Love it or hate it, it comes every year. Valentine’s Day. In the United States and places around the world, candy, flowers, and other gifts are exchanged between loved ones in the name of true love. Whether you subscribe to the idea that February 14th is just a made-up holiday to sell chocolates and flowers or take a more historical view of things and give credit to St. Valentine himself, one thing you can’t do is escape it. Pink and red hearts fill the aisle of stores everywhere, and love is in the air.
We know what you’re thinking, but no, we aren’t about to rage against Valentine’s Day. In fact, we’re here to do the exact opposite. We love Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re in a relationship or flying solo, we want to remind you that you can be your own valentine. Take this opportunity to show the person who has always had your back (spoiler alert...that’s you) some tender love and care.
Some FYI on TLC
Self-care and self-love are not new concepts, but they are misunderstood. Studies show that most people don’t understand what effective self-care is or how they could benefit from it. A recent Harris Poll revealed that 44% of people don’t consider it a priority in their life and would call it a luxury for those who have “enough time.” With all this misinformation flying about, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at what self-care and self-love are and how they can benefit you.
If Aristotle Can Do It, So Can You!
Believe it or not, the Ancient Greeks put these two ideas into practice long before millennials turned them into hashtags and put them on Instagram. They even had a special word for it. “Philautia.” The closest translation to philautia would be ‘self-love’ or ‘love of self.’ The Greeks believed that when one practiced philautia, it provided the building blocks upon which all other types of love could be built. Or in the words of Aristotle, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of man’s feelings for himself.” If you’re thinking that sounds familiar, you’re not wrong. It’s where we get the cliché “You have to love yourself before you can love others.” But hey, clichés are clichés for a reason, so it might not be a bad idea to take some advice from one of the greatest philosophers of all time.
Self-care is the practice of taking care of yourself. That means physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Ensuring that you feel at peace in your life, whatever that looks like. Is it a night out with your favorite friends? Painting alone? Spending a glorious night in binging Netflix? Perhaps it’s splurging on a pair of leggings that give your booty a boost (wink wink). No matter the activity, it’s about doing something today that will bring calm and relaxation to your life. We can feel like these are purely selfish acts, but that’s not true. Practicing self-care increases self-awareness. This directly affects how you interact with others around you. Now let’s move on to self-love.
Self-love is all about cultivating acceptance and gratitude toward yourself. Thanking your body and soul for everything they do for you and consciously pushing those negative thoughts away. You have to let go of a comparison mindset and embrace yourself fully. Who you are is perfect, and you owe no one an apology for being you.
Easier Said Than Done.
Of course, we know that putting both self-care and self-love into practice isn’t easy. Just like we mentioned in our blog about resolutions and mindfulness, learning to practice self-love and self-care is a process. We have to unlearn the idea that putting yourself first is somehow self-indulgent and instead accept the truth that it’s necessary for your wellbeing. It can take time, but in our experience, it’s 100% worth the effort. It can even improve immunity (who doesn’t want that right now) and make us less susceptible to stress, anxiety, and depression. After a year like 2020, I think we could all use a break from those things.
Happy Valentine’s Day To You!
Practicing what we preach is difficult, and choosing to put yourself first (when many times as women, it feels contrary to our nature) can feel selfish, but it isn’t. We’ve put together some ideas on how you can get started.
1. Buy yourself a bottle of wine (or preferred beverage) and a bouquet of your favorite flowers. Show yourself you appreciate her! She’ll thank you for it. Flowers are known to improve moods, spark creativity, and even strengthen confidence.
2. Wrap up in a comfy blanket or robe, and finally read that book that’s been sitting on your shelf.Reading for pleasure increases empathy, reasoning skills and can reduce symptoms of depression and even dementia. It can lower blood pressure, help you sleep better, and improves overall brain connectivity.
3. Buy yourself something nice (Like a SassyBax bralette, maybe?)You didn’t think we would let you leave without talking about the most comfortable bra in the world, did you! We could go on and on about how comfortable our Original Bralette is, and we have, just read here, but our main point here is to get yourself something special. Find that certain thing you’ve been eyeing for months and take the plunge. AND if that something special happens to be the SassyBax Original Bralette, you can get one in pink for just $50 now through February 14th!
4. Draw a hot bath and lock the door. As the ins and outs of everyday life pile on, it can feel almost impossible to get a minute to yourself. Baths may feel indulgent, but there’s a lot of benefits to them. A bath can ease aching muscle and joints, calm the brain and nervous system, balance hormones, and when coupled with aromatherapies, can be the ultimate healing experience.
Self-care and self-love are more than just engagement driving Instagram posts. They are nurturing experiences with more benefits than can be listed in just one blog post, and we encourage you to do some research of your own! In the meantime, Valentine’s Day, single or not, is a perfect time to introduce a regiment of self-love and care.