Although Valentine’s Day isn’t until Thursday, stores have been setting up displays and products have been airing commercials related to the holiday since pretty much the day after Christmas.
There’s always some cynicism associated with Valentine’s Day: it commercializes love, it emphasizes romance, it makes single people feel bad, it makes people feel bad if they don’t go over the top for their partner on specifically this day, and so on. The day doesn’t necessarily have to be about the love you show towards someone you feel romantically for though, and you can use the holiday to show how much you appreciate family members and friends, for example. Showing even the smallest attention and gestures towards your child can make a big impact too.
Love isn’t limited to expressing it to others, and loving yourself is just as important. Self-esteem and how you view yourself can have a big impact on your physical and mental health, as well as your interactions with others. You may or may not have plans for this Thursday, but you can also use the day to not just show your appreciation for your child if you’re able to, but you can tell them to treat themselves and do something for themselves alone that makes them happy.
The easiest way to do this is through promoting self-care. This is a pretty broad term, but it can be any sort of activity that helps with your mental, emotional, and physical health. It can be as simple as listening to your favorite songs in one playlist or even taking yourself out on a date and going out to dinner. At the end of the day, you only need to make yourself happy with these activities and don’t have to meet anyone else’s expectations.
Everyone’s interests differ, but you can tell your child to do a few themed things to make Valentine’s Day a day for yourself. You can advise them to buy themselves candy (and if you’re willing to wait an extra day, it’ll be even cheaper starting on Friday), but to some flowers, and if they’re willing to, take themselves out on a date and see that movie they’ve been wanting to see or going out to a restaurant that they have been meaning to try. If they’re uncomfortable with those, if they can, you can help them order some good food for one as well. Another option is buying or using a candle in a scent they really like, and lighting it as they’re doing homework or watching their favorite episodes of a TV show.
It may seem difficult at times, but sometimes a little self-indulgence is all we need to get an instant mood boost. And on a day that’s centered around love, putting yourself first should be the highest priority.
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Are you doing anything for or with your child? What do you do for self-care?