychology nerds out there – check out this article on the Self-Affirmation Theory and how positive self-tap can actually change you! And most importantly as someone who is a believer understanding God’s love beyond MYSELF has changed my life. And I do believe when we have a mirror to how He loves us it helps us to love ourselves. It goes hand in hand.
Action: Whatever affirmation resonates with you the most, write on sticky notes and put it on a mirror you frequent the most.
Plan a Spa Day
A piece of advice that I am carrying close to my heart is the importance of self-love and inner peace. It’s an empowering notion, to give yourself the same level of care that we often long for from others. Treating ourselves with an extra dose of tenderness a bad thing – EVER! It’s an essential component of well-being.
Why not designate a day for self-care and call it your spa day? Imagine it as a personal holiday: you could go solo or make it a celebration of friendship with your beloved Galentines. Picture a day filled with pampering, from relaxing massages that bring a sense of tranquility to facials that refresh your mind and skin?
The idea that such luxurious self-love should only be reserved for rare occasions is something I hope we put a stop to. Myself included. There’s no rulebook stating that the leniency and love we offer ourselves should be limited or rationed. Why not make it a habitual practice? Integrate it into your routine, perhaps with smaller gestures like a calming evening bath or a morning journal session. Doing this creates a continuous loop of self-kindness that propels you through life’s ups and downs.
Love on yourself routinely and unapologetically. After all, when we fill our own cup first, we’re in a much better position to share our abundance with others. So start planning that spa day now, and remember kindness for others begin with kindness to self.
Why not stimulate your mind with getting some mindful movement in for your physical health. I know, I know, Valentine’s Day is and romantic gestures, but why not change the narrative this year by stimulating your mind and body with mindful movement?
Incorporating physical activities can be a refreshing way to celebrate the day, whether you’re with a partner or on your own. Did you know that exercise improve mental health? Mindful movement doesn’t just mean hitting the gym or going for a run; it’s about finding a form of exercise that you genuinely enjoy and that allows you to connect with your body. This could be anything from a walk, taking a dance class, engaging in a restorative pilates session or even just stretching together at home. It’s the intention behind the movement that matters – being present and mindful of your body and how it feels. Currently, my new love is all things PVOLVE. I had to cancel my gym memberships to save and think about some cost effective approaches.
The power of movement is bigger than an immediate effects on a vanity level. Sometimes it can help you with just being in the present moment. Other benefits are improving cardiovascular health, increase strength and flexibility, and reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise can also improve mental health. So if V-DAY woes got you down it can also enhance your mood! This Valentine’s Day, consider stepping away from traditional norms and instead, opt for something that promotes your well-being and personal growth.
Make a Meal/Share a Meal
Valentine’s Day provides a perfect opportunity to create an intimate and memorial experience whether you’re cooking for yourself, a loved one, or a group of friends. I do believe showing other people love is a great way to get our mind off ourselves. And the best thing is that food is the way to the HEART. Here is an easy peasy recipe to make or yourself or your loved ones.
For a festive and delightful pasta dish with chicken that incorporates heart shapes for Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day, consider making Heart-Shaped Chicken Parmesan over Heart-Shaped Pasta. This dish combines the classic comfort of chicken parmesan with a playful and loving twist, perfect for the occasion.
Heart-Shaped Chicken Parmesan over Heart-Shaped Pasta
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned or panko for extra crunch)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Heart-shaped pasta (look for special Valentine’s pasta or use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter on fresh lasagna sheets)
- Prep the Chicken: Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make them thinner, then use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the chicken into heart shapes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bread the Chicken: Dredge the chicken hearts first in flour, then dip into the beaten eggs, and finally coat with a mixture of breadcrumbs and half of the grated Parmesan cheese.
- Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
- Assemble and Bake: Spoon a little marinara sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Place the cooked chicken hearts over the sauce, top with more marinara, then sprinkle with mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare the Pasta: Cook the heart-shaped pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil or a spoonful of marinara sauce to prevent sticking.
- Serve: Plate the heart-shaped pasta, top with a chicken parmesan heart, and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Add a final touch of marinara sauce over the top if desired.
This special dish is not only visually appealing but also packed with flavor, making it a perfect main course for a Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day celebration.
Unwind With a good Book
I am not sure about you but books are my outlet and helps me to be present. Do you relate? I think the important part of reading is it helps get out of your head. As we consider our self-love journey this Valentine’s Day how about curling up to a new book? Reading will always be a positive tool that is a catalyst for self-care. Need a good place to start? Here are some book recommendations below:
- You Are Loved: Embracing the Everlasting Love God Has for You” by Sally Clarkson: Discover the transformative power of God’s unconditional love and how it can reshape your self-worth and self-identity.
- “Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely” by Holley Gerth: Unleash your inner strength and courage as you learn to love yourself through God’s eyes, embracing your unique qualities and vulnerabilities.
- “Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely” by Lysa TerKeurst: Overcome feelings of rejection and loneliness by deepening your understanding of God’s love, fostering self-acceptance, and finding belonging in Him.
- “Becoming Myself: Embracing God’s Dream of You” by Stasi Eldredge: Embark on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance, understanding that God’s love is the key to becoming your true and authentic self.
- “Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living” by Shauna Niequist: Learn to prioritize your relationship with God, slow down, and find self-love amidst life’s busyness and demands.
- “The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life” by Ann Voskamp: Embrace your brokenness and vulnerability as you explore the abundance of God’s love, discovering self-love through faith in Him.
- “The Self-Care Project: How to let go of frazzle and make time for you” by Jayne Hardy: Explore practical self-care techniques and prioritize self-love, aligning these practices with your faith and values.
- “Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful” by Katie Davis Majors: Witness the author’s journey of hope and self-love through her work with orphans, finding strength and purpose in her faith.
- “Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life” by Emily P. Freeman: Release the pressure of trying to be “perfect” and discover God’s grace in your imperfections, fostering self-compassion and self-love.
- “The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own” by Joshua Becker: Simplify your life and find contentment, aligning with your faith-based values and promoting gratitude and self-love.
I hope these blog posts help you feel seen. As the season of love is on its way don’t forget to take care of your mental health. Don’t allow negative self-talk to win. You are loved by God no matter your relationship status. No matter what you have done. No matter the past. May His love transform all that you do where you can see yourself in His light EVEN in V-Day makes you a little sad. You are loved, you are loved, you ARE loved
Whether you choose to celebrate with your BAE, your girls or SELF don’t forget the beauty of you. Got it?
I am a proud holder of a Master’s degree in Public Health, where my focus was primarily on community health. My academic and professional journey has been deeply enriched by research in the field of stress management. This has not only broadened my understanding but also deeply influenced the insights and perspectives I share here. This blog is a testament to that journey, offering resources and guidance tailored to your personal journey of faith, wellness and self-care.