Tuesday, February 14, 2017

14 Ways to Treat Yourself

Hello, beautiful - and happy Valentine's Day! So often, I hear girls my age complain about being single on Valentine's Day - but as much as I love spending the holiday with Ryan, I think it's just as important to treat yourself on Valentine's Day as it is to acknowledge those you love!

To me, Valentine's Day is just as fun to celebrate by yourself or with your gal pals as it is to celebrate with a significant other. After all, Valentine's Day is all about love - who the hell dictated that it had to be about romantic love? Celebrate your love for your friends, your family, your dog, red wine and Netflix - whoever or whatever YOU love, embrace it!

I did a post about self-love not too long ago, which I really enjoyed writing for you guys, so I thought I would write a similar post in honor of Valentine's Day. Because as cheesy as it may sound, the most important person to show the love this Valentine's Day is yourself - especially if you're single, but even if you're not (since Ryan and I celebrated over the weekend, I'll be spending Valentine's alone this year, too!), Valentine's Day is the perfect occasion for self-care.

So, here's what I'm challenging you to do this Valentine's Day: in the wise words of Tom Haverford on Parks and Rec, "Treat yo' self!" Whatever your plans for the night, whether you're going out with your S.O., attending a Gal-entine's Day party, or just spending a night in front of the TV with pizza and wine, block out at least an hour of your time that you can spend giving yourself the TLC you deserve...

In the wise words of a beloved Parks and Rec episode:

... if you're stuck, here are 14 ways to do it! 

1. Take a Drop-in Fitness Class

I love yoga, but like many busy college girls, I don't often get the chance to go to class. If you relate to that, Valentine's Day is the perfect occasion to finally block out some time in your busy schedule to go to class! The best part is that it's flexible - if you've got a hot date tonight, go in the morning; if you're working all day, schedule it late at night. Whatever it is you love - whether it's yoga, Pilates, cycling, tae-kwon-do, literally whatever - schedule it in your planner and make it a priority this Valentine's Day, because you deserve it! 

2. Give Yourself a DIY Facial

Giving myself an at-home facial about once a week is one of the ways I treat myself on the reg. I love it because it forces me to slow down and actually pay attention to how my skin is doing. When we get so busy in our everyday lives, we might forget to do things like wash our face morning and night or take off our makeup before bed - or we might reach for quick, greasy foods in a rush that wreak havoc on our skin the next day. So, this Valentine's Day, spend some time nourishing and loving your skin. The skin you're in now is the skin you'll have for the rest of your life, so treat it right! 

3. Buy Yourself Flowers and Chocolates

If you don't have a Valentine, don't wait for your secret admirer to come swooping in - buy yourself the flowers and chocolates instead! Buying yourself the presents this Valentine's Day means that you won't have to count on some guy remembering what flavor truffles you like, or that you're allergic to roses. Instead, head to the store and get yourself exactly what you love - without breaking the bank. At the grocery store, flowers are only a couple dollars, and often on Valentine's Day, all that holiday candy starts ringing up half-price! 

4. Get a Blowout 

Personally, I think having my hair washed and dried is the best feeling in the entire world. It might make me sound crazy, but when the stylist starts massaging in that shampoo, time itself seems to slow down for me. After a blowout, I walk out of the salon feeling fresher and more zen than if I'd just meditated for an hour. Plus, there's nothing better than the next couple days after a blowout, when dry shampoo alone is enough to get you by looking fabulous! So, shell out the $20 or $30 this Valentine's Day and show your hair a little love - especially if it's not something you normally would do.

5. Go See a Cheesy Movie

Going to the movies by myself is high up there on my college bucket list - so maybe Valentine's Day is the day I'll finally make it happen! Sure, you'll have to pay for your ticket, but you also don't have to share the popcorn or the candy, either. As an added bonus, you can also watch whatever sappy chick flick (or gory action movie) you want, without having to defend your taste in movies to your S.O. ...It's pretty much the perfect night, if you ask me.

6. Paint Your Nails

When my nails look good, my life somehow feels so much more put together, as if by getting a manicure, I've somehow restored balance and order to the universe. You can easily find cheap manicures in your area using sites like Groupon. But, if you're not into paying for something you can do yourself, it's just as easy to give yourself a luxurious DIY home manicure. With a nail file, a bowl of warm water and some rich scented hand lotion, you can easily recreate the spa experience at home for less. 

7. Curl Up With a Good Book

One of my favorite ways to treat myself (assuming I have the time, which I never do) is to curl up with a good book and finish it in one sitting. If I have a mug of tea and a warm blanket to snuggle up with, I can sit in the same spot for hours just waiting to find out what happens to my favorite characters. With the right book, turning the pages can feel as enthralling as waiting for the next episode of Mad Men to unfold on Netflix - plus, it's much easier on the eyes than the harsh glare of the television screen. 

8. Bake a Treat (And Eat It, Of Course)

This one Valentine's Day when I was sixteen, I got stood-up by a then-boyfriend (now ex) of mine because he didn't want to drive in the snowstorm. Needless to say, I was disappointed and hurt - but how did I get through? I baked an entire batch of dark chocolate cupcakes and ate them as my dinner. Obviously. To this day, I still stand by baking (and eating) as one of the most foolproof ways to get yourself through Valentine's Day. Oh, and if you're curious, here's the chocolate cupcake recipe I swear by! 

9. Make Yourself a Valentine

Making handmade Valentines for my friends as a kid used to be one of my favorite ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. There's just something so therapeutic about sitting down with a plethora of lace doilies and heart-shaped stickers and crafting something new and beautiful. Usually, we think of Valentines as something we're supposed to give to someone else - but if you're worried about not having a special someone to give your Valentine to, then write yourself a Valentine reminding yourself of all the reasons why you love yourself. I'll start with number one: you're beautiful and amazing! 

10. Meditate on Self-Love

If you want to show yourself some love this Valentine's Day, but are struggling with where to start, then I think it really helps to slow down and meditate on the subject for awhile. Set a timer, or follow along with one of your favorite guided meditations - and while you're meditating, really ask yourself, "Do I love myself? Why do I love myself? How can I love myself better today?" Self-knowledge is an amazing gift for Valentine's Day (or any day!), and the answers to those questions will show you so much more about yourself then you ever dreamed possible.  

11. Make Yourself Laugh

When you're having a bad day, nothing feels better than a big, belly laugh. On Valentine's Day, a great way to show yourself some self-love is to give yourself the gift of laughter. Go to a comedy show with your girlfriends, watch a funny movie or even just look up cat videos on YouTube. Whatever makes you laugh, find it! You'll start to feel your stress melt away almost instantly. 

12. Go Out to a Fancy Restaurant

For some reason, we have this idea that we're only supposed to go to fancy restaurants on special occasions, or when a guy makes the reservations for us. However, who's to say you shouldn't be able to treat yourself to a fancy dinner all by yourself? Besides, it will probably be easier to find a table for one than for two anyways. Just imagine the looks on all the disappointed couples' faces as you pass them in line looking fabulous! So, if you feel like you're missing out on the fancy date experience this Valentine's Day, don't be afraid to treat yourself to reservations for one at your favorite restaurant. There's no shame in going out to eat by yourself!

13. Take a Relaxing Bath

One of my favorite ways to relax when I'm at home is to take a long, hot bath. There's something about sitting in a warm tub that simply melts away all your stress! Plus, for Valentine's Day, you get the added bonus of all the fun holiday-themed goodies that go on sale around this time of year. So, light some candles, drop in your favorite bath goodies, sit back and relax. If you're looking for the best pampering products around, Lush's bath bombs are a perennial favorite no matter what season it is, but their Valentine's selection this year is simply to die for. (Zoella's bath bombs are another favorite of mine, as are the Bath and Body Works Luxury Bubble Baths.) 

14. Netflix and Chill

"Netflix & Chill" isn't just an innuendo for hooking up anymore! At the end of the day, there's no better way to sit down and relax than with an hour or two (or three or five or eight...) of your favorite TV show. So, this Valentine's Day, don't be afraid to pop some popcorn, put on your comfy pants and settle into your favorite seat for a binge-watching marathon. Bonus points for messy topknots and kernels between the cushions...

+ Treat yo' self to some freebies by signing up for my monthly newsletter!

* indicates required