Opinion | Take care of yourself on Valentine’s Day

Amidst a pandemic that might be keeping couples and families away from each other, we should focus on ourselves.

Signe Nettum, Opinions Contributor

I had more fun on Valentine’s Day as a kid. I used to pick out a whole outfit to wear to school when Valentine’s Day fell during the week.

Now, as a college student — or even when I was in middle school — that tradition no longer stands. Now, it’s about getting a gift for a significant other and making sure it is perfect. Last year, I wrote an article about discussing plans with your partner for the big day.

But this year, I’m singing a different tune.

Practice self-care this Valentine’s Day. If you have time and the opportunity to spend time with your significant other and you both want to, then go for it. But this article is for those who cannot meet with a loved one for whatever reason, or do not have or want a date this Valentine’s Day.

There’s not one try and true way to practice self-care this Valentine’s, everyone recharges differently. But online self-help sites often offer some general tidbits of advice. A lot of the self-care tips are gendered — which I don’t totally appreciate — so, I’m here to give you generic tips that we all need.

This Valentine’s Day is another chance to commit to your New Year’s resolutions — or goals, as I call them.

Start practicing good hygiene. Staying home all day has made me skip showers — that’s right, I’ll admit it! Even if we have lounged around all day and participated in an activity that makes us sweat, it is good to bathe and change out of used clothes to improve our bodies. I have noticed that changing out of pajamas gives me enough energy to get the day started.

Create joy in your life. Whether that is watching funny videos on YouTube or Netflix, laughter improves our emotions — even if it is only for a minute.

If you still feel like making the day special, treat yourself to an at-home date and dress up for it! Put on that make-up, slip into that fancy outfit, and treat yourself to a take-out meal.

If you have the time to splurge — you should also use this time to organize and prioritize your schedule to make sure you have room for your interests — binge-watch a new show. You don’t need to watch a sappy rom-com or drama show just because of the special day.

Start that strange show sitting in your Netflix Watch List you’ve been putting off. Click the randomizer and let artificial intelligence decide what you should watch. If you’re looking for recommendations, I just started Lupin, a thriller about a French thief exacting revenge for his father’s death.

Is it a drama? Yes. But it doesn’t revolve around romance. It’s about vengeance!

All in all, you should focus on what you need this Valentine’s Day instead of what you expect of yourself or what others expect of you. Find something to make it special, if that’s what you want. Or just ignore the holiday in general. Remember: it’s just another day during the pandemic.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.