If Valentine’s Day is a day that brings you anxiety and less than pleasurable experiences, we’re going to turn that around. This V-Day, #TeamUn-ruly is all about loving yourself, something you can do with or without a partner on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. We’ve compiled a list of things you can do to show yourself a little love and self-care.
Go the At Home Spa Route
Going to a spa is nice, and definitely something we should all do once in a while, if it’s within our means. But there’s also something nice about taking care of yourself at home simply because it’s a space that you’ve created for yourself, and little at-home treatments are way more accessible so you can do them more often. Below are a few ways to give yourself a spa-like experience at home. (All of the following assumes you’ve taken a little time to tidy up and declutter your space.)
- Take a moment to unplug, per Un-ruly co-founder Abigail. We’re all probably doing this every once in a while these days, especially if you’ve been using the updated Do Not Disturb features in the last iPhone iOS. But take a moment to be completely device free. This may be easier for some than others, but if you can finagle it, it’s so worth. No news or social media notifications. No glowing screens. It’s an easy way to calm your thoughts.
- Pick out some flowery herbal tea. I love loose leaf tea, even though it requires using a strainer. I splurged on a packet of tea from Dammann Frères when I first moved to Paris, six years later I still have some left (which might not be a good thing). Anyhoo, sipping herbal tea during the day or evening is a really lovely way to take a moment for yourself, and it hits two senses – taste and smell.
- Light a scented candle or burn incense; I was gifted a Byredo candle recently and have been using it sparingly so it lasts long 😅 ’cause they’re a bit pricey for a non-essential. But you can find good smelling candles anywhere. Take the time to browse scents and choose something you really respond to.
- Speaking of scent, drop a few drops of lavender oil on freshly cleaned sheets or in a bath. My friend Meg An does this and finds it to be a really easy way to add a bit of luxury and indulgence to your day or evening.
- To feel like you’re really at a spa, treat yourself to a face mask. My two besties swear by the Korean sheet masks at Walgreens and CVS. I picked up a few mask samples from Lush that’ll be trying this week.
Taking care of yourself means taking care of your full self. So you’ve gotta turn inwards a little…
- Music is a great way to emote. Un-ruly assoc. editor, Chadette, suggests building a soul moving playlist and let it work its magic.
- Carve out some time for your thoughts and emotions, per Fabiola, our new biz consultant. You can do this through meditating, prayer or these self love exercises.
- Forgive yourself for something. It’s easy to be hard on yourself, given the pressures we all face. But it’s important to take the time to forgive yourself for any mistakes you might have made. Fabiola shared: Don’t push yourself too hard. Be gentle. You’ll make mistakes, but once you recognize that these mistakes are part of your journey, you’ll be able to treat yourself and the process with love.
You can interpret this in a few different ways…
- Get a good work out. Go for a run in an area you haven’t been before, or try out a new class. I hate working out but on the rare occasion that I do, I love how I feel directly after. #EndorphinsAreReal
- Think about your appearance. Self-fashioning is a powerful thing. Looking good makes you feel good, especially when how you’re presenting yourself to the world is a full expression of who you are. Put on one of your surefire outfits, an outfit that always makes you feel good. If you don’t have one, then you’ve got a good excuse to go shopping. Look for a piece to add to your wardrobe that can go with something(s) you already have. Browse your favorite shops for one thing that really brings you joy.
Looking good makes you feel good, especially when how you’re presenting yourself to the world is a full expression of who you are.
- Switch up your hair. Hair is an easy way to put an extra pep in your step (hence this whole site 😁). Browse hairstyles and try something new. Or if you’re looking for a quick and easy change, pop into your local beauty supply store and try out a few synthetic wigs. I like picking out something that’s $40 or less.
- Treat your insides to a nourishing meal. Fabiola suggests skipping anything fried and incorporating something green or fresh in one of your meals. Or do something as small as drinking an extra glass of water, or getting a smoothie.
- If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can cook yourself a three-course meal. I love doing this because it’s a great way to pass time and you also get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I like the build-up to it, like browsing Pinterest for recipe ideas a couple days out (there’s lots of easy nourishing and tasty recipes on Pinterest), getting all the ingredients I need and then getting to work the day of. I like to give myself a couple of hours to prepare a meal. Simply because I’m not fast at cutting vegetables, my mind wanders, etc. But I let myself I enjoy the process as much as the meal.
If the weather’s good, or even if it isn’t, sometimes we just need a little bit of a change in environment…
- Plan a little weekend getaway, per my friend Deborah. We both live in Europe, so it’s quite easy to hop over to another country for the weekend. However, getaways don’t have to mean a whole other country. If you have a car, look at cities or towns an hour or two from you and pick one to explore. If you don’t have a car, find a place you can get to by train or bus in an hour or two. The thing about going somewhere new is the novelty alone will bring you some form of pleasure.
- If a weekend getaway is a little full on, Abigail suggests treating yourself to a solo date. I loooove doing this. I love putting together a little evening or afternoon itinerary for myself and enjoying it. A really simple afternoon “itinerary” is picking a museum to visit and a good place for lunch (including a glass of wine… or three… let’s be real 😎).
- Shop a little. Nowadays holidays exist to make you shop, so why not lean into that if all else fails, lol. Buy yourself a small indulgence, like a slice of buttered rum cake, or new pair of sneakers, a bottle of perfume or a bouquet of flowers. No matter what you purchase, make sure it’s in your means and make sure it brings you joy. Organizing consultant Marie Kondo’s “spark joy” rule can not only apply to the things that survive a tidying up culling but, for the things you acquire.
Okay so this turned into a more robust post than planned, BUT, you can of course cherry pick and mix and match things from the suggestions above and create a self-care experience that’s just right for you.
Also, if you have any self-care activities, share them in the comments below!!