Greeting card companies, big-box stores and candy companies want you to think that Valentine’s Day is all about showering your lover with affection. The perfect card, the most decadent chocolates and a timeless gift wrapped in pretty pink or red paper are all part of the Valentine’s Day experience. But the sea of chocolates and festive tissue paper tend to bury a more important love affair: The one you have with yourself.
The stigma surrounding Valentine’s Day doesn’t make it easy to spend the day focused on yourself. We’ve all watched the movie scene: A twentysomething, perpetually single, spends Valentine’s Day moping around, or tries desperately to find a date – any date! – so he doesn’t have to spend the day by himself. As you’re watching the scene sympathetically, you probably think one of two things: “I’m so glad that’s not me,” or, “Is that what I’m going to end up like?” But whether you’re single, in a new relationship, or married with four kids, there’s no shame in taking the time to romance yourself on Valentine’s Day or any other day! Romancing yourself is an indulgence that will leave you feeling invigorated, important and, most importantly, loved.
What does romancing yourself look like? It starts with the simple yet difficult act of making time for you. Use an hour of vacation time to leave work early, skip out on your errands for once, and let the romance begin. Indulge in something you love, be it a relaxing bubble bath, a decadent piece of chocolate cake, or a long walk on the beach. Try the things you’ve always wanted to try. Take the day trips you’ve been wanting to take. See art that makes you think differently about yourself and the world. When you nurture yourself the way you nurture your loved ones, you won’t need to rely on others for energy and self-esteem. And once you see how good a bit of self-romance feels, you’ll start finding ways to keep the trend going. As Oscar Wilde put it, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
Happiness is an inside job®
This Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single or not, spend at least an hour doing something for yourself. It can be anything, as long as it’s an activity you enjoy. Pay attention to how indulging in yourself affects your mind, body and soul. How does your energy level change when you’re doing something you love? How does the activity make you feel about yourself?
But remember, loving yourself isn’t just important on Valentine’s Day; it should become an indispensable part of your daily life. Work in a bit of self-romance on an everyday basis, but at the same time, make sure to keep it spontaneous and fun. By doing things that make you happy, you’ll discover a love affair that lasts through all four seasons.
Happiness is an inside job.
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