Whether you’re the jaded rom-com character who believes Valentine’s Day was “created by the card companies” or you still fall helplessly for endless viewings of The Notebook, one thing about February 14th remains true—it’s sweet, sweet, and more sweet.
Think about what goes into a traditional Valentine’s Day celebration. For one thing, there’s the sweets: heart-shaped cookies with frosting, brownies, cakes; peanut butter and chocolate Reeses hearts, boxes of chocolate truffles; chocolate-covered strawberries. Add to that overflowing glasses of wine, champagne, or maybe a variety of mixed cocktails. And don’t forget those rich dinners and luscious desserts that undoubtedly beg for doggy bags.
Bottom line: Valentine’s Day can be costly in dollars, and for your health and well-being, too.
Looking to have a love-filled Valentine’s this year without the crush of calories and holiday stress? Here are a few helpful secrets to make the day delightful—and perhaps even more fulfilling than what the candy companies are selling you.
1.) Skip the Sweets and Create Something More Meaningful for Your Sweetheart
Many people on Valentine’s Day opt for a traditional box of chocolates. Maybe the more adventurous take on baking cupcakes or cookies for a signature sugary treat. This is, of course, a sweet thing to do. But why not think deeper, and go for something more thoughtfully sweet?
Perhaps you’re no Shakespeare, but why not search for a classic romantic poem, or sit down to write a meaningful love letter telling your beloved all the things you appreciate about them? As corny as it may feel, sometimes the written word can serve as an avenue for your deepest and most profound thoughts. What’s more, you may become pleasantly surprised and comforted in the process and turn your attention toward your partner in a new way. Creating a gift is a great way to stretch your mind and focus on a relieving, fun activity, while creating something that will last for years to come.
2.) Share a Home-Cooked Meal
Many couples like to go out for Valentine’s Day, and really make it a special occasion. But what could be more romantic than staying in together and creating a special meal? Moreover, the actual process of cooking and creating a healthy meal from scratch can be a pleasurable and soothing act, which is great not only for your physical health, but your emotional well-being as well.
As noted food writer and cooking enthusiast Michael Pollan has said, “Cooking links us to nature; it links us to our bodies. It’s too important to our well-being to outsource.” Look up a special recipe, crack open a bottle of wine, put on your favorite playlist, and revel in the romance.
Also, making reservations and finding a decent spot at your favorite restaurant can be practically impossible around this holiday. It can be difficult to relax and enjoy the company of your loved with overwhelming crowds, servers who seem to rush patrons, and loud conversations around the room. Do yourself and your beloved a favor and warm up inside with a delicious meal for two. This way you can fill up on healthful seasonal foods, while skipping all the stress and anxiety.
3.) Plan a More Active Valentine’s Day Outing
Rather than participating in some of the typical Valentine’s Day activities—like going out to dinner or seeing a movie—try taking to the outdoors for the fresh air and some bonding time.
Going on a sightseeing hike or, if you’re in the warmer climate, kayaking on the open water, can be a fulfilling and connecting experience—taking in what the world has to offer and going on an adventure together. Or what about taking a yoga or Pilates class as a duo? Going for a swim, or a bike ride? The possibilities are endless.
The other upside? Staying active with that special someone can help feel like you’ve truly earned that certain heart-shaped dessert or, you know, perhaps a couple glasses of champagne.
4.) Go Easy on the Alcohol
Okay, so we’re not going to tell you to completely shy away from alcohol. It is a holiday after all, and a very special one indeed.
One way to consciously and healthily think about consuming alcohol for this holiday? Make it a special, pleasurable, and unique experience. Unlike other major alcohol-infused occasions like Super Bowl Sunday or a family wedding where people may hit the open bar a little too hard, make this night one to be remembered—and savored.
Opt for a quality bottle of organic red wine or maybe a fine mixed drink from that local distillery you’ve been hearing about. Clink glasses with your loved one (or toast yourself!) and celebrate with appreciation, instead of abandon. And if you do overindulge? There are easy and all-natural ways to help take care of that February 15th hangover.
5.) Get Away From It All
Being healthy isn’t just about maintaining a healthy diet; it’s also about cultivating an overall healthy lifestyle—which means taking care of your mental and emotional health, too.
One of the loveliest ways to get away from the stress and anxiety of everyday life for a truly fulfilling Valentine’s Day experience? Literally “get out of Dodge.” Scour sites for deals for an all-inclusive beach vacation; take to the snowy, awe-inspiring mountains for a cozy cabin in the woods; pack your hiking boots for a fascinating tour of the majestic California desert—you get the idea. Sit down with your partner to plan the ideal getaway or, even better, plan it yourself for a special surprise. Traveling can be a great way to hit “reset” on your health, giving you the chance to rest, recharge, and refocus on the things that matter most.
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Here at the Enrollment Specialists, we’re not just your go-to health insurance superheroes, we’re your go-to resource for all things health and wellness.
Nervous about Valentine’s Day and the many unhealthy lifestyle choices that can come along with it? Have any ideas for keeping things healthy and in balance on this special occasion? We’d love to hear your ideas. Be sure to follow our community of health and wellness lovers on Facebook to keep the conversation going.
And remember, whenever you want to talk about sweetening up your health and life insurance policies, Matt Peebles is here to help. Drop us a line to get the conversation started.