Valentine’s Day may be hyped as a couple’s holiday, but there’s no rule that says you must celebrate the holiday in pairs. Whether you’re in a comfortable relationship or you’re spending the day solo, the Healthy365 Connection Center has some suggestions for taking care of you on Valentine’s Day and beyond. Read on for ideas on how you can show yourself some much deserved love and pampering.

Have a day for yourself

Are you the person who takes care of everyone else? Do family members look to you to remember to refill their prescriptions, make their hair appointments and decide what you’re having for dinner every evening? What about work? Are you the employee who always answers emails promptly and commits to being a team player? As noble as their attributes are, there’s something to be said to taking a day off from all of your responsibilities. If your work schedule is flexible, cash in a vacation day and spend it doing whatever you want to do, whether that involves poking around museums like the James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home & Museum, taking a walk along one of our many public trails or hanging out in your jammies all day. Even if you can’t play hooky for a day, treat yourself to your favorite carryout lunch and tell your family they’re going to take over dinner duties – or at least give you a hand cleaning up afterwards.

Give yourself flowers

Somewhere along the line a lot of us bought into the belief that flowers are something you let other people buy for you. Go ahead and smash that stereotype by ordering a lovely bouquet to be delivered to your door. Or, you can pick up some colorful blooms at the grocery store when you’re shopping. According to research done by Rutgers University, flowers can immediately impact your happiness levels and may have a long-term positive affect on your mood. It’s been a long time since we had flowers blooming outside – go ahead and bring some back into your life.

Plan a spa experience

Extravagant spa experiences can be costly, but you can recreate some of the pampering at home. Fill the tub, throw in a bath bomb, and light your favorite candles. Skip the harsh drugstore soaps and instead grab a bar of locally produced goat milk soap. Lock the bathroom door and give yourself 30 minutes of privacy. Follow up with a pumice stone scrub of your heels, which have been hiding under socks and boots for the past few months.

Get a (hotel) room

There’s something especially luxurious about letting someone else worry about making the beds and cleaning the bathroom. Hotel rooms aren’t just for couples on vacation or business travelers. They can also be a place to take a break for just an evening. Order in your favorite dinner and eat it in bed while you catch up on whatever’s playing on the hotel’s cable television platform. The beauty of this idea is that it can be shared with someone special, whether it’s a spouse or a BFF. Or, you can plan a solo outing where you don’t have to worry about sharing the remote and agreeing on a room temperature.

Start moving

February is also American Heart Month, so Valentine’s Day is a good time to look at your health and fitness levels. Even if you’ve fallen into a couch potato routine, it’s never too late to incorporate some exercise into your daily habits. Call up a playlist on your phone and get in some steps during your lunch break. Are you ready to take your fitness to a new level? Check out one of the three Hancock Wellness Centers in Greenfield, McCordsville or New Palestine.  You can even sign up for an optional two-pack of 60-minute massages when you join online! Consider it a Valentine’s Day present to yourself.

Unplug yourself

Phones and computers have become increasingly ubiquitous. On one hand, it can be convenient to have so much information available in your pocket. You may appreciate being able to see your loved ones on a video call or catch up on an electronic novel while you’re in the doctor’s waiting room. But we can also become immune to the noise these devices bring into our daily lives. You could be missing out on valuable time with loved ones because you insist on winning an internet argument with some strangers who are never going to change their minds. Too much screen time can have a real negative impact on our mental health.  Give your brain a break for one evening and keep your screens set to the “off” position. You can plug back in tomorrow.

Write it all down

“Dear Diary – today is Valentine’s Day, and I don’t have a date to the big dance.”

OK, it’s been a while since you kept a diary. Maybe you were gifted a pretty, blank journal that you filled out once or twice before life got in the way. That’s all right. There are no rules for jotting down your thoughts, and you can start over any time. Consider doing a gratitude journal that helps you focus on what’s good in your life. Or, write that angry letter to your ex that you’ve been composing in your head, because sometimes it helps to see it on paper. (You don’t have to send it. In fact, you may want to keep it to remind you of why you’re so much better off on your own.) While you’re in the writing mood, jot down a note to a friend or relative who is on your heart. Handwritten notes go a step beyond a quick text or email and will be cherished by the recipient who knows you went the extra mile for them.

Have a movie night

When was the last time you went to the movie theater? Pick an interesting flick and treat yourself to a screening. If you’re not crazy about sitting among strangers, plan an at-home event. Prepare some popcorn and play around with different toppings, like garlic powder, lime zest or cinnamon sugar. Stream one of your old favorites like “Dirty Dancing” or “Grease.” Or, focus on an action flick that completely avoids the whole boy-meets-girl storyline and leaves you cheering for the hero.

This Valentine’s Day, put yourself first. You deserve to be mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. If you need assistance in your wellness journey, contact the Healthy365 Connection Center at 317-468-4231 or reach out online. You are never alone.