Valentine’s Day is known for the usual gifts of chocolates, heart-shaped cards and red roses, but it’s not just about romance — Valentine’s Day is also the perfect time to treat yourself – and others – to something special.
The idea of self-care can be traced back to the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates. Prominent French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault interpreted Socrates’ concept of self-care as caring for oneself and others and engaging in self-reflection and meditation.1
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, channel self-care and self-love by challenging yourself to be kinder, both to yourself and others. Whether you’re single or taken, these self-care ideas can be enjoyed solo, with a significant other, or even a group of friends. Enjoy!
1. Soak up the great outdoors.
Spending time surrounded by nature can be incredibly relaxing — so much so that “forest bathing” is a common practice in Japan, which encourages people to soak in the sights, scents and sounds of the forest around them (and no, you don’t have to take a literal bath in the forest!).2 The practice is a mindful activity that taps into all of your senses. And in an age when Americans spend an average of 87 percent of their time indoors , now is as good a time as any to go out and explore (weather permitting).3 If there’s no forest nearby, a quiet park or open field will do — take a few moments to unplug, leave your devices behind, and experience the great outdoors.
2. Or, get cozy.
Too cold to get outside? Take a tip from the Danes and embrace “hygge,” a word describing a specific type of coziness that creates a feeling of well-being and contentment.4 Pronounced “hoo-guh,” hygge welcomes the chill of winter and invites you to wrap yourself in a plush blanket, warm your hands around a hot cup of tea (or coffee!) and open your door to good company.
3. Spa day, anyone?
Whether your treatment of choice is a massage, manicure, pedicure or a trip to the sauna, book an appointment and your Valentine’s Day will definitely feel more relaxing. Your favorite spa treatment may have some health benefits, too. Some studies suggest massage therapy may help with lower back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee5, while the Mayo Clinic reports that saunas may help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function.6 Or, create your own private spa at home by diffusing your favorite essential oils.
4. Take a day trip.
Take a break from the daily grind and do a little exploring! Check out a different part of town, grab a friend and hit the trails for a short hike, or hop in the car to watch the sunset. You just might find a new favorite spot!
5. Find a great podcast.
Want to learn more about a particular hobby or get lost in an unsolved mystery? There’s probably a podcast for that. From cooking to true crime, it seems like there’s a podcast for everyone — and there’s a good reason: Podcasts are growing in popularity – in 2018, men spent just under eight hours listening to them each week, while women tuned in for about 5.5 hours, on average.7 Plus, they’re easy to find: searching “podcast” online will give you hundreds of options to download or stream. Just slip in some earbuds, kick back and relax.
6. Explore the arts.
Ditch the routine Valentine’s Day rom-com and spend the day wandering through a trendy interactive art exhibit, watch a new play, or listen to your favorite band live. Bonus: some research indicates different types of creative art may benefit your physical health.8
7. Change things up with a drive-in movie.
It may seem old school, but if you’re tired of the typical movie night, try changing things up at the drive-in! Grab a group of friends, go with a date, or take in the experience for yourself, it’s the perfect way to relax and watch a movie in the comfort of your own vehicle. Some theaters even let you bring snacks, so come prepared! If you’re a Jenny Craig member, grab a bag of sweet and salty Kettle Corn, savory White Cheddar Popcorn or crunchy Cheese Curls for the show!
8. Kiss your clutter goodbye.
Get ready for Valentine’s Day by tidying up your space to make it easier to relax and focus on what’s most important – spending time with your significant other, friends, or just yourself!9 Try these helpful tips to fight feeling frazzled and stay organized and fresh.
9. Spend a quiet night in.
Sometimes flying solo is the best thing you can do on Valentine’s Day. If your schedule’s been feeling way too packed, you might be the one who needs a little extra TLC. Give yourself the day to rest and recharge. Spending some quality time on your own may make you more creative, give you the chance to focus on your goals and evaluate your progress.10
10. Catch those Z’s.
Getting plenty of quality sleep can make all the difference when it comes to setting yourself up for a productive day. Try these 10 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep, and make the most of your beauty rest!
Still need to buy a Valentine’s Day gift? Check out these self-care gift ideas and treat yourself to a little something, too!
What are you doing for yourself this month? Share with us your go-to self-care tips in the comments below!
Elisa is a content marketing manager for Jenny Craig with over ten years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She loves sharing her passion for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. A San Diego native and an endurance sports enthusiast, you can usually find her swimming, biking along the coast highway or running by the beach in her free time. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Chico.
Favorite healthy snack: mozzarella string cheese with a Pink Lady apple.
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This article is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and reviewed by certified professionals.
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