This Valentine’s Day we’ve decided to take a different tack—and spoil ourselves. If you’re a busy working woman, juggling all sorts of demands in life, it can be hard to just… stop and relax. So we’re taking Valentine’s Day as a chance to show ourselves some self love instead. Here’s our suggestions for ways to give yourself more care and kindness this Valentine’s.
Celebrate Galentine’s Day
If you watched Parks and Recreation, you’ll be well aware about Galentine’s Day. It’s the day before Valentine’s, when the main character, Leslie, chooses to celebrate with her girlfriends. Since the show finished in 2015, viewers have been inspired to keep Galentine’s day alive and we are on board too. You don’t have to go all out with brunch, presents and an essay on why you love each of your friends, but why not get the girls together for cocktails or coffee?
Work on your self talk
Is the voice in your head a bit of a nasty bitch at times? Be kinder to yourself—would you ever talk to a friend the way you criticise yourself? It can be so habitual that you don’t realise how often you do it: “I should get to the gym more often, she’s younger/smarter/has better hair, I don’t call my family enough…” exhausting! Start by paying attention to your self talk and deliberately switching the mindset to a more positive angle. This book might help too.
Go through your old photos
We never look at our old photos unless we’re doing a tidy-up. Are you the same? Gather all your beloved photos of days gone by and put your favourites in frames or make a (rather late) desk calendar for 2019. Taking time to appreciate the people and fun events of your past can be nostalgic, perhaps a little sad, and a tad embarrassing—90s bootcut jeans anyone?
Splurge on lovely pens
Are you still using that rubbish pen from the bottom of your handbag? You’re a grown woman and you deserve fine writing implements. Once you try the flowy, smooth feel of writing with a quality pen, you’ll never go back to supermarket biros. We’re obsessed with the stationery retailer Milligram for beautiful pens for all budgets.
Try 19 for 2019
Happiness coach Gretchen Rubin started this trend last year, and it’s still going strong. Quite simply, you choose 19 things to concentrate on for this year. The list should include the mundane (clear out the laundry) and the lofty (exercise more, drink less). Make sure to add fun things like finally trying the freakshake from that café you’ve seen on Instagram. The opportunities are endless! Keep your list visible so you don’t forget about it over the year.
Just for a half hour, take yourself to the nearest park and simply enjoy the scenery. Walking barefoot on the grass is an optional extra, but if Julia Roberts and Richard Gere can do it in Pretty Woman, you can too. Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix, has found that enjoying nature has amazing restorative benefits. The New York Times reports that just five minutes in the wood reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. And who isn’t stressed these days?
Time is your commodity – outsource
No doubt you’re a busy person, so why not free your time by outsourcing? You won’t regret the investment when you have more time to spend doing what you really love. Have your shirts ironed, get your groceries delivered or outsource meal prepping. We know one time-poor business owner who used Airtasker to get a couch moved from downstairs to upstairs, after nagging her husband and son to do it for three years. It was the best twenty dollars she ever spent.
Be a tourist in your own city
Have you seen your home town through the eyes of a visitor? Grab a hip city guide and spend a day exploring. Is there a museum or gallery you often walk past but never visit? Is there an iconic vanilla slice at the local bakery you’ve never tried? Create a top ten list of things to do in your town and do them all in a day – or spread it out over a few months.
Jazz up your workwear
We may be a teensy bit biased here, but we reckon you can add a touch of arm candy to your workwear with our gorgeous cufflinks! Our range is designed to help you look sharp and professional, yet remain feminine. A little goes a long way to make a great impression… check out the range and spoil yourself!
Buy yourself flowers…
…just because you deserve it. Flowers brighten up your space and make you smile every time you notice them. Our favourites are Australian natives, ranunculus, peonies and chrysanthemums. Even daggy old carnations are now back in fashion and they’re a bargain too. With flowers, you can be as frugal or as generous as you wish. Buy them a few days ahead of Valentine’s Day to avoid the inevitable surge pricing.
Take a day off social media
Social media is a good servant but a terrible master. Take back charge of your social media habits by going cold turkey for 24 hours, and see how you feel. It is much better to stop scrolling and write that proposal, get that cupboard decluttered or call your family, just to say hi. If you need more long-term strategies to get off your phone, try Checky, the app that monitors your phone use—you’ll be surprised. The iOS 12 release on iPhones also includes Screen Time which lets you know how long you (and your family) spend on devices.
Take time to meditate
Do you want to reduce anxiety, reduce distraction and generally be a better and more resilient human? Well of course you do! Meditation is the answer, and you don’t have to clear your mind or chant silly phrases to get results. Meditation guru Dan Harris, author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics says that even one minute of meditation a day is enough to get started. Apps like Headspace and Calm offer terrific guided meditations to help you learn the ropes.
Sit in with your coffee
Instead of rushing off with your takeaway, sit in the cafe and take time to sip your coffee and watch the passersby. It only takes a few minutes out of your day, but it can be a peaceful and calm way to enjoy your morning. Grab a newspaper instead of scrolling on your phone, or simply relax and watch the goings-on. Practice mindfulness by paying attention to the sounds, smells and sights and prepare yourself for a great start to the day.
Side note: if you’re in the area, try this cafe in Fitzroy – they’ve banned takeaway altogether.
Have yourself a lovely Valentine’s Day this year!
From Dianna and the Miss Links team