2 weeks into the official month of love, and 2 days away from the day of love. And this is what I got, yep just this pic! No fancy photoshoot, everything went wrong from weather, to outfit, to literally driving up to the place where I planned to take my v-day themed pics and the sign on the door read “lockout”, cant make this up. So I gave up, and decided that this was as good and festive as it’s gonna get this year. And considering my circumstances for the love holiday this year, I’m not the least bit bothered by it. As I’ve mentioned in my end of year/new year blogs, I’m learning to just let things be for the sake of my own stress level. I’ll talk about that more in a little bit. In fact, I’m here to discuss quite a few different things for a change. For one, I’ve never done an official “Valentine’s Day blog”, at least not that I remember. So this is new for me. And this 2020 Valentine’s Day is also very new for me. I felt inspired to write this blog due to these different circumstances this year, in fact it’s been heavy on my heart. I’m not sure why, but I pray at least one person is inspired as I just let the words flow. This Valentine’s Day has a couple of firsts, my first one single in the last 2 years, but more importantly the first without my papa. The first with what I’d consider, a still freshly wounded heart due to major loss I experienced last year. If you don’t know, my papa passed away on Valentine’s Day 2019, and it was a pretty interesting year of grief. I know that Valentine’s Day will never have the same meaning for me. But, I will not be too sappy, because God’s hand has been all up and through what I’ve gone through. And I am still very thankful. So I wanted to share some things with my readers in honor of the holiday, love on y’all a little bit.
My amazing friend/bible study leader has been centering in on self-worth this month, and I want to meet her there by adding in my take on self-care that I have been practicing and plan to continue to practice throughout the rest of this week. My anxiety and emotions started to kick in last week on the 7th, the exact day that my papa went into his surgery last year. I had plans to be at work super early but I just could not get out of bed for some reason and I didn’t know why. Once I realized it, I immediately had to tap into some of my self-care tactics so that I would not shut down or begin to stress. I want to share 7 of my tips with you:
- Prayer – of course, right LOL. But hey, it works! And it helps me to escape the moment, focus in on what’s ahead of me, and release my anxieties to God to get me through each day. I talk to God daily, as if He’s sitting right in front of me and were having a one on one conversation. I even encourage writing out your prayers, if it’s hard to put them into words sometimes.
- Worship – starting my mornings with worship music has been something that I’ve done for years, and it really helps to set the tone for my day. It gets my mind focused and ultimately puts me in a good mood in the mornings, since I am not a morning person at all.
- Stress Reliever – don’t judge me y’all but one of my stress relievers happens to be this home design game on my phone that I play literally every single day. [home décor and fashion go hand in hand to me] I play it every single day, even if only for 10 minutes. I started playing it last year around the time that my papa died to keep me levelheaded and relaxed in the midst of all that I was enduring. And here it is a year later, it still helps me to cope. I am all for finding something that you like to do in your spare time [even if it’s silly] that keeps your mind occupied.
- Treat Yo Self – I definitely am a supporter of this. And no I don’t mean retail therapy LOL, although I used to be a victim of this myself when I was younger. But more so doing things that make you happy. I like going to the movies, or watching a good movie at home. I like discovering cute scenery and chic restaurants. I love sweets, so I’ll venture out and try different dessert places.
- Cleaning – this is such a stress reliever. I light a candle, turn on an old playlist [I like cleaning to my high school 2006-2010 music], and go into my own zone. You’re zoned out, focused on the tasks ahead of you, committed to accomplishing what you’re doing. And afterwards, you can relax.
- Nostalgia – in the last year I’ve found that watching reruns of throwback shows that take me back to a specific, and much simpler, time in my life brings me such peace. My top choices are reruns of Girlfriends, Full House, The Proud Family & That’s So Raven [S/O to Disney Plus] and even MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 lol. Random right. And the same goes for throwback music too, I wear that playlist OUT.
- Avoid Triggers – I am so proud of my growth in this area lately. I feel like it’s so important to identify what triggers and brings about unnecessary anxiety in your life. Learning to say no and understanding that I can’t make it to everything has been a huge first step. I’ve always been the overbooked friend, hitting 2 or 3 things all in one day, then freaking out when I’m about to be late to one or another, knowing I caused it myself. How was I ever living like that? Ugh. Had to bring that to a halt. If I know a certain setting or situation will make me uncomfortable, I’m perfectly fine not going. If I don’t feel like talking on the phone, I won’t answer. If I need to wait a few days to respond to a text, or not even respond at all, I do that as well. I don’t look at certain things, listen to certain songs, follow certain people. I hope I’m not making this sound as if I’ve got it all figured out because I don’t. I am a work in progress but God is definitely helping me through step by step. Literally my hashtag that I’ve been sharing with friends all year is #ProtectYoPeace2020 😁
Last Min Look Ideas
If you’re a procrastinator like me, then you probably don’t even have tomorrow’s look yet. You’re not alone, I just got mine today. Even had to have my friend pick it up for me based on a photo because I had no time. So here are a few suggestions for last minute looks. Ladies, you can never go wrong with a good LBD – little black dress that is! Black is usually an easy go-to, but black is sexy and chic. It suits any special occasion, and is the easiest to style. A pop of color shoe and purse combo could be the perfect finish for the look. Forever 21, Windsor and Zara are a few mall stores I’ve been in lately that have cute affordable options for the occasion. If you’re keeping it casual, I would suggest a sleek blazer paired with your favorite denim. This is a classy yet chic look that is great with a pair of pumps or strappy heels. It’s great for dinner and a movie, or even a V-day lunch. And of course my favorite, monochromatic anything and everything! Bring out your pink on pink, satin and silk! I’m sure you’ve got a satin skirt in that closet somewhere. If not, they’re literally in every store in every color. I actually believe in going against the grain in terms of color this year, like how you’re expected to wear that red dress or skirt. Switch it up! My plan was to wear white for my special occasion, even though that plan was unsuccessful LOL. But the color I chose instead is even more bomb, and NOT red lol.
How I’m Celebrating
So to honor the life and legacy of my late papa, I decided to host and throw an intimate dinner for my immediate family. I thought it would be a nice way to remember him on the first anniversary of his death. I know I didn’t want to be at home, alone, sad and in my thoughts. I’d much rather be surrounded by the love of my family, us being able to comfort each other. And to my surprise, they loved the idea. I’m super excited to be hosting such an amazing occasion on my papa’s behalf. The night will be filled with his favorite dinner, drinks and desserts. It’s gonna be a lovely evening celebrating his life and love. He’s my forever valentine. For those of you celebrating with a significant other, friends, or family as well, I pray that your night is beautiful and that you feel loved! As always, y’all keep me in prayer. If you know me, you know I’m a lover of love. And a hard lover at that. So I’m sending all my love to you guys this Valentine’s Day! See y’all soon! XOXO
Outfit: Dress – Forever 21 | Boots – Steve Madden