Self Love This Valentine’s Day: A To Better Days Guide
Here at To Better DaysTM we are interested in all things Chronic Pain and Vitamin D. We are committed to continually researching these topics as well as publishing content that can be of interest to those experiencing prolonged discomfort.
Valentine’s Day is often a special moment to indulge in a partner’s affection, but can the same apply to singles with chronic pain? Well, why not?
The day of love is not exclusively for people in a relationship and you may come to realize that celebrating love for yourself and your wellbeing is just as, if not more, important.
So here are some ideas to help you fully experience Valentine’s day with a relaxed mind and body.
Listen to Podcasts
If you want to have a thoughtful Valentine’s day, listening to a podcast is a great idea. There is a wide range of podcasts that cover love, history, science, comedy and even chronic pain and relationships.
Spooning with Spoonies may be the perfect podcast for a single Valentine’s. You will listen to host Noa and health experts talking about self-acceptance, relationships and intimacy from the perspective of chronic illness.
For self-care, you can try listening to Painiac by Shelly Buffington. As a person with chronic conditions herself, Shelly will guide you to thoughtful discussions of pain management and emotional support.
If you want more podcasts talking about chronic pain, feel free to read our full podcast recommendation list here.
Try Out Healthy Dessert Recipes
What’s Valentine’s Day without some sweets and desserts? Cooking and baking can be both fun and fulfilling. Healthy, too, when you try recipes with anti-inflammatory ingredients and low sugar levels.
Dr Frank Hu, Professor of Nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University, recommends plant-based ingredients to reduce inflammation and help relieve chronic pain. This means you can consider having nuts, fruits, or vegetables to complete your Valentine’s dessert.
One recipe from healthy food consultant Abbey Blackwell, recommends simple Paleo Avocado Brownies to fulfil your craving for something sweet but healthy. The brownies are rich and very moist with fudgy taste out of a mix of avocados, coconut flour and the right amount of chocolate.
Another recommended recipe is vegan-keto Chocolate Fat Bombs. The bitterness of cocoa, a known anti-inflammatory, is combined with a confectioner’s sugar replacement for a sweet and sugar-free dessert.
If you want more options for sweets and plants-based snacks, here’s a list of recipes from One Green Planet you can try out.
Take a Break with Essential oils
Did you know filtering the air you inhale can help with chronic pain as well as stress and anxiety?
In 2018, a study found that major compounds in essential oils or plant-extract oil showed promise in chronic pain treatment.
Ginger and black pepper, for instance, are quite effective for pain relief. The former is actually used in Swedish massage treatments to help ease lower back pain for elderly patients. Black pepper, on the other hand, has been used to reduce neck pain.
There are many ways to apply treatments with essential oils. In addition to aromatherapy, they can also be used in massages, warm baths, or compressions for relief at the point of pain. You can consult with your doctor or specialist for further assistance at home.
Practice Meditative Activities
Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to focus on your wellbeing by being mindful within your surroundings.
Studies have found that simple activities like meditation and mindfulness exercises are good methods of pain management and relaxation.
Andy McLellan, a trainee zen priest diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis, tries to stay active despite staying in bed. His chronic fatigue symptoms don’t limit his productivity, as he says, “You can live a life totally fully from bed.”
He sat down with podcast This is Not What I Ordered to share some of his peaceful routines.
Surprise yourself with peaceful, yet challenging activities like writing haikus, knitting, and meditating. These simple practices are terrific to train your creative mind while keeping your body relaxed at the same time.
Reach Out to Loved Ones
Valentine’s Day is not just for those in a romantic relationship – it’s for anyone you care about. It is never a bad time for you to reconnect with old friends or family.
A simple video chat, phone call or even text can make your whole day. Other things you can do are to exchange gifts, letters, or even some words of encouragement.
If you need ideas, Cynthia Covert, a blogger with fibromyalgia, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and endometriosis, shares her ideas on what Valentine’s gift to give. Her list includes an unlimited home-entertainment voucher that would go well with a fluffy blanket, for days when you want to do nothing but to rest without any guilt.
These are just a few of the many, many things you can try at home on Valentine’s Day to make it a special time for you to feel truly blessed.
If you want more exciting tips and ideas, head over to our Facebook page. It’s a perfect place to share and learn about spending a better day with more positivity and self-love.