This is the perfect year to enjoy a more sociable vacation and, frankly, less stress. The antidote? Embrace Galantine’s Day.
Galantine’s Day, which coincides with the day before Valentine’s Day, is yours.
The tradition, which has grown from a one-off television stint into a commercially viable vacation and practice on a grand scale, usually involves eating brunch with your friends. An abundant amount of wine is generally encouraged. Personal tricks may need to be done through Zoom this year (can you say “Galentine Gallianos? Mama mimosas?), But why not also consider breaking away from the usual rituals and offering a dose of self-care?
Be good to yourself
Whether or not you’re drinking with your girls at a distance, trying to get a minute for yourself in a full house, or rocking it alone and physically far away this Valentine’s Day, it’s not a good idea to turn inward after these difficult and straight few months some love and tender on yourself.
“Loving yourself is the single most important ingredient in having a healthy relationship,” said Rachel Dialto, a dating and relationships expert in New York. “Start looking at those in your life who aren’t lifting you up. Of course, self-love is an inner workout, but all too often we allow those around us to influence our confidence and feelings of our self-esteem.”
It can be difficult to love yourself depending on it, but you can start by imagining yourself as a separate person, according to Lauren Cook, a clinical psychologist, speaker, and author in Los Angeles.
“Just as you might give someone else a Valentine’s gift, write a card from the heart, or have fun together, take these practices inside,” she said via email. “We often don’t treat ourselves the way we do others, and Valentine’s Day is a key opportunity to really think about how to practice self-love and self-compassion.”
In order to love yourself more sincerely and deeply, it is helpful to try to untangle all the layers of social conditioning that have accumulated on us throughout our life and that strip us of our ability to love ourselves for who we are, without judgment, doubt, and self-awareness.
Damon L Jacobs, a New York-based relationship and family therapist, said: “I realize that you were born and you love yourself. Babies know they are fierce and beautiful, and they don’t need validation.”
To deepen your self-love, according to Jacobs, learn who you are by spending quality time alone and participating in activities that bring you happiness, fulfillment and deepen thinking. There is a silver lining. He said, “Once you nurture attention and energy towards yourself on those levels, you literally become an attractive magnet for others.”
Practice “not learning” by actively focusing on your positive, not negative, traits that we often stumble upon. This will help retrain your mind to rely on your gentle thoughts about yourself and encourage deeper self-esteem.
Additionally, there is what Jacobs refers to as focusing on what is “evidence-based,” or what others might consider perspective.
Jacobs said, “If you survive 2020, you’ve done at least 4,380 good things (that’s 12 good things every day). Allow your feelings about yourself to be determined by the evidence of your life, not the skewed opinions of your critical voice.”
Focus on the good things you have gone through, the good deeds you have done, and the ways in which you have helped others.
He said, “If you want to feel love, do loving things.”
In a world lately so short of love and kindness, there is no better advice than this.
Alison Hope He is a New Yorker who prefers humor over sadness, TV travel, and coffee over sleep.