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If you haven’t been able to tell by the chocolate rose, red hearts, and sappy (sometimes sassy) greeting cards, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. The “season of love” can often trigger feelings of stress and loneliness, and Cupid’s arrow can hit where it really hurts – your wallet. This month try trading out the emotion (and financial) pressure of Valentine’s Day for Palentine’s Day – a modern alternative to the traditional couple-centered holiday.
Taking place on February 13, this gender-inclusive, identity-friendly celebration of love encourages us to celebrate those most meaningful in our lives, from our #besties, to our co-workers, to our chosen families... and even our four-legged friends (because let’s face it, life can be ruff).
Palentine’s Day is about every form of love, so there is no right or wrong way to enjoy the festivities! If you’re not sure where to start your Palentine’s Day festivities, here are a few of our favorite ideas:
Traditionally, this means lots of junk food and a movie marathon, but why not kick it up a notch? Think: self-care. Before you Netflix and chill with a bowl full of goodies, try engaging in a fun wellness activity. And yes, you can keep your stretchy pants on.
Work it out in a group fitness class – the friends who sweat together, stay together... especially in these sweat-worthy classes!
Take time to #treatyoself – nothing says “I <3 you” like a tandem spa service (maybe one to compliment your zodiac signs?).
Explore the great outdoors – connect with nature... and each other.
Does February have you thinking about chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate? Move away from the rich, heavy food of the recent holidays and make some memories by showering your pals with healthy, savory and satisfying snacks. PS: Don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out perfect – it’s the thought that counts!
Whip up some delicious Inside-Out Almond Butter Cups.
These three-ingredient truffles will please any palette.
Cozy up with homemade vegan hot cocoa.
Many of us remember those cheesy little cards we delivered to friends in elementary school. They always made you smile, right? We are in a creative revolution (coloring never felt so good!) and this is the perfect excuse to unleash your inner Bob Ross. Plus, Pinterest has a ton of ideas for any level of talent.
Cards and love notes – Pencils, paper, stamps – use whatever supplies you have on hand to surprise your pals.
Snail mail – There’s some magical about getting a surprise piece of mail. Take the time to send a note to a faraway friend.
Eco-friendly option – Want to go zero-waste and want your message to be received right away? Send a digital greeting! Paperless Post has plenty of clever and cute options.
At MINDBODY HQ, our MBPride affinity group is sponsoring a make-your-own-card station so employees can deliver fun homemade cards and notes to friends and co-workers. MBPride supports Palentine’s Day because we all deserve a day to celebrate the love in our life, romantic or not.
I’m celebrating week 21 of pregnancy. Baby is the size of a banana or bell pepper. I don’t know why it’s so fun to compare a growing fetus to a fruit or veggie, but it gives me a much-needed laugh while I make note to avoid consuming bananas for the week. This is also ultrasound week. I’m no longer able to bring my husband and daughter to the appointment, but we understand that these restrictions are put in place to protect us. Like so many pregnant women and mothers across the world, I’m doing my best to adapt to the new norm and changes that COVID-19 has introduced to my already stressful life.
Pregnant women across various metro cities are beginning to face fears of delivering their baby without a birthing partner by their side for the duration of the hospital stay. Family members and friends may not be able to meet baby in-person for quite some time, so those special first meetings happen over FaceTime. New mommy groups switch to virtual meetups. I’m feeling the weight of it all (and I’m not referring to the extra weight I’ve gained from WFH snacking), the heaviness of the unknown that we all carry as we navigate through all of this change.
Tuning into nightly news or googling the latest COVID-19 death tolls is a surefire way to lose sleep, but we do it anyway because we want to stay informed as we wrap our heads around how much this pandemic will change our world. Maybe your anxiety and personal despair grow as you hear from a friend who recently lost their job or read about your favorite restaurant unable to keep its doors open. Canceled events, long-anticipated vacations, and temporarily closed fitness studios are not only inconvenient, but force us to reframe our attitudes.
I can hear my mother’s voice telling me to relax. She tells me that the baby can feel my stress, and that isn’t good for anyone. I begin to feel guilty about my inability to quiet the negative feelings and decide that something needs to change. We can’t change what the media reports, the pressure at work, or predict how long it will take for the economy to recover. But what if we reminded ourselves to do the best with what we have and keep moving forward—one day at a time. Amidst the chaos, we’re becoming a stronger, kinder community, and that is truly a beautiful thing to see.
The journey to my second trimester wasn’t an easy one. I suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I made time for my body and mind to heal after the loss. Float tank sessions, meditation, vinyasa power flow, and frequent facials helped me connect with my body. I can’t say self-care alone healed my depression, but it certainly helped me discover the importance of self-love and repaired my self-confidence.
After many pregnancy tests and negative results, I was at peace with accepting that having another child may not be in the cards for me. Fast forward to age 37. I was shocked to see a + symbol on three pregnancy stick tests. Although I’m medically referred to as a geriatric pregnancy, my OB/Gyn said there was no reason for me to go into this pregnancy with a negative mindset. Eat healthy, stay active, and focus on being POSITIVE. Maybe the pursuit of happiness and path to personal wellness was really that simple.
On my 38th birthday, I celebrated my 20th week of pregnancy—I’ll refer to it as the “Pregnant in a Pandemic Party.” I blew out a candle on a warm chocolate chip cookie that my husband and daughter baked together. They were my only party guests, but I didn’t need a room full of people at a fancy restaurant to feel pure gratitude. People across the world continue to test positive for COVID-19. I was safe in my home with my family. I was right where I needed to be.
Although the past few weeks have brought a wide range of emotions for all of us, I’m choosing to use this extra time to self-reflect and bond with family. I’m mentally recording my five-year-old daughter as she whispers to my stomach and tells her baby sister that August couldn’t come soon enough. This is life. So perfectly imperfect at times, but beautiful in more ways than we know. We may be housebound, down to the last few rolls of toilet paper, and our hair hasn’t seen a salon in over a month. The loss of control and routine over our daily lives can make us feel like failures. Trust me; we’re not. We were never meant to get through this alone. Together, we will get through this—one day at a time.