Single? Coupled-up? Somewhere in-between? Regardless of your relationship status, it’s easy for the true meaning of Valentine’s Day to get lost amongst the cards, chocolate, roses (and sadness/smugness!) you see around the 14th February. When Cupid fires that arrow, it’s not a signal to run to the nearest shop; rather, it’s a reminder to acknowledge and appreciate the loves in your life, and that doesn’t have to be restricted to romantic love.
I’ve been in a variety of situations over the years for Valentine’s Day, ranging from being in serious relationships, the start of something new, being single and celebrating with friends, to one of my personal favourites; receiving a card aged 10 from the love of my life, my pony (thanks Rosie!), Firefly- nobody else got a look in! Whomever your Valentine may be, or not, it’s true to say that nobody else is responsible for your happiness. Therefore, if for some reason you find yourself a bit disappointed or glum this year, turn inwards and look to one of the people you should love the most (you!) for inspiration.
Here’s some ideas to get you started, which may be done alone, with friends, or alongside that special person in your life…
BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Show yourself some love with these affirmations: Say it, mean it, believe it: 5 affirmations for when you need a little self-love
Stop judging yourself and those around you unnecessarily, and learn to quieten down that critical inner voice: From mean to meaningful: 5 ways to train your inner voice to be kind
FOOD WITH LOVE
Taking care of yourself by ensuring you are nourished with delicious and healthy foods is an active way to practice self-love, and cooking for others is a very popular and meaningful way to show you care. Try these recipes if you’re looking for a little vegan Valentine’s cheer!
EAT, SLEEP, MEDITATE, REPEAT
Whether you normally practice meditation or not, a great way to feel the love and gratitude towards the people in your life is to focus your thoughts and energy on them. Not only should you find it a heart-warming and relaxing experience, but it will also clear your mind of all the unimportant negative chatter which may be happening.
Try it for yourself here: Heart to heart: a loving energy meditation
OPEN YOUR HEART
Yoga postures known as ‘heart openers’ are any which broaden and stretch the front of the chest. They can be extremely beneficial for releasing tension in the chest, shoulders, neck, and upper back, whilst many people find them to be calming for the mind. Give these ones a go:
Reclining Bound Angle Pose: Foundation Yoga Pose Series (use a block/rolled blanket below the shoulders blades for additional stretch).
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!