How ironic that Valentine’s Day which is supposed to inspire romantic love stresses people out. First, there are the single people who feel less than… Second there are those who have recently broken up or divorced. Third there are those who feel pressured to prematurely propel their relationship to the next level to meet Valentine’s Day criteria. Fourth there are those who are spooked by the symbolism of Valentine’s Day and break up a budding relationship. Fifth there are many committed people who are disappointed with their gifts/experiences and feel angry: “This last minute cheap box of chocolates - is this what he thinks of me?” “No rose petals on the bed?” “Not tonight, I have a headache.”
Romance need not be obligatory or costly. It does not even require a partner. You can have a romance with life; you can court possibility. Love life and it will return your love. Step back to see the bigger picture of your life - what you already hold in your heart. Manage your Valentine’s Day misery with a small change in internal perception. Go triple A: Avoid
the hype. Alter
your life story. Act
towards others the way you want them to act towards you.
Here are 11 strategies to warm your heart:
- Get heart smart and exercise. Latest research shows that working out even without any weight loss improves body image. Do your cardiovascular system some good while you start to feel better about your body. Exercise generates happiness.
- Spend the day with a special family member who needs you; for example, a small child like a niece or nephew or a good friend’s child; an elderly grandparent.
- Dark chocolate is a healthy mood booster. Give yourself a special treat today and savor each bite. I make every day Valentine’s Day when it involves chocolate.
- Bring in the spring with fresh flowers in your favorite color palette for sensory appeal.
- Get together with friends for an “Un-Valentine Day’s” party. Note: I didn’t say, anti-Valentine’s Day party, because this gives the day too much power over you. Your motive for fun should not be weighed down by resentment. FUN means: feeling uninhibited naturally.
- Get creative in the kitchen for a delicious and nutritious meal like fine spa cuisine. This prevents stuffing your face with junk food which will only make you feel guilty later. Play your favorite music in the background to enhance the experience.
- Make beautiful music with a friend or family member: sing together, or sing while someone accompanies you on a musical instrument or play music while someone else sings. Participate instead of serving as an audience.
- Practice happiness and prosperity: Visit a museum to view beautiful art. Read poetry out loud to yourself. Watch a special film. Delight in a book you always wanted to read - a classic.
- Take your camera and go in search of that unusual, special photograph. Frame what your eye is drawn to. What clues does this photograph hold about your spirit?
- De-clutter your habitat to invite good energy.
- Visit some place you have never been before within 30 minutes to an hour drive of your home.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life
, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout
and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul,
a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com