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Valentine’s Day: Reflections on how Self-Care Changed my Life

By Expert HERWriter
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Since I was a little girl I'd dreaded Valentine’s Day. I dreaded it because I never had a “real” valentine.

Oh sure, my dad would buy me flowers and chocolate but I did not have the attention or affection of boy. (I now realize what a gift it was to have my dad care enough to buy me gifts.)

I let Valentine’s Day be a reminder that I didn’t feel I was pretty enough, sexy enough, or womanly enough to have a boyfriend. These feelings continued to high school, college and into my adulthood.

Every Valentine’s Day I would be alone thinking no one thought I was worth spending time with or energy on. Even when I had a boyfriend he always seemed to be out of town or unavailable to spend time with me on this one particular day.

As I look back I really let my feelings of low self-esteem about my looks take over. Simply, I let Valentine’s Day be a trigger to deflate my self-esteem.

For many years I would value myself based on the things I did or the way I looked. I would have low self-esteem because I would compare myself to the people around me or what popular culture said was acceptable.

Since I am a high achiever I always could look at my accomplishments to help me feel good about myself. I was able to hide my low self-esteem about my body and my femininity through all the things I accomplished. On Valentine’s Day not having a boyfriend made me feel like I failed at being loveable.

In my late twenties I began to discover self-care. My life completely changed because I used the tools of self-care to raise my self-esteem from the inside out.

According to Christine Meinecke, PhD, author of "Self-care in a toxic world: Self-care may not be what you think it is" in Psychology Today published June, 4, 2010, self-care means choosing behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors: exercising, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, practicing yoga or meditation, or relaxation techniques, abstaining from substance abuse, pursuing creative outlets, and engaging in psychotherapy.

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Me too suffered the same, now am married, but still NO Valentine day celebration, instead, he sends Valentine greeting to ex-girl friends / co-workers ...
Am still suffering in SILENCE.
What to do!

February 20, 2012 - 10:57pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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