A Healthy Valentine’s Day ritual – whatever your relationship status

This Valentine’s Day why not “treat yo’self” to a day of self-love?

If you haven’t read Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages” it’s an illuminating exploration into how we love, and how we can more effectively love others. According to Chapman, there are 5 languages of love that have the potential to create connection, or possibly disconnection if we aren’t getting love in the form of our primary language. By understanding our and others’ definitions of love, we can more effectively give, demonstrate, request, and receive it, ultimately creating more deeply satisfying relationships.

So I got to thinking, what if you aren’t in a relationship? Or what if the people you have relationships with aren’t fully satisfying your needs? According to Maslow, we all need to feel love in order to achieve contentment, just as much as we need water, food, and shelter. To quote the Little Mermaid’s Sebastian the crab, “If you want some-ting done, you got to do it yah self.”

A day of self-love to replenish and revitalize you
Based on Gary Chapman’s the 5 Love Languages

7am Physical Touch
Wake up and do something that feels really good to your body. Options include…
Take a warm bath and exfoliate with a delicious sugar scrub
Schedule an early morning massage
Go for a meditative walk (no phone or music, just you and deep breathing)
Dance in your skivvies

10am Quality Time
Spend some time connecting with, listening to, and supporting yourself in your dreams. My favorite activity is a vision breakfast. Here’s how you do it…
Take yourself out to a nice breakfast, and spend some time journaling. Think about your goals holistically- physical, spiritual, financial, social, emotional, intellectual- and put together an action plan to help yourself achieve them. Need some structure for your journaling? Try these amazing planners…

1pm Acts of Service
Spend a few hours doing something kind for someone else. It’s good for your health!
Acts of kindness increase oxytocin, the feel-good “love” hormone, which is scientifically proven to improve cardiovascular health. For a list of local volunteer opportunities, check out https://www.newyorkcares.org/
If you’d like more information on how giving is good for your physical health, mental health, and longevity of life, read this article from the Huffington Post.

5pm Gifts
Go ahead, splurge on something nice for yourself. You deserve it.

7pm Words of Appreciation
Write yourself a card, and do it from the perspective of your future self. What words of encouragement does the current you need to hear right now?
Neuroscience has a lot to say about the effects of positive self-talk. Check out this article from NPR, and if you’re really ready to reprogram a negative narrative, read “What to Say When you Talk to Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!
Holly, Practice Administrator

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