by Molly Jo Realy (@MollyJoRealy)

On Valentine’s Day, it’s okay to love on ourselves. Heck, it’s actually okay to do that every day! In addition to a cup of tea and a great book, here are nine simple self-care tips for you and your loved ones.

Seasons change. I’m not just talking about the weather. I’m talking ’bout this often difficult roller-coastery thing called Life. It can be hard to hold on to, sometimes. Whether it’s physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual, we all need a trusted ally, amiright? Often, the best ally (other than God) is ourself. Yourselves. Ourselves. Anyway. You know what I’m trying to say.

Recently ~ and by recently, I mean, for over two years now ~ I’ve had some interesting health issues. You know how it all started. You won’t even have to read my name on the tombstone. It’ll prob’ly just say, “The vacuum finally done her in” and there’ll be an etching of a broken toe caught up in a power cord. Other people get flowers and candles and smooshy gifts. I’ll prob’ly get steel-toed work boots (ladies, 8.5M, mustard yellow, if you don’t mind).

Okay, but seriously.

Humor is something we have to hold on to.

I’m not talking a put-down, sarcastic remark. But a clean, hearty laugh does a belly good. This, along with some other tips, are how my friends and I care for ourselves, and each other.

BUT FIRST: Click here to see Disney’s self-care tips from some of their best Pixar characters!

Change. Oooph. That’s a loaded word, right? I mean, sure. Sometimes we’re forced to change. Here’s the thing: Change just means “to make different.” So, if you’re feeling stagnant or out of sorts, it’s easy to well, change, your perspective. Sit in a different chair. Make an effort to see things differently.

Change doesn’t haven’t to be big to be meaningful.

Take time. We live in a busy world, and the busier we are taking care of others, the more we can forget to care for ourselves. Don’t forget to do one good thing every day you enjoy. Even when you’re tired. Even when you’re unfocused. I had been fighting chronic fatigue and vertigo for the third week when I read that. I made myself work ten minutes on my bullet journal. The action of art and organizing combined to clear my head, and give me something I could claim “done” on the To Do List. It was motivating.

There’s an empowerment to letting yourself be stronger.

Rest. There’s also validation in taking a day of rest each week, and moments of rest each day. Allow your body, your mind, your emotions, to recharge. Forgive yourself for not getting everything done. Watch TV as dirty dishes sit in the sink. Stay in PJs past 8am (although I only recommend this on weekends!).

Splurge. Now, I’m not saying go crazy. But give yourself an indulgence now and then. It doesn’t have to be financial. Maybe have that third spoonful of Southern Butter Pecan gelato. Spend an evening with friends. Or stay up twenty minutes late catching the end of a movie you’ve been waiting to see, or reading your favorite romantic location mystery *cough*NOLA*cough*

Today I’m allowing myself a treat during my otherwise no-spend challenge month. I celebrate Valentine’s Day by taking myself to Dairy Queen for a Peanut Buster Parfait. It’s memories of childhood, summers with Grandma, and an anniversary of getting my South Carolina driver’s license.

You didn’t need to know all that, but now I want to know how you treat yourself!

Focus. What is it that’s dragging you down today? Give it enough attention to recognize it and say, “Hey. You’re acting out. Let’s find a better outlet.” Tell your emotions the game plan. Rule your finances instead of being ruled by them. If the only thing you can do is breathe, do it intentionally and rejoice with each breath.

Smile and sing. Thirty seconds. Thirty minutes. Get the blood flowing. Belt it out. Hum a hymn. Or find a different activity that combines feelings with the physical. Clean your house. Cook dinner for one, two, or ten. Dance your way to your next destination. Whatever your joy-task is, do it regularly and reclaim your joy.

Read and write. Escape into a favorite storyline. Pick up other self-help tips. Keep a journal of your journey from here to there. Jot notes to clear your mind, lists to organize, or doodle your way to calm.

Finally: Be still. Sit on the patio, a park bench, or in your room. Listen the quietness around you. Know that it’s okay to be who you are, as you are.

Being good to yourself includes giving yourself grace, encouragement, and discipline.

YOUR TURN:  Was there a time you had to concentrate on caring for yourself? How did you get yourself through it?

How did you get yourself through a difficult season? Hint: Being good to yourself includes these things. Molly Jo's Journals: Nine Simple Tips for #SelfCare, a #printable, and a favorite quote from #NOLA. Click To Tweet
Molly Jo's Journals: Nine Simple Self-Care Tips Click here for a free printable of Nine Simple Self-Care Tips

Come alive and stay wild,

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Bohemian Hurricane

Author of the romantic location mystery novel, NOLA, Molly Jo Realy is an award-winning writer and author coach. Encouraging others to embrace their unique talents to come alive and stay wild every day is her cup of tea! Addicted to cats, coffee, pens, and planners, in no particular order. Savor the journey, y’all.

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