Valentine's Day may be the most romantic day of the year; after all, is there any other day solely dedicated to love and affection? While it's almost too easy to get caught up in the sugar-laden, heart-shaped holiday, it's especially important to take time for yourself and consider your own emotions in the midst of all the sweet nothings.
If you find yourself more tempted to send sad face emojis than a smattering of pink and red hearts, it's time to truly listen to what your body craves: self-love.
But what does it mean to practice self-care and self-love? Loving and caring for yourself does not make you selfish or self-centered. Being in tune with what you truly need is a life skill you'll need every day of your life, no matter what holiday it is. And we've got some tips and tricks you're sure to love.
1. Work Out
Okay, so working out doesn't make everyone squeal for joy, but the benefits of sweating out stress are plentiful. Your body will thank you both emotionally and physically (plus you might get a sick six pack, just saying).
2. Drink Plenty Of Water
Even if you're not able to chug eight glasses of water a day, try to get as much hydration into your system as possible. You'll flush out more toxins, and your overall health is sure to benefit as well.
3. Feed Your Body Real Nutrition
We all know how important it is to eat balanced, healthy meals, but that also doesn't mean you can't indulge and treat yourself now and then. Try to eat those leafy greens, but don't feel bad if your veggies occasionally come from a slice of pizza.
4. Start A Journal
Sometimes the only way to your true feelings out is to write it out. You don't have to produce a full entry every day, but even if you can write down daily affirmations or things you were grateful for on a daily basis, you'll be amazed at the power of the written word.
5. Practice Mindfulness
You may or may not have heard this term before, but the practice of mindfulness, according to the Harvard Business Review, is essentially taking the time to actively notice things around you. We live in a fast-paced world and it's easy to go on autopilot, but it's important to engage with yourself when time starts to blur by. Change your routine once in a while. Walk to work instead of driving, or try to chat with a colleague you don't know as well.
6. Learn About Yourself And The World
What better way to get in touch with yourself than learning? Go beyond the basic required textbooks and pick up a new hobby or skill. Download and iTunes U podcast, take up a cooking class or even join a book club to get your creative and educational juices flowing! Learning truly is power.
7. Treat Yo' Self
There's nothing more relaxing than taking some time for your bomb-ass-self. Treat yourself to a spa day, a fresh mani, a new hair color and whatever else makes you look and feel your best. If all else fails, book yourself a massage because you always deserve it.
8. Get Creative With Your Besties
Take it from Kanye: Nothing beats the flow of the creative process. Get your best gal pals together and host a paint or a craft night (with wine, of course). After all, nothing says love like your best amigas and handmade creations.
In the wise words of Hailee Steinfeld: "I love myself, and I don't need anybody else." At the end of the day, the person you need to love most is yourself. Make your relationship with yourself a top priority, and your heart will truly be happy every Valentine's Day and beyond.