Be Your Own Valentine

Do you remember sending valentines when you were a child? Can you recall the construction paper-covered shoebox, decorated with glitter and doilies, full of tiny valentines and heart candies? Or perhaps the first serious Valentine's Day gifts you received, or your first delivery of one dozen red roses? Receiving a Valentine's Day gift is a magical experience. It makes people smile, sometimes even feel a bit giddy. After all, this holiday is not about obligatory gifts.

When you receive a Valentine's Day gift, you know the giver cares about you. Valentine's Day, while traditionally for sweethearts, is really just a day to show the ones you love how much you care. Friends and family routinely send Valentine's Day cards; even moms get valentines from their own children. This Valentine's Day, why not take the time to appreciate someone who rarely gets your attention; someone who deserves a thoughtful gift and a few kind words? Someone like ? you! Whether you are single or attached, Valentine's Day is the perfect day to send yourself a gift of thanks and appreciation. This year, why not be your own valentine? In your list of things to do each day, where do you factor in? Most women focus on meeting the needs of others before taking care of themselves. Over time, depriving yourself of a much-needed break or indulgence can cause you to feel weary, even a little sad.

Still, a special gift and some self-care can be just the pick-me-up you need. Start thinking of Valentine's Day as a time to celebrate you. Prepare to treat yourself in the same way you prepare to send a gift to your partner or special friend. Be as thoughtful for yourself as you would be for the important people in your life.

Carefully planned gifts always stand out among the last minute trinkets and candies. Take the time to consider what you would love to receive. Perhaps you have resisted buying a special piece of jewelry, or a beautiful dress. Maybe you would love to have a day at the spa, but have put it off due to time constraints.

Even if you are on a budget, there are small indulgences that would make a perfect gift to you. A box of French milled soaps, a new pair of shoes, or perhaps a magazine subscription. Being your own Valentine also means taking the time to celebrate. Take a two-hour lunch break from work and treat yourself to a meal at a nice restaurant. Snuggle up to watch your favorite movie with yummy snacks. Have a long soak in a bubble bath with a glass of champagne.

Spend the day meandering through the cute antique shops you always meant to check out, but never got around to finding the time to explore. However you decide to care for yourself this Valentine's Day, remember in order to be your own valentine, you will need to send yourself a card. Write a thoughtful note to yourself, listing what you love about yourself, and why you know you are special. Put the card in the mail ahead of time, so that it arrives in before February 14th.

Make being your own valentine an annual tradition, a time when it's okay to take time off to take care of you. It's the perfect time of year to pay extra special attention to your own needs and desires, to have the kind of fun you like to have, and to notice your unique loveliness. Copyright (c) 2007 Pat Brill.

Pat Brill is co-founder of which supports Busy Moms with free gift ideas and helpful tips to meet the challenges of motherhood. She is also co-founder of , a directory of articles covering many areas of wellness. You can reach Pat at

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