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Don’t Forget Yourself This Valentine’s Day: 5 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care

Whether you’re approaching the holiday loved up, bitterly single, or unbothered, this time of year is a hectic one during which mental health should not fall on the back burner.

Listen, I get it. The malls are packed, midterms are approaching, and chocolate boxes fill window shelves at every corner you turn. This may be a day that you spend stressing about what cute dress to wear, what pizza to order, or, I don’t know, the six textbook chapters you have a few days to skim before the big test. Just me?

Either way, I recognize that for one reason or another, Valentine’s Day can be frantic, distracting, and stressful. However, no matter how busy a holiday gets, I am an adamant advocate for the importance of self-care.

Now before you dismiss me by quipping that the season is too chaotic for ‘XYZ’ reason, please understand that I am not asking you to take the night off, put cucumber slices on your eyelids and zen off to classical music in a bubble bath (although if that’s your jam and fits into your schedule, go for it!). I get that most of us have prior engagements- whether romantic, platonic, or studious in nature.

But to care for others, it is a priority to care for yourself and your own mental wellbeing. So I’m keeping it really simple and providing you with five short, sweet, and budget-friendly methods you can use to take a moment on February 14th to care for yourself. Seriously, all of them are free and some take just ten seconds. You have no excuse.

1. Wake up 20 minutes earlier and read something inspiring.

I know, I know. This one appeals to very few. But some days we hit that snooze button too many times and find ourselves falling behind and rushing through the entire day. Valentine’s Day is stressful enough, why not wake up with some reading that inspires you and helps you start your day in a positive, ready-to-take-on-the-world kind of way?

 

2. Stay hydrated

I’m all for treating yourself to sweets and treats on Valentine’s Day (and most other days, for that matter). But making sure that you keep hydrated with water or perhaps herbal tea can help you keep a clear, focused mind as you go about this busy day.

 

3. Take a moment to write down three things you are grateful for.

A true self-care classic. But so relevant to this day. Sometimes, holidays like this get us focusing on the relationships or objects that we don’t have. It can be a total game changer to remember and appreciate what you do have.

 

4. Unplug for 15 minutes and go for a walk outside (or if the weather sucks, walk down a hall or stretch)

This constant habit to stay glued to our devices is one that I can’t judge you for- I know factors related to work, school, and social lives lay within those touch screens. But sometimes, especially on Valentine’s Day, we can get wrapped up in the digital sphere and what our friends, crushes, and dare I say exes, are up to. It can be very healthy to take 15 minutes away from inboxes and social media feeds to clear your mind.

 

5. Pause, take a deep breath and remember your potential and self-worth

You couldn’t expect me to write a Valentine’s themed piece without getting a lil’ cheesy, could you? Cheese aside, no matter who you are or how piled your schedule, is you do have ten seconds to spare. Breathing is essential, and I would argue that positive self-worth is pretty critical when it comes to healthy wellbeing. So remind yourself to get into a more self-positive headspace as you go through a day that can often get you focusing on ‘other’- people, things, appointments, etc. You matter, and you’ve got this.

Nadia is a fifth year Communications student at Simon Fraser University who enjoys writing and editing. She has a special place in her heart for exploring Vancouver, great books, and food that isn't good for her.
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