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7 WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF-LOVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

From friendship to romance to the warm fuzzy feelings you have for your cat, love is a big emotion that comes in many forms. And whether we’re learning to love a partner, a friend, or ourselves, every learning curve is going to look different. But if there’s one thing we know, it’s that ghosting your own well-being is never a good idea. So why not use this Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate self-love?

Caring for yourself helps you learn how to care for others. Or to put it in the words of Mama Ru: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love someone else?” Spending quality time with yourself can be a hundred times more stimulating than small talk with a Bumble contender. When it comes to self-care, we often think of things like face masks and bubble baths—which are totally valid forms of self-love! But if pampering isn’t really your style, what do you do? We’ve got some ideas.

No matter your relationship status—from single to situationship to soulmates—here are seven ways to lean into self-love this February 14.

Shake up your self-care ritual

We love a good sheet mask as much as the next person—especially the cute ones that make you look like a panda or a bear—but why not use Love Month as an excuse to switch up your self-care routine?

If you’re looking for options beyond a massage or a mani-pedi, some of our favorite weird, yet satisfying self-care rituals include handling healing crystals to soothe stress and balance your energy, lying on an acupuncture mat, or using ear seeds for at-home acupressure. Finish your self-care ritual by lighting a BRUNA candle and drinking a sleepytime superlatte with adaptogens and amino acids.

Throw a dinner party

Activate your girl’s group chat and invite your posse to a feel-good Galentine’s dinner party. Plan an extra-indulgent menu, tie red ribbons on everything, and try your hand at tablescaping. When decorating the dinner table, we like to keep things tonal and otherwise get creative by painting on a canvas tablecloth.

Demand that your guests wear red. Or pajamas. Or ballgowns. Eat a ton, play Cards Against Humanity, dance to this playlist, and finish the evening snoozing on the kitchen floor. Oh, and wear these jewels.

Write a letter

Handwritten cards are rare these days and we think that’s a shame. Consider this Valentine’s Day your signal to bust out a ballpoint pen and finally use the good stationery that’s been lying forgotten in your desk drawer.

Write a little love note to your friends, your family, or yourself. Why not write a love letter to yourself that you can read the following year? Or share the “10 Things I Love About You” with your best friend. Remember, the more personal, the better. After all, it’s the little things that make love, love.

Tap your creative side

Do a deep emotional dive and tap into your inner creativity. Make a collage by cutting out things that inspire you from magazines and newspapers. Order one of those paint-by-numbers kits that you keep seeing on your Instagram feed and make a night of it with a glass of wine. Add a beret, if you like (now’s your chance, no one’s watching).

Cultivate your inner artist by trying your hand at Zentangle. A mindfulness exercise, this method involves drawing whatever patterns come to your mind—all within the contours of a string. All you need is a pen and paper. Because there’s no right or wrong move inside a Zentangle, common creative blocks are avoided and mistakes are reframed as opportunities. Like Bob Ross’s “happy accidents.”

Take a hot girl walk

We’re here to tell you that hot girl walks are this year’s Pilates classes. Walking not only improves sleep and reduces stress, but it also sends a little buzz to the body’s natural mood boosters. Opt for nature walks, if possible, or head to a nearby park or green space.

Want company? Tune into a podcast while you walk. We’re massive fans of Alie Ward’s Ologies, which gives you the tea on all studiable things under the sun. Like squid. Or gut health. Or smooching. Turns out that kissing is just one big microscopic makeout exchange! Kind of makes you happy to not be locking lips this Valentine’s Day.

Make a difference

For whatever reason, most holidays lead us to believe we’re at the center of the universe. Spoiler alert: We’re not. So instead of making Valentine’s Day all about you, why not make it about you doing good things for the world around you?

Help save the bees by adopting a beehive as a gift or support animal conservation by donating to the Jane Goodall Institute. Contribute to BRUNA’s partner organizations like The Impact Facility which works towards improving the livelihoods of artisanal miners. You’ve got our word on this one—taking action will make you feel more amazing than any date ever could.

Dance with yourself

Girl on Fire, Barbie Girl, Good as Hell, Flowers, Solo Dance, Boss Bitch. So many great songs that you could—and should—be dancing to in your living room. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded them up into one life-changing playlist.

Pull on your stretchy pants (that one pair that you don’t let anybody else see) and turn up the volume on these tunes. Just don’t forget to stretch first. Worried about the neighbors? We can make this a silent disco. Slip on your headphones and dance like nobody’s watching. Except maybe your very confused cat.

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