Valentine’s Day can be an emotional rollercoaster. Seeing friends and family in romantic relationships if you are not or your loved one is gone…it’s hard. I had years where I despised Valentine’s Day, but then my first date with my now husband happened on Valentine’s Day. We had known each other for years as friends, but that was our first official date.
How could I despise this day, now? This romantic day where according to tradition, you are supposed to get each other cute little gifts, cards, red roses, chocolates, or something. Why do we devote one day a year for romance? Why does Valentine’s Day even exist?
There are some who believe the origins of Valentine’s Day had to do with Saint Valentine, but there were actually three of them. Two were put to death by Emperor Claudius II. Not exactly the romantic ideal.
The story of third Saint Valentine involves a man who was supposedly helping Christians escape Roman prisons and found himself in one. He was said to write letters to a young woman he fell in love with and signed it “From your Valentine” before he was also put to death.
Other origin stories involve a pagan festival on February 15th called Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival celebrating Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. Of course, to “Christianize” these celebrations, Valentine’s Day was created as a day of romance. The color red was associated with Valentine’s Day because of the blood sacrifice for Lupercalia. Romantic, right?
Let’s just say you are single on Valentine’s Day - you could buy yourself flowers (or chocolates or a card).
Or you could do some real self-care activities.
Start a new hobby. Having creative outlets can help to balance your life between home and work. You could plant some seeds and learn how to garden, learn how to cook and try a new recipe, learn how to sew, or do woodworking. Join a book club and read a book by a new author.
Start a new exercise program. Learn Tai Chi, Yoga, or Pilates. Go for a walk every day. Take up running or cycling.
Draw a bath with essential oils, light some candles and put on some relaxing music.
Put together a vision board of what you want to see manifest itself this year.
Try meditation. There are many free programs online to get you started.
Find a majestic view and take a moment to appreciate it and where you are in your life.
Start a gratitude journal. Write three things every day that you are thankful for.
Whatever you choose to show yourself love, these types of actions and activities have been shown to benefit health. From reduced stress, which lowers cortisol levels, to decreased blood pressure and reduced risk for strokes and heart attacks, self-care can really benefit your overall health.
Don’t wallow in your circumstances. Pick yourself up and choose to pivot to new, exciting possibilities.
If you do have a partner to share this day with, appreciate the moments you can have together. You can even take the list above and do it together (imagine what #3 might lead to).
Regardless, eating right, reducing stress, exercising, meditation, and all-around self-care is important for your health and wellness!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Are you ready to PIVOT to functional health and wellness?