Remember February 14th as a child? It was a joyous holiday where you got to express your creativity through crafting a cool box and picking out themed cards from your favorite television show or movie. This was a day where you celebrated love: love for your friends, love for your teachers, and love for your family. There was something about giving love (passing out your Valentines) and receiving love (dumping out your box and reading each one) that made you feel warm and fuzzy inside. You always looked forward to it (and all the candy that came along with it).
At some point, the meaning of this date changed. It transitioned from pure platonic love and bliss to fragile romantic love. To be honest, as we’ve got older, we’ve made the concept of this day much more complicated than it needs to be.
Valentine’s Day is still the same beautiful holiday it was when you were a child, and its meaning is chosen by you. You can choose to have this holiday represent loneliness, or you can reclaim this as a day of gratitude for all the love you have in your life. Regardless of if you have a romantic love interest, you have people in your life that you can show love to: family, friends, coworkers, and yes, yourself. After all, there is no one in this world who will ever love you more than you love yourself.
What better way to spend Valentine’s Day in quarantine other than indulging in an easy, budget-friendly yet gratifying self-care routine?
Light a candle (or two)
Candles bring a feeling of closeness and warmth into your home. Try floral notes like rose or jasmine, or go more sweet and sultry with notes of vanilla and amber.
Diffuse some essential oils
Aromatherapy is essential to setting the right mood for any pamper day. Lavender, bergamot, and rose are associated with feelings of relaxation, balance, and harmony. If you’re in the mood for something more sensual, try a mix of sandalwood, patchouli, and ylang ylang.
Play some background noise
To make the day special, find a new playlist with sing-a-longs from your favorite era. If you’re not in the mood for songs, check out Spotify’s “Love Stories” section for podcasts filled with heartwarming stories about love and friendship.
Take a long bath or shower
Show your body lots of love with a bath bomb infused luxurious bath or taking an extra-long steamy shower. Exfoliate with a dry brush before stepping in or use a body scrub once you’re in the water. After you’re done, lather up with a softly scented body oil for extreme softness.
Do an extensive skincare routine
Use this day as an excuse to give your face all the tender love and care it deserves. After cleansing and exfoliating, apply your favorite nourishing serums followed by a hydrating mask. Start with a gel or cream mask and then use a sheet mask afterward. Need something to do while your masks work their magic? Why not take time to unplug by reading a book instead of mindlessly scrolling your phone. When you’re done, finish off with a beloved moisturizer and facial oil for a quick little facial massage.
P.S. Don’t forget to give your lips some attention too.
Put on comfortable clothes or PJs
Once you’re done pampering yourself, get dressed in a special comfy matching set or satin nightie. No outfit is complete without a spritz of perfume and a pair of fuzzy socks or slippers; these are essential for the occasion.
Order or cook something special
Valentine’s Day is absolutely an excuse to step away from your regimented meal plan. Order in from your favorite restaurant (make sure you arrange this early as takeout demand will probably be high) or cook a really nice dinner. Brush up on your quarantine baking skills by making a fun Valentine’s Day dessert too. Don’t forget to crack open a nice bottle of wine. You have overcome a lot since last Valentine’s Day, and that is something worth celebrating!
Paint your nails and watch a movie
No self-care routine is complete without a mani-pedi in front of a movie. Fortunately, the romance genre is full of many different approaches, so you can always find a flick that’s right for every mood. If you’re craving passion and drama, try Netflix’s new Malcolm & Marie. Feel like crying? That’s OK too, A Walk to Remember and The Fault in Our Stars usually get the job done. For stories of love and friendship that will keep you laughing watch Sex and the City: The Movie. And if you’re just looking for a series that is both modern and relatable, try To All the Boys.
Get to bed early
When you are ready to wind down, it’s time to choose the mindfulness practice of your choice. Whether that is meditation, journaling, or prayer, chose something that helps center your thoughts and inner emotions. Give gratitude for all your loved ones and think of little ways you can improve on showing love to others. Finally reflect on how you can continue to cultivate a loving, healthy, long-lasting relationship with yourself. Because no matter where life takes you, you’ll need it.