By guest contributor Gigi Robinson, Photographer, TikTok Creator & Creative Consultant.
Valentine’s day is not exactly going to be the same as it has in past years… at least not for me. It’s easy to get down on yourself when you see able-bodied people making plans to go outside for a socially distanced dinner or a walk, or even getting to see their significant other while you are trapped at home. The past year has been inevitably difficult for everyone with extensively staying inside, however for those that are at risk, it is both frightening and reassuring.
While the rest of the world *responsibly* partakes in public festivities, many immunocompromised and disabled people are left with no other option but to stay inside. It’s daunting quite frankly to be confined to the walls in which you call home. On one hand, staying isolated creates the least amount of exposure which re-assures us that we will be okay, while on the other hand we are left to be our own company. However, there are a few things that can be done if you are someone like myself, who will be spending Valentine’s day alone this year to indulge in a self-care filled day.
Read a book.
While you have probably done this for the majority of 2020, I have a few amazing recommendations that are amazing in the self-care category. Since Valentine’s day is on a Sunday, we might as well take that day to read or listen to a new book. Two that I am reading now that I love are Discover Your Darhma and A Woman Makes a Plan. Both focus on self-development and mindset, which is one of my favorite topics to read about… especially when you are constantly alone.
Put on some makeup and take some photos.
As simple as this one sounds, getting ready can help set the tone for the entire day. Valentine’s day is all about love and feeling loved, so do something that is going to make you feel it. Even when I am not feeling like taking photos, I know that ultimately it will help me feel better throughout the day! For me, that is getting ready and taking some photos. I love spending time looking good and sharing an image… this year it of course will be self-care-focused, but all in all, it helps me build my confidence. So grab that pink eyeshadow and red lipstick and enjoy your confident day!
Did someone say spring cleaning?!
Now and again, I decide to go through all of my clothes, undergarments, and cosmetics to get rid of the items that are no longer working for you. I let far too many items in my vanity expire past their 12 to 24-month shelf life, and this Valentine’s day I will be getting rid of everything that is expired. This is essential for hygienic reasons for your skin and sanity knowing you are putting safe products onto your face! I also will be going through my undergarments and getting rid of items that are no longer in good condition or that do not make me feel confident. And with all other clothing, do the same thing and then after washing everything bring it to a local shelter.
Take care of your skin.
Skincare might be one of my most favorite things to do...ever. I am obsessed with taking care of my skin, especially after a day of shooting images. I am a sucker for a good face mask, typically I use the philosophy purity or Kiehl’s clay mask or a sheet mask from Innisfree or KNC Beauty; all are soothing and get me into a state of bliss. The time that the mask needs to seep into the skin is a time where I either meditate or read!
Valentine’s day is a day where we often receive and eat the most delectable of sweets...chocolate! I am all for snacking throughout the day, and of all days why not eat yummy treats. I love chocolate covered strawberries and bananas, but any sweet will do! And if you do not enjoy sweets, then grab your favorite snack and get fueled up for the rest of the day, including your watch party.
Normally, I would say that binge-watching is counter-productive to getting work done, however, today would be the most perfect day to catch up on your favorite show, start a new one or have a movie marathon. Who knows there might even be a virtual watch party that you can attend (I will be hosting one Feb, 14th at 7 pm EST, which you can register for here) where we will be watching one of two movies; either of my all-time favorites The Notebook or the newest romance film, To All the Boys: Always and Forever. Of course, there’s a time and place for binging, and today is it!
After a fulfilling day of self-care and pampering, I would imagine it’s time for some rest. Grab a weighted blanket (if you have one), a heating pack, and some sleepytime tea to wind down after your relaxing day. If I have learned anything living with a chronic condition, especially one that taxes my mind and body with pain, it’s that breaks can be the most reparative and healing. If you are into combining your reading with your end of day routine, that is always an excellent option to help you doze off into slumber.
After all, you can do all of these activities any time, any day but why not indulge in a self-care weekend… you deserve it!
About the author:
Gigi is a USC Graduate and current Masters’s student whose passion is creating content to make a positive impact on as many young people as possible through imagery and videography. Gigi often speaks about the ways that she can expose false imagery in media, posing tips, behind the scenes of image-making, philanthropy, and advocacy work across her social media platforms (@itsgigirobinson), as a guest on several podcasts and other articles.
Gigi is the creator of a recent Instagram Live, IGTV series called “Everything You Need is Within” which you can view on her Instagram page @itsgigirobinson. Gigi has always been very passionate about debunking editing, posing, and lighting tactics often used in mainstream media to help others gain body confidence of their own. In the past, Robinson has shared her experience living with and recovering from several different eating disorders in addition to her chronic illnesses, which she writes “is the reason why I have to speak about body image issues and stigmas even more”. To connect with Gigi you can email her or reach her through IG Dm.
Photos provided by Gigi Robinson.