This has been a rough few years for so many of us, and it can be helpful to give yourself a loving break. Valentine's Day can cause mixed reactions. However Valentine's Day lands for you, this time of year can serve to remind us that we all deserve some care, some compassion and love.
Here is an incomplete list of some ideas I use to show myself some loving care.
- Go out into nature. Spending time in trees, at the ocean (if it's accessible), even sitting on some grass in a park helps me to reconnect with myself as part of the larger world. Sometimes, if I can't go outside, I look at photos of beautiful places.
- Laugh. Personally, I like silly comedy and animal videos. Videos like David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks from his show can be found on YouTube. Ask a child to tell you a joke. Find something that you find funny and let yourself laugh.
- Volunteer. Connecting with an interest or a cause that you care about is a beautiful way of showing love.
- As we've mentioned in our Aromatherapy post, scent has been used for thousands of years to affect and improve mood. Our sense of smell is evocative. Peel an orange and take in all of the flavors of citrus. Does the peel smell different than how the fruit tastes? Light your favorite candle and drink in the scent! There's no reason to wait for a special occasion to do something simple that you enjoy.
- Working even for a short time on a creative project often invigorates me. Journal. Code. Paint. Play some music. Record that funny story on a voice note for yourself. The options are really limitless.
- Touch. Many of us became starved for touch when due to restrictions we were no longer able to embrace. Whether you are in a relationship or not, you can take time to consciously give yourself loving touch. The act of washing your hands applying lotion can become a soothing ritual. Treat yourself to a foot rub.
- Pleasure and Joy. Finding Joy, Pleasure and Beauty in small moments can enlarge our senses. Bringing our attention to beauty can remind us that we are always close to what is beautiful in the world. The same is true of pleasure and of joy. So often, we wait until the moment is big to experience beauty, pleasure and joy, but in truth, these moments surround us if we look for them. This simple act of attention can expand what is possible even in difficult moment.
We tend to associate Valentines Day with huge bouquets of flowers, rich meals and lavish gifts. Remember, Love comes to us in many forms.
What is on your list? We'd love to hear what you do to soothe yourself and show yourself loving care!