Ah, Valentine’s Day! The day we all either love, hate or love to hate! It’s a fact that not everyone is a great fan of this holiday. Which is perfectly understandable – if you do not have a romantic partner and/or do not like the overall vibe of this holiday, you may feel either left out or straight-on annoyed by February 14th.
However, this year we want to encourage you to think of it as an occasion to indulge in some very healthy self-care. Love is not only about building relationships with other people but also taking care of your own physical, mental, and emotional health. Does it sound like something you would like to explore? Sure it does. Let’s jump straight into it.
Table of Contents
What is self-care and why is it important?
“Self-care” is defined as a process of purposefully choosing activities that promote one’s well-being on all levels – physical, mental and emotional. It’s important to note right off the bat that self-care is deeply personal and although some activities can be deemed as “universally helpful” (eg. getting enough sleep), almost anything can be deemed as “self-care” as long as it brings you a deep relief on some level. The activity itself is not as important – it’s your reaction that matters.
Why is it so crucial to practice self-care? Well, our daily life is filled with stressors and oftentimes, there is no way to avoid them. However, by engaging in self-care, you can prepare your organism for experiencing difficult emotions. It’s a fact that if you are in a good place mentally, physically and emotionally, the impact that burdensome situations have on you is much smaller. You can say that self-care is both a cure and a vaccine for stress!
What are the types of self-care?
We usually divide self-care activities into five categories:
- Emotional – processing your feelings
- Physical – improving your physical health
- Mental – improving your mental health
- Social – taking care of important relationships in your life
- Spiritual – nurturing connection with your inner life
Emotional self-care usually involves reflecting on your emotions, practicing self-compassion and becoming more conscious of your feelings. A great example would be talking about your inner turmoils to a friend, family member or therapist. Physical self-care is all about maintaining the well-being of your body – think: getting enough sleep, being well-hydrated or going for a walk. Similarly, mental self-care makes sure you are on the right track when it comes to mental health issues – listening to soothing music to ease your anxiety is a good example. Social self-care involves balancing “me time” with “social time” in a way that satisfies your needs, while spiritual self-care gives you an opportunity to reflect on your personal spirituality, which may (but doesn’t have to be) religious in nature.
What does self-care mean to you personally?
Now comes the kicker. Self-care can take many forms and different people experience deep stress relief doing different things. Some people absolutely love yoga and for them, it is an activity that tickles almost all of the boxes – emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, sometimes even social. Others find their inner peace when running, going for a long walk through the forest or at the gym. Self-care can also be reading a book, engaging in your hobby, watching your favourite movie… the possibilities are endless. Heck, even doing absolutely nothing can be self-care – it all depends on what you personally need at this particular moment. Today you may be in need of some energetic physical exercise, tomorrow you may strive for a long bath and a marathon of The Office. There are no right or wrong answers. As long as you are not hurting anyone and the result is improvement in your well-being, all methods are legit.
What can you do for yourself this Valentine’s Day?
First of all, ask yourself what you really want to do on February 14th. Be honest – again, no right and wrong answers. Going for a date can be self-care – staying home can be self-care as well, it all depends on your wants and needs! What would make you the most content? A party, a romantic dinner, a quality self-time? Let your imagination run wild.
What’s next? Regardless of whether you are staying at home or going out, be gentle with yourself. Taking care of your body is a good start. Many people treat getting a massage, manicure or a nice haircut as a luxury that they do not have time for. If you are one of these people, use this as an opportunity to challenge this sentiment – you absolutely deserve to look and feel your best! Booking a relaxing massage, getting an appointment at a day spa or visiting your favourite barbershop will immediately boost your mood and make you feel special. As always, you can count on Booksy to deliver you the best choice of health & beauty businesses in your neighbourhood.
Then all that’s left to do is to spend the day the way you see fit – over a bottle of wine gossiping with friends, playing your favourite games on your own, baking cookies while listening to True Crime podcasts with your spouse, anything your heart desires. You do not have to be a fan of cliche romance to spend Valentine’s Day in a truly lovely way. All you need is a little compassion towards yourself and your loved ones – that’s all what it really is about!