So it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m not a crying mess. This is progress.
Usually I’d be on the super-fast roller-coaster of Hate-Yourself Day emotions.
It starts with: ‘I don’t care. It’s all a greetings card, Illuminati-funded conspiracy to guilt the vulnerable into buying up all the chocolate so they get fat and feel sad, then they buy all the diet pills and feel great, then they buy up all the bikinis. So clearly there’s a Scientologist company that produces a surplus of crappy cards, raspberry ketones and itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis… And garage flowers.’
Which morphs into: ‘Oh my gosh, I hate myself. Nobody loves me. Nobody will ever love me. Why can’t I find a man to last minute panic buy me wilted flowers and cherry Lambrini?!’
Then: ‘It’s because I’m fat and ugly. No. It’s because men are evil. And stupid. All the men are complete bastards. I don’t want one anyway. Maybe I’m a lesbian? Nope, too into lumberjacks to be a lesbian.’
‘Hey, hold on. Equality! There are probably definitely female lumberjacks.’
‘Maybe. Don’t be so negative.’
‘Are there even lumberjacks anymore??? I’ve never seen one, so maybe they’re extinct…’
‘You’ve never seen a manatee either. Do you think that manatees are extinct?’
‘Oh my gosh, Tilly. This is why you’re single. You’re comparing lumberjacks to manatees. You’re going to die surrounded by unread paperbacks and a family of cats that can’t stand you.’
‘I’m allergic to cats.’
‘That’s how you die. Duh. Let’s add stupid to the reasons you are incredibly, unbearably, pathetically single.’
That’s not where I am right now, which is like happy.
This Hallmark-funded farce of a day, (Ok, maybe there’s a teensy bit of resentment still lurking) I will be using it to spoil myself. I am starting a revolution.
I will be my own true love.
Self-love is a thing I’ve been into lately, since I’ve finally come around to the idea that if you don’t look after yourself first, you can’t look after anyone else. You know, when the plane starts to dip and rumble and there’s smoke and everyone’s screaming and flailing their arms around, it’s important to put your own oxygen mask on first before you help the child next to you. Because how helpful is a child going to be when you crash land on a deserted island? I’ve read Lord of the Flies and I wear glasses, so I’m not taking any chances with that.
So how can you be your own true love and avoid throwing yourself out of a top floor window with a V card scrawled in your mum’s handwriting strapped to your chest? Luckily for you, I have it all figured out. Here are my tips…
- Be Nice to Yourself
If you’re anything like me, you might not be too great at this. There’s that bitchy part of your brain constantly telling you that you’re not good enough, that you’re too fat/skinny/ugly/spotty/stupid/boring/whatever. Well today is an important day for you, because you’re going to learn how awesome it is when you send that bit of your brain out for a loaf of bread and then lock all the doors. Extra points for cutting up its clothes and tossing them out of the window. Today you need to tell yourself you’re awesome and beautiful. Use the opposite of whatever ex-brain says, because ex-brain doesn’t even know there’s a spare key under the mat, so how could it possibly offer any real insight on your value as a person? Every time you catch yourself flirting with nastiness, I want you to chuck it out and then dowse the area in kindness like it’s bleach. Three kind thoughts for every mean one. You’ll be feeling like Beyoncé by the end of the day.
- Feed Yourself Good Food
And by good food, I do NOT mean all of the reduced chocolate in the world, drowned down with rosé. That’s not what’s going on here. Spoiling yourself isn’t literal. A teensy bit of chocolate is awesome, as is a teensy bit of wine, but choke down the whole corner shop and you’ll be feeling like you want to die. Then you’ll get on the whole pills-bikini merry-go-round, and it’s pretty damn hard to get off. So spoil yourself, but in a kind way. You love yourself, right? Or at least you want to. So you need to act like you care when you’re deciding what to eat. Think healthy, lots of fruits of vegetables. But this is a special day, this is YOUR day, so make it pretty. Make an effort with your food. Have you ever been to a fancy restaurant and eaten something so delicious that you vowed to make it at home, but never did? This is your chance. You’re awesome so you can do it, and more importantly, you DESERVE to do it.
- Pamper Yourself
Pampering doesn’t need to be expensive, and that’s where a lot of people go wrong. If you put stuff in the box of ‘one day’, you are never going to get around to it. And this is important. All you need to properly pamper yourself is a book, (I like easy, cheesy reads when I’m chillaxing, maybe something you got free with a magazine) a bath, some incense or a candle, (salted caramel Yankee candle – you’re welcome) a bath bomb, bath salts or bubble bath and some sort of oil (baby oil is fine). The trick is to take time. Don’t rush things. You have the rest of your life to do the things you need to do. Today is your day, so use it. I want you to relax in the bath with your book until your fingers and toes go pruney, and then I want you to massage yourself with the oil, paying attention to the body parts you hate, and I want you to be kind to them. Remember the bitchy brain is outside banging on the back door. Today you love your wobbles and your wrinkles and your bones, because they are yours, and you are pretty damn awesome.
I saved the best tip until last because, if you’re anything like me, you see the word ‘presents’ and this pink, sparkly haze descends and you lose control of your limbs. I love presents. But the thing is, I much prefer giving presents than getting presents. Getting presents can be hit and miss, and you have to act all grateful when they hand you a singing fish that only knows one song and NEVER SHUTS UP. But giving presents lets you be thoughtful and excited and watch the smile explode onto their face when they realise that their gift is not something they’re going to have to beat with a hammer an unreasonable amount of times in order to get some sleep. Today you need to do that for yourself. Not the hammer part, the presents. But don’t go crazy, this isn’t about going bankrupt. Set yourself a limit, and then think hard about what makes you truly happy. I like to buy lots of little gifts, stuff like candles, luxury teas, and books that have been on my Amazon wish list for so long that they’ve got bored of nagging me to buy them. You know what you’d love to be given and this is your opportunity.
So there you go. Follow these and you’ll have an amazing day, which will hopefully prompt you to be kinder to yourself in general. One day your lumberjack will lumber along, but he’s going to be looking for the future you, not the you now. So kick that bitchy brain out into the cold and start pampering. This day is all about you, so use it, because you are the kind of awesome that a card could never describe.