by Mac Archibald
Try a Little Self-Care This Valentine’s Day
The notion that love revolves around one single day has always been bothersome to me. The expectations are always too high to meet. People tend to have lavish ideas of romantic gestures, leaving them somewhat deflated when they don’t come to fruition. Instead of being a participant in these grandiose ideas for romance, I propose a Valentine’s Day of self-care.
In our fast-paced society, self-care is often seen as selfish instead of a necessity. Self-care is especially important during the Covid times. We’ve been experiencing isolation that has washed over everyone this past year. It is not dissimilar to the isolation after a breakup, romantic or platonic.
Self-care can be hard to know where and how to begin. That’s why we’ve got this guide on different forms of self-care, learning your love languages to optimize your self-care, and determining your attachment types to better understand yourself.
LEARNING YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE FOR BETTER SELF-CARE:
Everyone’s self-care is different. It’s based entirely on what resonates with you personally. To find the best way to self-care, consider your love languages. Love languages are the way you give and receive love. The way you give love may not be the same as the way you receive love, so when thinking about self-care, think especially about how you best receive love and make choices based on that.
Love languages may be a new concept for you, so it’s okay to not know right away how you receive love. It’s okay not to know exactly how to approach self-care. Embrace the uncertainty and allow yourself to try all sorts of self-care. Being anxious is natural when caring for yourself, especially when you haven’t done it in years.
FINDING YOUR ATTACHMENT STYLE
Attachment styles can give an interesting insight into your relationships, romantic or platonic. Attachment styles are typically established at a young age and play out into adulthood. They can reveal what some of your personal needs are or are not and how they might affect relationships in the future. What do attachment styles mean for self-care, though? Like understanding your love languages, learning your attachment styles can provide a deeper understanding of yourself and how to approach your self-care.
Don’t know your attachment style? These helpful charts made by local artist Brooke Armstrong showcase a concise definition of the 3 attachment styles.
TWO SIMPLE WAYS TO SELF-CARE:
Take yourself on a date
This one is pretty straightforward. Take time to plan a date for yourself. This could be watching your favorite series or movie, ordering take out, or making yourself an over the top made-from-scratch dinner. Reread part of your favorite book or take time to draw again. Learn something new or try a new skill if you’re up for it (like knitting or meditation). Whatever fills you up should be the focus of your date. It’s about taking time just for yourself. This is a night all about you.
Dive deep into childhood fun
As adults, we start to realize that some of our needs weren’t met at a young age. This oftentimes leaves Adult You in need of self-soothing. What does that mean in terms of self-care? Well, what you did when you were a child can be comforting even in adulthood. Watch that cartoon your parents wouldn’t let you, go for a bike ride far away from home, COLOR. These small acts of kindness towards your childhood self can help you soothe, love, and heal your inner child.
LONG TERM SELF-CARE STRATEGIES
Ask for help
It takes a village to raise a child and the same can be true for you during the difficult events in your life. Asking for help can make you feel like you aren’t fully in control. And it’s true. The fact is that reality is out of our control. Sometimes we are thrown into a situation out of our own volition. Because of this shift in unexpected events, we can feel disjointed. Almost as if we are on a boat, expecting a calm relaxed voyage, when all the sudden the tides change and we are on uneasy footing.
This is when other parties, friends or family, can help to take a load off. Let them get you a metaphorical life jacket, prepare the lifeboat for you, and make sure you don’t forget your oar.
It’s okay to not be in control; it doesn’t make you weak as many people think. In fact, knowing when you need someone to lean on makes you stronger. With help, your boat is less likely to capsize and smooth sailing will likely be on the horizon.
Setting boundaries is a courageous act of self-care. Friendships and relationships change over time and so will your ability to give and receive in them. Your emotional and physical well-being go hand in hand with those you surround yourself with, so it’s important to consistently assess the health of that relationship. Ask yourself, does this person want me to succeed? Are they honest and wanting the best for me? Are they willing to show how they feel in their love language with the same amount of energy as I am putting in? There are more questions you can ask yourself to find out what boundaries you need to set for yourself to establish a healthy relationship and care for your well-being.
Setting boundaries often comes with letting go of unhealthy people in your life. Letting go of those who continue to create problems can be hard. But this radical act of self-care can benefit you significantly.
Remember, as you practice setting boundaries, cut yourself some slack. It is incredibly difficult work to evaluate your relationships and advocate for your needs. But you are worth stating a boundary that provides a happy, healthy environment to you.
So take a turn at really appreciating you this Valentine’s Day, but I hope you do so not just for a special holiday of love, but continue to implement what self-care means to you in your everyday life.