PRACTISING SELF LOVE THIS VALENTINE'S DAY

So it's nearly here: February 14th, Valentine's Day. It's that time of year again when the shops are literally chockablock full of chocolates, roses, teddy bears and hoards of other vomit-enducing, over priced crap that we're tricked into buying on the premise that all of this stuff represents true love in it's truest form. As a teenager, I despised Valentine's Day. Is there anything worse in this life than a day totally dedicated to love, when there is nobody out there who finds you even remotely attractive, let alone LOVES you? I didn't think so and I remember vividly once losing my SHIT with my mum after she decided that, rather than to give us presents at breakfast, she would organise for some heart chocolates to be delivered to me at school with a '?' at the bottom of the card. All of my friends had ACTUALLY received stuff from boys and there I was with something from my mum? Does it get more mortifying than that? Somebody tell me now.

Despite the fact that this will be the fifth Valentine's Day that I have spent in a happy relationship, I still can't totally shake my general distain for the day out of my head. I don't hate it like I used to and I don't love it as some people seem to... (although I suppose that might be because when you're told that you're allergic to chocolate a LOT of these celebrations become fairly pointless anyway.)

Nevertheless. Valentine's Day is a day all about love and I love to love. I loved Galentine's Day today and enough time has passed since my Valentine's Day childhood trauma so I'm officially back on the bandwagon. But with a difference because this year I'm promoting the idea of self love, because really, who says that can't be exactly what Valentine's Day is about?

Why, as strong, independent, kick arse women do we allow ourselves to spend this day in a state of either depression or panic because a man may or may not buy us some chocolates? Since when has it been up to anyone but YOU to make YOU feel special eh?! This is something that I have been thinking a lot about recently and it has been driving me mad. Why don't we buy our own flowers? And teddies? And chocolates? And eat them all in the bath surrounded by candles and calming music and a great book? Who says that we can't be the ones to make ourselves feel special this Valentine's Day?

Whether you are single or in a relationship, a romantic person or a total scrooge, a lover of baths or lactose intolerant, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't direct as much love as possible tomorrow, at yourself. 

Valentine's Day is all about spoiling someone special in your life, that's what all the chocolate boxes say, all the teddy bears, all the adverts, 'for someone special...' who's to say that you aren't that someone special in your life?

If you're in a relationship I appreciate that it might be a little tough to say 'sorry love but I've decided that I want to spend the most romantic night of the year alone so can you make yourself scarce for a couple of hours please?' to your SO, particularly if they're stood there with a bunch of flowers in one hand and your favourite take out food in the other. But that doesn't mean that you can't make a bit of 'me time' tomorrow. Getting up a few minutes earlier is a good place to start, perhaps using a new soap in the shower or moisturiser when you get out. Spend a couple more minutes applying makeup than you normally would and wear something that makes you feel sexy af. Buy yourself some chocolates on the way to work, the shopkeeper will assume you have a loved one who will receive them and everyone at work will assume you got them at home. As you silently eat every last one yourself you can celebrate what a con artist you are. Get your nails done in your lunch break or pick up a trashy magazine for the commute home. Even if you have romantic plans in the evening, make sure you do things the way you want them to, all the while ensuring that you feel as special as possible.

Of course if you are single and have no plans tonight other than sinking a bottle of wine, watching Bridget Jones AGAIN and eating more ice cream than anyone thought possible all the while questioning your very existence because EVERYONE IS IN LOVE APART FROM YOU then 'me time' is so important. A bath is paramount or failing that a face/hair/skin mask of some kind. A pamper, that's what you need. You also need a present, you need to buy yourself a present, probably chocolate, that you are going to eat totally guilt free. If you don't own a book and are not currently reading one then hop to Waterstones in your lunch break and buy one, when you get home start it. Eat EXACTLY what you want to eat, wear EXACTLY what you want to wear and do EXACTLY what you want to do.

In lots of ways tomorrow is just like any other day, it's a Tuesday in February. But in other ways it's a great opportunity. If you enjoy being miserable on Valentine's Day, a grinch and a grump, as I know a lot of people genuinely do, that's cool. But if there is even a morsel of romance inside of you that you don't know what to do with, then why not direct it inwards? Spoil yourself, be that someone special. Practise self love this Valentine's Day.