Are you dreading Valentine’s Day or just trying to ignore it and hope that it passes as soon as possible?
You’re not alone.
I have rarely met a woman who truly enjoys and looks forward to Valentine’s Day. Most of us — even before betrayal or addiction entered our lives — have endured painful and even traumatic experiences on Valentine’s Day.
I remember a truly awful tradition in high school where students sent each other red carnations on Valentine’s Day and everyone received their carnations in home room. So there we sat in home room waiting and watching as some of us got a dozen or more flowers, while others got . . . . . none.
Last night when I got home from taking myself on a spontaneous solo date to one of my favorite Indian restaurants, got a chocolate chili cookie to go, and stopped by my favorite tea shop to get a cup of tea to drink with my cookie, I decided to share with you what I’ve learned about self-love and giving to myself, even in the face of heartache and betrayal.
You may not like or agree with everything on this list, but you will probably recognize each of them as Truth.
- Giving to — and gifting — yourself feels wonderful.
- You are the only person who truly knows what brings you joy.
- You are the only person responsible for getting your needs and wants met.
- You can’t expect anyone to know what you want or need. If you want or need something from another person, you must ask.
- If you don’t ask for what you want, you lose your right to complain when you don’t get it.
- If you believe that another person should give you something that you could give to yourself — but you refuse to do so — you have made getting that person to do what you want them to do more important than getting what you wanted.
- The more you learn to give to yourself, the more joy you feel about receiving from yourself, and the less resentful you are when others don’t give to you as you would like them to.
These are hard, vital truths. I know, from hard-won experience and practicing what I preach.
Notice the ones that tweak you or make you angry. These are where your growth edge lies, and where you can probably make the biggest progress in the shortest amount of time.
I want your Valentine’s Day to be as wonderful as it can possibly be. And I believe you have the power to make it so.
So this Valentine’s Day, how can you give to you?
Here are 18 ideas to help you get started:
- Send yourself some flowers, or buy some at your local grocery store.
- Buy yourself a Valentine’s Day card.
- Decide where you would like to go for a meal and either go by yourself, or tell your spouse or partner where you would like to go.
- Buy yourself a special piece of dark chocolate (or whatever dessert lights you up).
- Enjoy one of your favorite hobbies.
- Declare Valentine’s Day a recovery or addiction-free day and refrain as much as possible from thinking about or talking about addiction with anyone.
- Get a manicure, pedicure, or body work.
- Make a special meal for yourself, if you love to cook.
- Take a bath with essential oils.
- Wear your favorite outfit or item of clothing.
- Go to a yoga class or workout.
- Go to a local bookstore and browse your favorite topics.
- Have tea, coffee, or lunch with a friend.
- Listen to your favorite playlist or musical artist.
- Take a walk in a nearby park or your favorite walking place.
- Binge-watch a favorite, healthy, program.
- Go to a museum.
I invite you to choose one self-love gift from this list — or one that is perfect for you — and promise to give yourself the gift of self-love on Valentine’s Day.
Warm Valentine Wishes to You!
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© Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW (2019)