This week we have a day designated for remembering and acknowledging love. For some clients I talk to, they are filled with excitement and anticipation for a romance filled night, or for a fun game-filled night with kids, and for others there is a heaviness because they are uncoupled and long for partnership. I have friends who do Galentines Day to make light and enjoy the event and friends that lock themselves at home with ice cream and romantic comedies. Over my life I have had romantic Valentines, the game nights, the lonely uncoupled Valentines and even the lonely coupled Valentines. I have learned above all else, that however contrived the day is, it is culturally real, and in the end is really just about love and connection.
It sounds cliché, but there is absolute truth to the adage we need to love ourselves first. Perhaps Valentine’s Day, coupled or not, can be an annual practice of assessing our current level of self-care and self-love. Regardless of our relationship status or our family commitments, our first commitment is to ourselves because without our health – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, it becomes more and more difficult to show up for others in our lives. In order for our relationships and the significant connections in our lives to flourish, we have to have a place from which to give. I also love this reflection because it turns the lens from what I may or may not receive to what I want to share and give.
In partnership or out of it, in gift giving to children or other family members, this day can be acknowledged with sweet decadent treats, and/or with practices of self-care done alone, with your beloved or with friends. In addition to chocolates, get a massage or attend a meditation class, try restorative yoga or go for a walk together in Nature. Love comes in so many forms and is a vibration we can all welcome regardless of relationship status. There is also an idea that when we long for love, what we are truly longing for is the connection to something greater than ourselves. Embracing the invitation to deepen and enrich our spiritual life and community brings comfort and inspiration. Stay curious, widen your lens, think outside the box. We get to decide how, who, why and what we celebrate about love. We are all loved, we are all worthy, we all matter and we all have something to share and give in this life. That is Valentines love to me.
Tips to celebrate Valentines’ Day with your heart and blood sugar intact:
- Cook a delicious and healthy meal together and pay your kids to clean up.
- Schedule a self-love day. Go for a walk in nature, schedule a massage, take a bath, leave the laundry alone, rest and read.
- Write 10 things you are deeply grateful for.
- Write three thank you letters to people who enrich and add significance to your life.
- Know that sugar depresses mood, so although the temptation is there, it may not be worth it in the end. Try making our hot cocoa recipe instead.
- Remember – pets are Valentines too!