I know, I know. There are plenty of people who really dislike Valentine's Day. I'm the exact opposite; February 14 is my favorite holiday, and whether you're single, in a relationship, married, or in an "it's complicated" situation, you deserve to show yourself some self-care this Valentine's Day. I love the mid-February holiday for a few reasons. Pink is my favorite color, I love roses, and I am always looking for an excuse to treat myself. Every year, on Valentine's Day, I go all out doing the things (and let's be honest, purchasing a few items) that make me feel my absolute best. And this year especially, many people, including myself, are struggling with mental health because of the pandemic, so finding ways to feel happy is even more important.
How to Have the Best Valentine's Day with Yourself
This is the first year I'm spending Valentine's Day with someone else. (We've been in a long-distance relationship for years, and now we finally live together.) So I have plenty of experience spending Valentine's Day alone or with my Galentine's. These are the things I do for a fantastic day, and yes, I'll still be taking all of these steps this year. You can emulate them exactly, or just draw inspiration for your own day of self-love.
Step 1: Treat Yourself
I'm a firm believer in retail therapy, and whether you're receiving a gift from your Valentine, you still deserve to gift yourself something special. My go-to's are makeup, skincare products, and when I really want to splurge, a piece of jewelry from my favorite jeweler, Ring Concierge. I also love a cute and comfy set of pajamas ($98, Shopbop) that are even stylish enough for virtual work meetings.
Step 2: Set the Mood
It's super cliché, but I love lighting a few candles to make me feel cozier, especially as the sun is going down. In the winter, I love the le paradis Bora Bora candle ($75, le paradis). It smells like a tropical vacation and is an excellent anecdote to my winter blues. This year, I've also put up a few decorations and bought a bouquet of flowers from my local florist.
Step 3: Do Something for Just You
Serious question: When is the last time you did something that was just for your happiness? No, it's not selfish. You need to spend some time focusing on something that makes you happy. For me, it's completing an at-home workout or reading a thriller like The Silent Patient ($22, Barnes & Noble), a novel I highly recommend. Maybe your self-care activity is crafting or doing your nails. Whatever it is, make sure you set aside the time to do it.
Step 4: Call Your Mom
...or your best friend, or your girlfriend, or your grandma. Many of us are missing someone we can't see due to coronavirus, and February 14 is a perfect occasion to tell that person you miss and love them. Give your loved one a call, and I guarantee just hearing their voice will lift your mood. My mom and I like to FaceTime with a glass (or two) of wine and make it a happy hour for two.
Step 5: Indulge
Going out to eat on Valentine's Day is, quite frankly, an amateur move. Trust me; as a former waitress, I can attest that February 14 is the worst night to go out to eat as it's always super busy and can be quite expensive. (And many restaurants are closed for dine-in services this year.) Instead, cook a nice dinner or order takeout from a local spot; they could really use your business right now. In my opinion special dinner isn't complete without a good bottle of wine, and I've been loving La Marca Prosecco Rosé (18, Wine.com) for some refreshing and fruity bubbles. And I always need a sweet treat to finish my meal.
Step 6: Wind Down
Before I go to sleep, I always do my skincare routine, and even if your method is simply to cleanse and moisturize, congratulations; you have a regimen. On some evenings, like on February 14, I'll do something special for a more spa-like experience. I'll either apply a formulated face mask or use a product that feels luxurious, like the Glowoasis Milkdew Toner ($34, Glowoasis.) Trust me: it's worth it to take an extra step that makes you feel wonderful before heading to bed.