February is here and as we look ahead to (hopefully) warmer temperatures and the Valentine’s Day holiday, it is a great time to think about self care and the care of the lovely home that we have been spending unprecedented amounts of time in.
Here are a few ideas to show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day!
Love your wallet by lining up those finances!
The winter months tend to be when I ice my wallet and credit cards after a very busy holiday shopping season.
As you look to the tax season, now is a great time to review your finances and make sure you are on track. Adjust your family budget (or create one if you don’t have one) and make sure you add a savings strategy to that budget!
Check your credit report through one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to make sure you don’t have any blemishes or dings to your credit that you are not aware of.
Even if you aren’t buying a home or car anytime soon, knowing your credit score — and identifying ways to improve it — is a great way to give yourself peace of mind for when it comes time to make those big purchases.
Schedule that Self Care
Even with the slower pace of life in a pandemic world, finding time to pamper ourselves tends to get ignored in favor of work and family responsibilities,
This February, pick at least one thing that you love to do — it can be exercise, yoga, meditation, reading or journaling — and budget at least 20 minutes each day to devote to it.
If you have a planner or calendar, schedule it so you do not forget it. You will find those 20 minutes of “me time” will be something that helps promote productivity and will add to your overall well-being. It can be as simple as taking time to sit and drink your coffee each morning.
Create a Happier Haven by Decluttering
Taking time to declutter and spruce up your home can help you both enjoy your home and prevent costly surprise repairs later.
Indoors, you should check the batteries in your smoke alarm, update your alarm system and have your HVAC system inspected to make sure everything is working as it should.
Check dryer vents and chimneys and have them cleaned and inspected by a professional to make sure you don’t have any obstructions that can present a fire or health hazard.
Winter months are a great time to declutter your home and create more livable space! Start with one room at a time and look for ways to increase your square footage by eliminating unnecessary furniture, knickknacks or technology cords that are otherwise gathering dust and taking up space.
Get Moving!
I don’t know about you but the winter doldrums and seasonal affective disorder are a very real thing for me — and I tend to like to move less and sleep more!
It creates a vicious cycle to be sure but one of the things that helps get those endorphins moving, even on those endless cloudy and cold winter days is at least 15-20 minutes of meaningful exercise.
Yes, it can be tough to get motivated when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose but don’t give up all thoughts of staying active – indoors or out. Dress in layers and get outside for a brisk walk — just make sure that your top layer is both wind and water-resistant.
If you would just rather stay outside, create a cozy home gym. A home gym doesn’t have to include fancy and expensive equipment, you can get started with a few dumbbells, stretch bands, a stability ball and a small Bluetooth speaker.
If you have a Smart TV, apps like Calm, Echelon, Fitplan or Beachbody have a ton of workouts that vary in duration, intensity and level. Even adding 15-20 minutes of exercise a day will help you feel better — and look better for the summer season!
Treat Yourself
Whether it is a fresh vase of flowers or a massage appointment, be sure to treat yourself to your own Valentine’’s Day treat this year. If you enjoy your evening tea, why not splurge on a tea assortment that you can try over the coming weeks of cold weather or treat yourself to some new running shoes to help make those early morning brisk winter jogs a little more fun.
Budget these modest splurges into that family budget we talked about earlier to avoid any unnecessary guilt — and enjoy the extra joy that these small self care splurges add to your sense of well-being!
(Editor’s Note: Kristine George is a freelance journalist who resides in Easton.)