Treat yourself with love this February

February is the month of love. Although everyone may not celebrate the occasion, it is important for us to all engage in self-care and practise acts of self-love and kindness.

This is why, with February being the second month of the new year, many are using the period to inject renewed vigour into and give some love to personal relationships, financial well-being, insurance coverage, healthy eating habits and overall self- care.

Data reflects that many continue to use the month to focus on their relationships with others. For example, Global CRM leader, Salesforce, surveyed approximately a thousand consumers worldwide to see what they were planning for the upcoming Valentine’s Day. Interestingly, around 10% of respondents said they plan to celebrate the day with self-indulgence, and another 12% said they are planning some self-care activities.

As experts from across industries believe, there are many ways to initiate these self-benefiting practices. But the key is to ensure that these activities become habits which are practised throughout the year to help you maintain a steady level of well-being in various quadrants of your life throughout the year.


Date nights with yourself

An at-home romantic dinner for one is something that every person should experience at least once in a lifetime. It is affordable, intimate and special.

“Don’t forget to close your meal off with a delicious dessert,” advises executive sous chef of Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Bianca Beukes. She recently wowed guests during a culinary Taste of Radisson event by serving a delectable dessert of dark chocolate mousse, hazelnut tart, raspberry and vanilla pod meringue with Oreo ice cream.

Chocolate produces a natural high which elevates your mood and is often equated to feeling in love, so a chocolate dessert definitely ticks the self-love box. But, adds chef Beukes, if you want something lighter, try slices of mango and strawberry with whipped cream and crushed pistachios sprinkled on top.


Choosing the right financial and insurance relationships

Choosing the right relationships with service providers can result in partnerships that last for years or even decades.

Like choosing a relationship, choosing the right digital broker is key. “Look for one that offers both digital convenience and human support when needed. This modern approach not only streamlines the process but also puts insurance control back in the hands of consumers,” advises Mishaya Chettiar, the executive head at Everything.Insure.

Today’s self-care regarding adequate insurance protection for events like theft or loss of your goods, are enhanced by technologies like AI, machine learning, and data analysis. Platforms like Everything.Insure empower consumers to be able to make changes to their plans, submit claims any time, and start or stop their coverage with a simple click, thanks to adaptable and tailored solutions.

Some might even go as far as to say that these technological changes help us by doing all of the ‘adulting’ on our behalf.


Make it alcohol-free

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to make sure you’re getting a good night’s rest as often as you can. Sleeping well restores the body and boosts energy levels, and waking up feeling rested helps to set a positive mood for the day. There are a few things you can do to promote better sleep, such as doing a short meditation before you sleep and avoiding heavy meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Having a drink or two during the evening might make you feel relaxed when you’ve had a long day, but it can also lead to your sleep cycle being disrupted and the quality of sleep being decreased.

“For midweek celebrations, consider making a toast with a non-alcoholic drink,” says Ayanda Mvandaba, CEO of Drink Nil, an online retailer that stocks a wide variety of alcohol-free drinks like wine, gin and ciders. “SA is producing delicious artisanal non-alcoholic gins, like Mahala Botanical. The Mahala Botanical is made using nine hand-sourced botanicals that are infused under a vacuum to extract the flavour. Pair that with a bitter lemon spritz and pop a sprig of mint in as garnish, and voila, you have a refreshing drink that you can toast with.” Mvandaba adds, “The best part is that the ingredient that has the potential to leave you feeling groggy the next day is omitted – all this, with fewer calories.”


Romance is still alive

Romance oriented activities such as date nights are excellent opportunities for couples to take a break from daily pressures, household chores, work, children, and the news, by spending some quality time together. However, the same must be made true for single people. For example, for single people romance oriented activities should be seen as chances for self-care and recalibration by enjoying valuable time alone.

According to Salesforce’s data, 55% of respondents planned to spend Valentine’s Day 2024 with a romantic dinner at a restaurant, while the second most preferred plan is a quiet evening at home (29%). 14% of respondents mentioned they preferred to celebrate the holiday with family, and 11% said they would spend it with friends. 11% of respondents indicated they would spend the holiday on vacation or a trip.


Nourish your soul

It was Leslie Knope from the TV show Parks and Recreation who brought us the notion of “Galentine’s Day” – a celebration on February 13 when Leslie and a group of girlfriends leave their husbands and boyfriends at home and get together to celebrate the bonds of female friendship. Galentine’s Day has made the transition off the screen and into real life, with a growing number of women celebrating with parties, gifts and activities like spa days.

Paying homage to your friends in this way nurtures your soul by making an even deeper connection to those special people who give you emotional support, boost your confidence and make life happier. As Aristotle once said “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies” – an unselfish love that seeks only the happiness and good of the other.

However you choose to celebrate this month of love, make sure to pay attention to things that will improve your overall well-being. Having an awareness of those things that are good for you (and those that aren’t) will make sure you extend the theme of love to your inner self all year round.

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