This February 14th, just treat yourself. Valentine’s Day does not have to be about romantic partners. After all, it is a celebration of love, tenderness, and togetherness, and don’t we first need to focus all those feelings on ourselves before sharing them with that special someone?
Dr. Taylor Alison Swift once said, “No voices are as mean as our own voices are to ourselves.” We demand a lot of ourselves: to always succeed, and never fail; to fall in love, be romantic, be the perfect one; to have a perfect body and not develop body dysmorphia no matter how many campaigns show us a non-inclusive, unrealistic (probably AI) person. And Valentine’s Day might have the power to raise the volume of those mean voices if you are single and question why you are single. So, the cycle begins again.
Argentinian writer Samanta Schweblin once wrote, “El mundo lo que tiene es una gran crisis de amor, y de que, al fin y al cabo, no son buenos tiempos para la gente muy sensible.” (Which translates to: “The world has a great love crisis, and so, after all, these are not good times for very sensitive people.”).
If we compare what two artists with big different backgrounds say, we can’t do anything but start pondering and questioning ourselves and the idea we’ve built around love and the concept of it. We are more demanding of ourselves than we are of others, and there is indeed a love crisis if we do not begin to love ourselves. Why shouldn’t we fight the love crisis celebrating the love we can build towards our own person?
Having said all that, here are some ideas to spend this corny day while fighting the (self)love crisis. Ready? Let’s uncork that bottle of sweet wine!
Fight The Love Crisis And Treat Yourself With Kindness
The first thing we attack is our bodies. They don’t look as strong and fit as our expectations would like. Our skin is far from perfect, and our hair could use a do-over. And most times, is not only you the one questioning why couldn’t your shallow self be more perfect, but also society.
As Hispanic Americans, we are the result of a mixture of cultures. And to many, this translates into being considered not Latinx enough or white enough. Some of us may not resemble the stereotypical external ideas about our Latin culture and origins. Others do, but that may mean not feeling represented by media, in their work field, and throughout society in general.
Whether you are in that situation or just have concerns about how you look, let me share this exercise with you:
Your body is a means to an end. It is the result of who you are today and what you are going through. Be honest with yourself. Do you like where you are today? If so, why are you condemning the physic that’s giving you the possibility there? If not, you do not need to change your body first but your behavior towards it and move from where you are standing towards where you wanna be.
That being said, look at your reflection in the mirror with a different perspective. Not holding to the things you want to change because they are not “pretty enough,” but with kindness, being grateful for the body you have. Accepting that it is different because all bodies and minds are. And embracing that difference, feeling proud.
Part of fighting this love crisis that Schweblin mentioned, starts with embracing and treating with kindness the parts that we, instead, treat more harshly.
You are not the result of what others expect to see in you. So, what if you are single? What if you look different? You are here to fulfill your own expectations.
Plan The Perfect Date For You And Only You (well, you can invite your friends, obviously!)
Hushing those mean voices in your head is not a work for one. And who would anybody be without their friends?
As I mentioned before, Valentine’s Day celebrates love, and why should we celebrate only romance when our friends are teaching us how to love every day, too?
So, plan that day or night out. Choose your best outfit. Yes, those special shoes you’ve been waiting for are the perfect moment to use. And call your friends! You can even take advantage of some Valentine’s sales I bet are out there on the internet or in some restaurants and have the time of your life.
On the other hand, if you are not feeling like going out… invite your friends over and celebrate love with some delicious recipes.
My favorites are Fig & Goat Cheese Pizza along with an Orange Moon Cocktail. Last but not least, the dessert… let me suggest Dulce de Leche Cones. Trust me, with this trio, you won’t need to download a date app or even look for your perfect match. You’ve already found it and you will not be sharing anytime soon. Well… with those friends around you (maybe).
Take Some Time Off To Build Your Kingdom or Queendom
If you are looking forward to some me-time, what better way to celebrate love than to destine that time to build your kingdom or queendom? That is, the life you want for yourself not tomorrow, not a year from now, but NOW.
The year has already begun, yes, but it is always a great moment to build a vision board or set your finances straight to make that dream board come true. Be honest with yourself. What is it that you really want? And start with baby steps. Want to travel abroad and get to know more about your Latin roots? Plan ahead. What will you need? How much money do you need to save? Which parts and things do you want to taste and visit that are unnegotiable? Will you be going alone or your parents may join?
Challenge yourself by studying things you like and awaken your curiosity, ask questions about your roots to your abuela, and visualize where you want to be and why. Not all kingdoms are the same, still, there are a lot out there. And yours is ready to begin!