Valentine’s Day is known as the most romantic day of the year. But how do you survive the aisles of chocolate hearts, lovey-dovey music on the radio or listening to giddy friends planning their big date nights while you and your special someone are separated by an ocean?
The first step is to not count this holiday out. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, and that means embracing the deployment (as difficult as that may be) and learning to take time to love yourself. Relax, smile, dance. Whether you celebrate alone or with friends, this can be one day that is not about the separation you’re experiencing. Today can be about you.
Here are our ten favorite ways to pamper yourself on Valentine’s Day during a deployment.
One: Mixology 101: The Perfect Bath
Wash your worries away in a luscious bath using the following recipe. 1 cup Epson salts. ¼ cup sea salt. ¼ cup baking soda. 8-10 drops of your favorite, calming essential oil. Throw in a glass of pineapple infused ice water and a good book for the ultimate Valentine’s Day soak.
Two: DIY Glowing Facial Mask
This DIY facial mask is not only all-natural, but it’s simple to make and very inexpensive! Mash ½ of a cucumber in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. of honey, 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon and 1 tsp. of baking soda. Mix well until creamy and apply to a clean face. Relax for 3-5 minutes and rinse for a glowing and smooth new look.
Three: Take It to Nature
It’s instinct to be drawn to the outdoors, especially when you’re feeling a bit lonely. This Valentine’s Day, plan to give your soul what it has been aching for. Take a hike with friends, take your dog for a run at your favorite park, kayak or get up early and take photographs of the perfect sunrise. When it comes to nature, the sky is the limit.
Four: Schedule a Little Staycation
Book a hotel, pack your comfiest pajamas, order room service and enjoy a 48-hour escape from the real world. Of course, you’ll need to leave your phone on (just in case he calls). But leave all social media at the door and trade it in for a puzzle, adult coloring book or black and white movie.
Five: Find Your Inner Gourmet Chef
Who says a romantic meal must be for two? Plan a delicious, healthy and exciting Valentine’s Day meal for you. Turn on some music, light a few candles, pour yourself a glass of wine and get creative in the kitchen. Need some inspiration? Visit gourmetrecipesforone.com to select your menu.
Six: Friends + A Wine Tasting
If you really want to impress your taste buds this Valentine’s Day, skip the chocolate and head for a local vineyard or winery. Many offer complimentary wine tastings, and some even offer dining options on-site. This is a great daytrip for a group, so reach out to some other ladies from your unit and make a day of it! (Just be sure to decide on a designated driver in advance to ensure you all arrive home safely).
Seven: Sweat It Out in Hot Yoga
While the traditional Valentine’s Day typically ends with flowers and dinner, this year’s circumstance calls for something a bit untraditional. Hot Yoga gives you a chance to slow down, connect and realign your energies to prepare for what’s left of the deployment. Sometimes the most pampering moments are the simplest.
Eight: Splurge on Yourself
Today is all about making your own rules, and that includes a little splurging. You’re not being selfish. You are worth it! Surviving a deployment is difficult and if a new pair of heels, extra large mocha with whipped cream or a karaoke night with the girls makes the wait a bit easier, than splurge on!
Nine: Break Out the Journal
Writing (yes, with a real pen and real paper) provides more therapeutic benefits that most of us will ever understand. Spend your Valentine’s Day relaxed, unplugged and focused on your love story. Not only will it remind you of the love that’s waiting to come home to you, but it will make one amazing homecoming gift.
Ten: Take A Nap
Sleep. Just sleep. Between jobs, kids, pets, homes, finances, family, friends and everything in between, planning a day to just close your eyes and drift off may end up being the best Valentine’s Day gift you could ever give yourself.
In the end, there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself on Valentine’s Day. Just be sure to take comfort in knowing your sweetheart may be far away, but it’s not forever. This time next year, your plans for Valentine’s Day will be quite different. So enjoy the alone time and don’t be afraid to take care of you.
by Kellie Gunderman