Valentine's Day. Nothing can induce more anxiety or stress than a day that's meant to signify love and romance.
As I discovered at Elin's sensory group last year, Valentine's Day is such a wonderful, visual and sensory feast for little ones, with heart shaped balloons and red, pink and more pink toys and fun stuff for the little cherubs to get stuck into.
But when I think back to when I was a teenager in school, it was a day just filled with anxiety. Who was going to get flowers? Who was going to give flowers? It was horrendous. I don't think I ever got a Valentine's rose or even a secret Valentine's card when I was in school. Talk about a mental health hazard. But hey, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?!
Needless to say, I very quickly realised that from a 'romantic' point of view, I was causing myself stress and anxiety because I was relying on someone else to send me a bunch of roses. Never a good thing. Thankfully, my sister's birthday is on Valentine's Day, so there was always a far more fun and celebratory meaning to the day. And this, celebrating with friends and family, is the perfect way to think about Valentine's Day. It's not about what you get, but about what you do to let others know that you're thinking about them. Much like Christmas!
As an adult, and especially now that Elin is on the scene, I must say that I do rather enjoy Valentine's Day. January and February are such dreary and cold months, so it's nice to embrace the month of love. And actually, this is what I think is really important. No matter what your relationship status, Valentine's Day is a day to show your love and appreciation for your loved ones, whether it be an extra little cuddle, a 'thinking of you' WhatsApp message, a thoughtful card or a telephone call to say hello. Of course, many of you may argue saying that you should show your love every day and this, I agree, is so important, but I do think it's also nice to have an international day of love. Goodness knows the world needs it!
So whether it's a romantic, candlelit dinner for two or celebrating with friends, your family and your children, I think it's important to remember that love comes in many different forms. And, crucially, don't forget about YOURSELF. Since Elin popped along, it does feel like I've barely had any 'me' time, and I can only imagine that I'm far from being in this boat alone.
So in my quest to acknowledge Valentine's Day this year, I also want to shout out loud that here at Cocorose, we're thinking about YOU and will be celebrating YOU, our lovely Cocorosers.
So go on and have a glass of wine. Pick yourself a flower. Buy yourself the shoes. And don't forget to love yourself just a little bit extra that day.