Valentine’s Day can evoke different feelings for different people. Some revel in the candy hearts, the flowers, the candlelit dinners. Others are painfully reminded of past relationships, or feel left out if they’re not currently in a relationship. Still others are completely indifferent to what they refer to as a “made up” holiday.
Whatever your feelings on Valentine’s Day, this year we encourage you to use it as an opportunity to remind yourself that you deserve to be loved not only by other people, but by you. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but loving yourself can lay a foundation for stronger, healthier relationships with others. That begins with accepting yourself for who you are right now in your life.
It also means taking good care of yourself. At The Hotline, we talk with many callers and chatters about self-care. Caring for yourself is vitally important, but many of us neglect ourselves for a variety of reasons. This Valentine’s Day, consider doing something kind for yourself, even if it’s small. That could mean cooking a healthy meal, reading a good book, taking a class you’re interested in, or just sitting quietly for a few minutes. Self-care is about what works best for you. Need inspiration? Check out our self-care Pinterest board.
If you have experienced abuse, loving and caring for yourself might mean seeking support through counseling or support groups. Learn more about finding the right counselor for you, or speak with one of our advocates who can locate a counselor or support group in your area.
If you are currently in an abusive relationship or have previously been in one, it may help to create an emotional safety plan. This can be a very important way to care for yourself on your journey to safety. A Hotline advocate can help you create your own unique safety plan, so call or chat with us today if you need assistance.
Regardless of your situation, you deserve to be cared for, and you have the power to be your own caregiver. There are tons of ways to practice self-care, and sometimes it only takes a few minutes of your day to make a big difference in your life. We asked our friends on social media about their favorite self-care activities and received so many great responses! Here are just a few, but if you want to read more check out the original Facebook post:
“Baking yummy goodies and decorating them with my daughter’s help. Best part is eating them once we’re done” – Gina
“Making sure I see my dv therapist every week and stay real and honest and open.” – Gabe
“Although I don’t get to as often as I would like – I enjoy sharing my story of surviving with others. Every time I speak to a group I get another piece of ‘me’ back!” – Marie
“Reading in my most comfy pajamas!” - Erin
“Sometimes, after the children are in bed, I climb underneath my down comforters with a cup of hot tea and cry. I maintain strength and courage for my family and friends but, in private, I allow myself to grieve, rejoice, solidify my resolve, and recite self-love, kindness, and understanding, releasing the angst and filling with love. Loving myself is my act of self-care.” – Alice
“Walking, hiking, working in the garden, massage, hot bubble bath, quiet time and reading. All are necessary as I’m a single mom of two boys, it’s so important to make time for self care.” – Kathleen
“[Being] mindful of the way in which I talk to myself. And bubble baths.” – Gabriella
“Making sure I have quiet time everyday, which I need.” – Grzenia
“Petting a puppy” – John
“Volunteer, write poems and pray” – Angela
“Singing my little heart out, as loud as I want, to whatever I feel like! There’s no better therapy for me!” – Tamsin
“Yoga and crocheting and the occasional pedicure!” – Katie
What’s your favorite self-care activity? Let us know in the comments!