Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and affection with our significant others, friends, and family – even ourselves! However, it can also be a difficult time for those who struggle with their mental health.
When we think of Valentine’s Day, our mind invariably wanders to little Belgian chocolates, bouquets of expensive roses, and a fancy candlelit dinner with a soulmate. But Valentine’s Day is an occasion for love, and not necessarily the kind you need a partner to practice.
We at Amend Treatment recommend 12 self-love activities to balance Valentine’s Day and mental health this February 14th:
Take In Your Brand of Comfort Content
It could be a book, a movie, a TV show, a board game with friends, a video game played alone, or even a content creator.
Whatever it might be – whether it’s your favorite Saturday morning cartoon or a fantasy epic – start your Valentine’s Day off with a little emotional self-indulgence by cozying up with your comfort content. Pick something you haven’t seen, read, or played in a while! And if they’re available, get some friends to enjoy it with.
Plan a Get-Together with Friends
If you aren’t in the mood to rehash old favorites, why not plan something else together? Physical activities are always a good bet – skip the drinks and go straight into the woods for an outdoor outing, a quick trek or hike, or try out something together that you’ve never had the chance to before, like hitting up the ice rink.
Dance to Your Favorite Songs
As silly or corny as it might be, moving to the beat is not just intuitively cathartic, but has been shown to improve mood and mental wellbeing – no matter how you feel about showing off your dance skills to the rest of the world!
Cook Your Favorite Meals
It could be your mother’s old recipe or a classic you haven’t had in ages – pick a food near and dear to your heart, and get cooking. Preparing a meal isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for people who do enjoy it, it can be a relaxing and even meditative experience with a delicious reward at the end.
Take the Time to Collect Your Thoughts
Sometimes, we can go months without really taking the time to breathe and think about what we’ve been through, bottling up our emotions and losing the chance to properly digest our experiences. So, digest away.
Pick up a pen or open a digital text editor and put your thoughts on clear black-and-white. You don’t need to post, publish, or even save it. But make sure you get it all out there – whether it’s your thoughts, your worries, your goals, or your dreams.
Get Far Away from City Living
If you spend most of the year – or the entire year – cooped up, especially in an urban environment, take the opportunity to head out into nature this Valentine’s Day. Not only is nature a great change of pace from city living, but nature can be emotionally healing. There are studies that show that walking in the woods can positively impact your mental health. No additional medication or therapy program. Just a stroll through a forest.
Spend Some Time in Your Garden
If the great outdoors aren’t an option, you can get a dose of plant exposure through your garden – whether it’s a dedicated portion of your own backyard, or a row of potted plants on your balcony. Repot your plants, change their soil, fertilize them, or hardest the seedlings.
If you don’t have a garden of any kind, get started this year! It could be a single solitary basil plant by the windowsill, or a collection of cute succulents.
Watch the Sunset
It happens every single day, yet it’s still one of the most magical things a person can witness. We just barely take the time to witness it anymore.
Change that this Valentine’s Day! Make a point of getting to a nice, high vantage point, pick the least cloudy day of the week, and just take in the sunset – whether alone or with a friend. Appreciating life’s little wonders – down to the way freshly cut grass smells, or the way the air tastes after a rainy day – works wonders for your mental health.
Try Something You’ve Never Tried Before
Be it something as wild as a bungee jump or something as simple as visiting an arcade for the first time in decades, commemorate the day with a special event you’ve never experienced, or haven’t experienced since time immemorial.
Get An Early Night’s Sleep
As boring as it might be, proper sleep hygiene is an important aspect of physical and mental wellbeing, and a major way to treat yourself is to get your sleeping rhythm back on a healthy track, especially if it is significantly erratic at this point.
Get Your Fitness Back on Track
Speaking of getting things back on track – if you haven’t been in the mood for your fitness journey this year around, try something completely different to get back into moving again!
You don’t need to hit the gym or go jogging for the millionth time to benefit from physical activity. A daily round of Just Dance, skipping rope, joining a martial arts gym, or something completely out there – like a parkour course – might inspire you to get moving again, and actually enjoy moving.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your mental wellbeing, is to help someone else. It’s already established that the majority of people feel better doing something for someone else rather than receiving someone’s help – this innate altruism is a part of human nature, and feeding that part can improve your mood and mental health, and give you a greater appreciation for your own circumstances.
Valentine’s Day and Mental Health
Self-love is more than indulgence, whether it’s by satisfying every craving of your tastebuds or treating yourself to that jacket or handbag you’ve been eyeing for weeks. If you’re taking a break from your romantic needs, treat this year’s Valentine’s as an opportunity to reset the way you’ve been taking care of your emotional, physical, social, and financial needs.
Self-love is just as crucial as any romance, if not far more important, and you owe it to yourself to make Valentine’s Day and mental health equally as important come February 14th. From our family at Amend Treatment to yours, happy Valentine’s Day!