This is the first of two special Valentine’s Week Posts.

For those of you with partners, hey you can still do this, or maybe it will be done for you; and for those without partners, treating yourself is a particularly effective way to fend off the Valentine’s Day Blues.

Depending on what you like, and what matters to you, there are almost endless ways to spoil yourself (and avoid feeling blue).

Here are 9 ideas to get you started:

  1. It’s nasty winter weather for many of us right now, so how abut doing something to warm yourself up and ‘cozify’ your life?  Buy yourself your favorite indulgent hot chocolate, or other hot drink, and break out the marshmallows, chocolate, whipped cream, whatever sumptuous toppings your heart desires.  Then snuggle up on the sofa with your favorite book or movie and sip, sip, sip. Drink and repeat for added effectiveness!
  2. Take a spa break.  Men, this is for you too!  Choose a service that fits your budget and make the appointment this week!  It can be something as small as getting a pedicure, or you can step it up to a massage or facial.  You could even book a half or full day package if you’re feeling really flush. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what service you choose, it’s the fact that you are spoiling yourself that matters!  And, deflect any Valentine’s talk with a joke or a smile. – who cares, right?
  3. Been abandoning your gym routine because of the cold?  Get back over there! Set aside some time to have a leisurely workout — don’t overdo it if you have been AWOL for a while — and concentrate on all the good you’re doing your body.  Exercise, as I’m sure most of you know already, is a huge stress and depression buster, so the more you sweat, the better you feel! Treat yourself when you get home to that decadent hot chocolate from tip #1, without the guilt!
  4. Buy your favorite food.  If you like to cook, set aside an evening when you really take the time to make your favorite food exactly as you like it, then savor each bite.  You can also wash it down with your favorite wine and light a couple of candles while you’re eating, just to set the mood. Don’t cook? No problem.  order your favorite take-out instead, or pick something up pre-prepared from a gourmet food store.
  5. Get your favorite movies!  We all have a couple of movies that just make us warm and fuzzy all over, at least for the couple of hours we spend in their company.  If you don’t already own your favorites, go buy them or rent them from Netflix. Plan a special movie night for yourself, shut off the phone, dim the lights, maybe make your favorite food, or buy your favorite wine, put in those DVDs and sit back and relax — the hot chocolate could also come in handy here too, especially if you have more than a couple of favorite movies!
  6. Take a bath!  I mean a long, relaxing, bubble-filled, smells-wonderful-bath, not the quick, utilitarian kind.  If you don’t have some great bubble bath or aromatherapy oils, go find some. There are so many out there with such varied prices that there’s bound to be something for everyone’s budget.  If you’re short on ideas, take a look at my Stress Relief Store, I have some of my favorites listed! Once you’ve picked out your bath oils, if you have some spare cash left, why not pick up an aromatherapy candle?  These work wonders for soothing the soul and putting you into a deep state of relaxation. Still not relaxed enough? Do you have any of that wine left over from that fabulous dinner you cooked the other night?
  7. Splurge on a completely unnecessary but cute accessory.  It could be anything from a fun pair of mittens, to a pretty bracelet or pair of earrings.  You don’t have to break the bank – in fact, picking something small is sort of the point – you want to feel like you’re treating yourself, but not buying something that you’ll regret later.
  8. Download some new music.  Some people I know do this all of the time, but I bet most of you out there don’t.  If that’s the case, taking some time to explore some new music could be just the thing that you need to stave off the blues this Valentine’s Week.  Just try to stay away from the romantic ballads!
  9. Buy yourself some flowers!  So, what if other women are getting flowers from their partners this V Day?!  It doesn’t mean you can’t too. If this is not something you usually do, head to a florist and spent some time breathing in the heavenly scents and admiring the pretty colors.  When you’re ready, snap up a bunch of your favorites and stick your nose in them immediately, then inhale deeply! If you don’t have a nice vase to put them in, treat yourself to one of those too!