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Valentine’s Day: My Day of Self-Love

Another year, another Valentine’s Day spent alone. As independent as I was, being excluded from a holiday because I didn’t have someone to celebrate with made me feel a little lonely until I realized that I don’t have to have a significant other to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Going into February, I vow not to flake on my New Year’s resolution of dedicating more time to myself by having a planned-out Valentine’s Day that emphasizes feeling and looking my best, without needing anyone to tell me so.

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, meaning it’s a perfect day for relaxation and self-care, starting with sleeping in. I’ve become more mindful with my sleep schedule, not staying up late unless I have to. Though I usually avoid sleeping early because I have trouble falling and staying asleep, the Natrol Melatonin 5mg Sleep Aid Gummies give me the extra help I need to get a full night’s rest without feeling groggy in the morning.

After I’ve gone through my morning routine, my next step is to buy myself fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s. The selection of flowers at Trader Joe’s is always worth stopping for, and it only makes sense to pick up roses on a day like February 14th. Not only do flowers brighten up a space, but they bring so much natural beauty to it without trying. Knowing me, I’ll also end up buying another plant, even though I never seem to keep them alive. Flowers and plants bring dimension to a room, especially in an apartment that can feel so static and out-of-touch with nature. Living, breathing plants deserve love on V-day—don’t forget to water them and give them sunlight!

The weather in Gainesville, though chilly, has gotten me to spend a lot more time outdoors. Nothing beats a picnic with friends; however, this year I’ll be spending my Valentine’s Day picnic alone. Although takeout is an easy way out, cooking for myself is therapeutic and knowing what’s going into my food makes me feel even better about myself. I’m not sure what’s on the menu this year, but I’ve been into salads lately. I know, salads. If you told me even a month ago that I’d be into salads, I’d think you were joking. The base is arugula and baby kale with grilled chicken, shelled edamame and hemp seeds for protein, along with avocado for some healthy fats, and a squeeze of lime to finish it off. Not only does it keep me full, but it doesn’t make me feel heavy or sluggish mid-day. Just because I’ll eat a salad doesn’t mean I’ll skimp on dessert, and on Valentine’s Day, no better dessert that comes to mind than chocolate covered strawberries. It’s such an easy dessert to make that never fails to look and taste good.

Once I’m home, my journal is the next item of business. Filling it with affirmations, what I’m grateful for and my aspirations keeps me level-headed and motivated to keep moving in a positive direction with my mental health. On holidays especially, it’s nice to reflect on where I was in life last year versus this one, so February 14th is a day that never goes unwritten about. To continue my self-care routine, a long, hot shower with every step in my routine from washing my hair, exfoliating, shaving and cleansing my skin is enough to heal a broken heart. The after-shower routine of moisturizing, treating my skin with love and putting on my warmest pair of sweats tops it off. And of course, what is a Valentine’s Day without watching tear-jerkers like A Walk to Remember, Dear John and The Notebook with a nice cup of tea until I fall asleep?

Falling in love with yourself can be hard. It is hard. Some days are more difficult than others, but giving a day to yourself can be a physical reminder that you deserve to be cared for, whether it be by someone else or yourself. Of course, Valentine’s Day can feel lonely when you see others post their dates and presents on socials, but Valentine’s Day is also a day to remind the people in your life who aren’t your lovers that you love them. I’m sure you can think of people in your life who you couldn’t live without and who couldn’t live without you either. As lucky as you feel to have someone in your life, they should feel lucky to have you too.

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