“…you know what’s really amazing about choosing self-love? You’ll be setting an example for all the people around you and all the kids of the coming generation. You’ll be part of a revolution to take back the precious moments of our lives out of the hands of shame-inducing advertisers and back into the hands and hearts of real people like you, like me, like all of us.
I know you’ve dreamt about changing the world. So this is your chance. Learn to love yourself, accept yourself, and unleash your strongest, sexiest self. It’s in there. You just have to believe it.”
― Vironika Tugaleva
Valentine’s Day is upon us.
Look, I think it’s a fun holiday. But it creates a lot of unnecessary stress. If you’re part of a couple, there’s a lot of pressure to go all out and spend more (sometimes way more) than you can afford. Singles sometimes feel singled out. And it brings up all kinds of complicated emotions and situations for people who just started dating and those mourning the end of a relationship.
And don’t even get me started on the clichés – the overpriced red roses with baby’s breath (your florist will be delighted to sell you something — anything — else, I promise), the generic box of chocolates, the overstuffed teddy bear that gets tossed in the corner on February 15.
So I totally read this wrong the first time I saw i. It still makes me laugh.
This Valentine’s Day, why not put yourself first for a change? I’m not saying you should ignore your significant other or your family or friends. Just take some time to treat yourself, to celebrate pleasure and indulge in something you love. Then you can celebrate Valentine’s Day (or skip it altogether) with less stress.
It’s like just like when the flight attendants on the plane tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before you put on someone else’s. You’ve got to take care of yourself before you’re of any use to anyone else.
Take a Spa Day
Please don’t wait for a partner to pamper you. If you want a spa day, don’t’ hint – just book it. Schedule exactly what you want.
Book a massage, get your nails done, schedule a facial. While you’re there, schedule your next appointment. Treating yourself shouldn’t be saved for special occasions. Taking care of yourself helps relieve stress and makes you feel better about yourself.
If money’s tight, buy some bubble bath, pretty scented bath salts or a bath bomb, run a warm bath and relax. Bonus points if you open a bottle of wine, put on music or finally crack open that book you’ve been meaning to read.
Pour Yourself a Glass:
Whether you love wine, whiskey, beer, espresso or tea, treat yourself to the absolute best.
Get yourself to that beautiful restaurant you’ve been eyeing and tell the sommelier you’re looking for a beautiful wine. Grab a seat at the bar and tell the bartender you’re out to find a new favorite drink. Ask the barista at your local coffee shop or the folks at the teashop for advice. People who appreciate quality beverages will be as excited about this exploration as you are. And they’ll provide expert advice and samples to steer you in the right direction.
This is also a great way to spend some time in your own company. So many people are nervous about being out in public alone, but chatting and sampling with an expert keeps the conversation flowing and will make you feel less self-conscious.
Your can pour yourself a cup of something great at home — just make sure you make it an elevated experience. Your’re treating yourself, after all! Splurge on an exotic tea, try a new bottle of wine and use the “good” dishes. This is the special occasion you’ve been waiting for. Clear the table, sip by a window or relax with a book.
Buy Yourself Something Luxurious
If you’ve ever longed for something but thought, “Oh, I don’t need it” this is your excuse to buy it. It doesn’t have to be expensive (living beyond your means is never smart or sexy), it just has to make you feel good and make you smile.
There’s something so sensual about shopping strictly for aesthetic and emotional pleasure. Find the perfect silk tie or scarf and admire the craftsmanship of handcarved wood and supple leather. Smell pretty soaps, sample luxurious lotions and browse beautiful stationary. Enjoy every bite of that decadent cupcake, the freshly baked bread, the fancy imported cheese. Buy yourself that book or painting or high-end kitchen gadget you’ve been daydreaming about.
Life is short. Buy what you love. You won’t regret it.
Sitting is a lost art in our activity-obsessed culture. This is a shame, since sitting still and doing nothing can open up new worlds.
Sit in a coffee shop and nurse an espresso while you read the paper. Request a table by the bakery window and watch the cars roll by. Sit on a bench in a museum and stare at your favorite piece of art. Set aside an afternoon to curl up with a stack of books at your favorite book store or the local library.
No matter what you choose, don’t be afraid to let your mind wander. These moments of unguarded thought fuel creativity and relaxation. You’ve earned the right to unwind.
What are your favorite ways to relax? How do you treat yourself on Valentine’s Day or any other day? What other experiences would you like to see on this list?
Tag your pics and travel tips #PrairiePeople and #PrairiePlaces on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. You could inspire an upcoming post on Prairie Style File.