13 articles Articles posted in #LoveYourself

Self Care Rituals for Stressed-Out Mums

Self Care Rituals for Stressed-Out Mums

Is it just me or has 2020 been one of the most stressful years of your whole life?! The constant worry, the changing rules, remembering masks and hand sanitiser, homeschooling the kids, working from home… The list of additional stressors seems endless. With this in mind, I’ve been trying to do some things recently to improve my self-care, and it’s definitely helping. Here are just a few of my new rituals:

Self-Care Skincare Routine

I’ve never had particularly problematic skin, aside from the odd bit of dryness and the occasional hormonal pimple, so I’ve never paid much attention to a skincare routine before. However, my Mum has AMAZING skin, especially for someone who will be 60 in a couple of years, and that’s because she’s always made sure she looks after it, and I am inspired to do the same.

I’ve started using a hot cloth cleanser with Vitamin C to wash my face, which helps to exfoliate and make my skin look a LOT brighter. I’ve also been using a peptide serum before I moisturise, which seems to make my skin feel super soft. I then use a gel moisturiser, which sits much better on my skin than something oil-based and doesn’t cause spots. I’ve got to say, my skin looks better than it ever has, just by adding a couple of new things to my daily routine.

Yoga and Meditation

When I went on my mad exercise kick back in 2017, one of my favourite things to do was my weekly yoga class. Taking an hour to do something peaceful and relaxing, stretching my muscles and realigning my mind and body was amazing for me.

There would be a ten-minute meditation at the end of the class where we’d lay on the floor with our eyes closed and the teacher would coach us on proper breathing and clearing our minds, and I absolutely loved it. It was probably the closest thing to a tantric massage without being touched! Since lockdown happened, I’ve been doing yoga and meditation at home, and it’s really helped me to keep my mind and body healthy during this weirdness.

Finding a Hobby

Because of my health issues, our family has been isolating constantly since the beginning of March, which has meant that we’ve had a LOT more time on our hands. Obviously, I’m doing the usual working/cooking/cleaning/walking the dog, as well as homeschooling both kids, but that still leaves me with a few hours a day in which I actually have some time to myself.

I’ve taken up a few different hobbies to fill the time, and I actually feel quite fulfilled for the first time in years! As well as the baking and cooking that I’ve been doing a lot of, I’ve also taken up cross-stitch, which I absolutely love, and most recently I’ve started quilling! I’ll be sharing one of my latest creations here on the blog soon, and I’m quite proud of it.

Have you picked up any new hobbies lately? Have you been taking more time for self-care? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Top 3 Ways To Approach Ageing

Top 3 Ways To Approach AgeingImage by spider0702 from Pixabay 

There is no way you can avoid ageing; it’s going to happen no matter how many anti-ageing creams you buy or how much plastic surgery you have. However, rather than getting down about it, you can enjoy the ageing process and embrace it because there will be plenty of positives to it, too, more than you may think.

Look After Your Skin

One of the things that upsets people most about ageing is how their skin looks, as in some cases, it can make them look older than they are. When you are younger, it’s essential to take care of your skin, and no matter what age you are now, quit smoking and sunbathing because this won’t do your skin any good at all. As you get older, your skin loses its elasticity and can start to sag and wrinkle. There are many creams, and lotions, and face washes you can get to combat the signs of anti-ageing, but the main ingredients you want to look for are ceramides, coenzyme Q10, green tea, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, as well as wearing a high SPF sunscreen to reduce sun damage. Zo Skin Health have an array of skin enhancers, and as everyone’s skin is different, it is important to choose something that will target your specific problem or skin type.

Eat a healthy diet

One of the most important things to do in life at any age is to eat a nutritious diet and get regular exercise, but as you get older, this will lower your heart rate and keep you feeling younger. It’s not just what you eat you need to watch, but it’s everything you put into your body. So when it comes to food go for a diet which is low in saturated fats and make sure there are lots of fruit and vegetables, oily fish and whole grains included. It’s also essential to have small amounts of low-fat dairy and lean meat too. Don’t forget that you need to keep hydrated too so make sure you drink lots of water to avoid getting dehydrated as this can leave you feeling tired and confused. Tea, coffee, and fruit juice will also help you to stay hydrated but you should avoid sugary fizzy drinks.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

While this is important at any age, it’s so important that it needs to be reiterated. If you don’t get enough sleep, then you will likely feel tired and grumpy. But not only this, but sleep has so many other benefits. It helps to reduce your stress levels – which, let’s face it, you need as little stress as possible at any age but particularly as you get older. Another benefit is that sleep can actually improve your memory and who doesn’t need that as they age? Good sleep can also lower your blood pressure, can improve your immune system, and help you to maintain a healthy weight, all of which are extremely important as you age.

Making Sure You Relax As A Parent

Parenting is hard, and that’s something that nobody is willing to deny. Looking after your children every day can feel like a huge task, even though you love them more than anything in the world. You might think that stress is just part of the job description that comes with being a parent, and to an extent, you’re right, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the ways that you can relax to benefit your health when you have kids. Keep reading down below if you want to find out more.

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Ask Someone To Look After The Kids 

The first thing that we are going to suggest to give yourself some time to relax is to ask someone to look after the kids. Not everyone likes leaving their kids, but whether this is for a couple of hours or a day or two, you need to be able to trust the person you’re asking. Whether you choose a friend or family member, make sure that they can have them for at least a few hours to give yourself time to unwind. It’s a difficult job, and you need time to yourself, which you likely aren’t going to get if you’ve got your kids running around all day. 

You can use this time to do some of the things that you like but can’t do because the kids are around, or you can simply use it to sleep. It’s up to you, whatever you think is going to be most helpful when it comes to your stress levels. A lot of elevated stress comes from lack of sleep, so if you aren’t getting enough rest, you need to take advantage of the situation.

Get Some Help..

The next thing that we are going to suggest is that you get some help. It’s not always easy to relax and let go of the stress, especially as there is always going to be something new to stress about. One of the things that you can do is try cbg oil as it has been known to have calming effects on people. If you’re coming to a point where you think you’re going to break soon if something doesn’t give, then there is no harm in trying this out and seeing if it can help you. Of course, this isn’t for everyone, and if you are having major problems, then you can go and see your doctor as they might have something that you can try as well.

Do An Activity You Love

Finally, one of the best ways to relax is to do something you love. How long has it been since you have been able to sit through an entire movie that wasn’t chosen by your child? Or, how long has it been since you’ve been able to sit down and read a book? These simple activities might not seem like much to everyone else, but when you’re a parent having the time to do this is a dream come true. 

It can be simple like this, or if someone else has the kids, you can do something else that you enjoy. Go out for a run, or go out and meet your friends for a night out. There are so many options, and it doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you relax.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see how you can relax as a parent.

How to Be Happier with Your Appearance

How to Be Happier with Your AppearancePhoto by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

As someone who struggles with their self esteem and appearance, I know that it can be hard at times to look in the mirror and be okay with what you see. There are lots of things that I’d like to change about myself, and although I have no issue with people who choose cosmetic surgery, it’s not something I would ever do. There are, however, a few non-invasive cosmetic things that I could do which I think would make me feel happier with the way I look. Here’s a few of them:

Eyelash Lift and Tint

Some days I wake up and really can’t be bothered with make-up. However, I have light eyelashes and look a bit run down if I don’t have at least some mascara on. I’m put off of the idea of having semi-permanent lashes because of the cost and upkeep but I would like to have a lash lift and tint, which make your eyes look more open and your lashes look as though you’re wearing make-up.

Brazillian Blowdry

My hair is ANNOYING AF. It’s not straight, but it’s also not curly. It’s this annoying inbetweeny, not-really-anything texture which means I need to straighten it every day if I want to wear it down and that is a massive pain. I’d love a Brazillian blowdry which would massively reduce the amount of styling I need to do to my hair and might mean that I don’t wake up looking like I’ve been dragged through a hedge every day!

Cosmetic Dentistry

I had braces when I was younger and they did a pretty good job of getting my teeth straight, but years of over brushing and acid reflux mean I’ve not got a lot of enamel left on my teeth, which makes them look discoloured. I’d love to have some sort of cosmetic dentistry done so that my teeth are not just straight, but also white again! I think a perfect smile would really improve my appearance.

Laser Tattoo Removal

I only have 4 tattoos and most of them are fine, but I have one that I hate and it’s the one which is in the most noticeable place. I don’t mind having a tattoo, and if anything I plan on having more,  I just don’t like this one, so I’d love to have a few sessions of laser removal done so that I can have it covered with a design that I actually like!

Laser Hair Removal

I’m gonna be real with you – I am really bad at shaving. As well as leaving it too long between shaves and ending up with the appearance of a yeti, I’m actually physically bad at it and end up covered in cuts! I’m too much of a wimp for waxing or epilating, so laser hair removal would be great for me. As well as cutting down on how much shaving I need to do, it would save me from the blood loss I suffer each time when I massacre my own legs!!

Ways You Can Get Out Of A Slump And Back In The Swing On Things

https://unsplash.com/photos/12yvdCiLaVE

For some reason, life has this strange way of handing us lots of adversity. Sometimes it is fine to deal with; sometimes it’s even quite fun as it provides us with a challenge and helps us veer away from the mundanity of everyday life. A lot of the time, however, it can be quite draining. We’re already very busy with everything on a day-to-day basis, so throwing in a few curveballs isn’t exactly what we want. Maybe it’s the universe’s (or God’s, if you’re a believer) way of providing a balance. Who knows? What we do know, though, is that it takes a lot of effort to climb out of certain issues.

Are you in a bit of a slump right now? Well, that’s not good. I hate when those come along. We know what we have to do in order to get back to normality, but, for some reason, we’re stuck in the mud and cannot reach where we need to be.

While they’re a real pain in the backside to get out of, the good thing is that we can (and do) get out of them. We just need to do a few things to boost ourselves mentally and physically. Everyone has a different way of viewing the world and doing things, so there’s no fixed way that everyone should heed. Here are a few that you could try to see if they work, though:

Do Something Your Worried About Every Single Day

It’s a paraphrased quote that’s often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. It’s the idea that you’ll grow as a person and a personality if you constantly face something that you don’t feel you can. Now, everyone should probably do this, whether they’re in good spirits or not. It can make us improve so much, so it’s a great little piece of advice. For someone in a tricky situation, though? It would do them a world of good. The idea is to become more accomplished and much more mentally sound than they were before. Improving on one’s self? There aren’t many finer ways of getting out of a slump. 

Exercise More Often

When you exercise, you have way more of a bounce in your step. You also gain a mental boost as the good chemicals in your body start flowing at a fast rate. So don’t hesitate to do it, either you choose to workout at home or you prefer working out in the gym, doesn’t matter just do it. It can get a lot of people temporarily out of depression and immense states of anxiety.  It can get a lot of people temporarily out of depression and immense states of anxiety. The prospect of exercising always seems daunting beforehand, but you always feel so much better afterwards. With that post-workout attitude, you might feel as though you can conquer anything.

Get A Car And Start Driving

It sounds a little odd, but having a car is a lot different from being a pedestrian. You have the freedom to go out and view the world. You have that confidence in yourself to go wherever you want. You feel more mature and capable. These all make you feel a lot better about yourself. Simply hopping online, and looking at places like Stephen James, AutoTrader, and similar sites might initially shift a large burden. 

Stay Hydrated

This is a huge one, and it’s quite frustrating to hear if you’re not in the mood. But a lack of fluids in our system genuinely makes a massive difference to our mentality and our thinking patterns. We’re made up of the stuff, so we need to have it in us at all times. 

Confidence: The Key To Any Look

Many of us worry about how we look. Regular mirror checks and self-deprecation can easily become a habit. But while we may excuse this as simply “making sure we look our best”, the truth is that these self-nitpicks can really do a number in eroding our sense of self-confidence. If you’re really concerned with looking your best self, then you have to start with the one factor that is going to shine through any outfit and any makeup: your confidence. Click the link to take some inspiration from these nail product reviews.

Pic by 3974931

Dress with purpose

One part of confidence is context. You don’t dress in a vacuum, you are creating outfits to help cement a look in different situations. If you feel out of place for a certain situation, it can be a huge knock on your confidence. You’re going to feel more noticeable for the wrong reasons and that sense of self-consciousness can ruin an otherwise lovely evening. Build outfits with purpose. Define those which are best for the workplace, those that are for nights out, those that are for cozy evenings in, and so on. If you’re heading to an event, don’t be afraid to ask organizers or other attendants that you know what the dress code is going to be.

Comfort is crucial

Many women are willing to go through all sorts of pains in order to accentuate their most flattering features and to look as “perfect” as possible. Nothing is more self-sabotaging than sacrificing comfort for aesthetic, however. If you don’t feel comfortable in what you wear, you are going to have a hard time expressing that comfort and you’re going to feel like people can notice how awkward your clothes are making you feel. This is no more apparent than in our choices of bras and shoes. Ill-fitting bras and uncomfortable shoes will turn any occasion into a battle with discomfort, distracting from your ability to simply enjoy the occasion for what it really is.

Love your body

Body positivity is becoming a much more common part of modern discourse, which women should be ecstatic about. But while many are stamping down on the harmful language and expectations others can place on us, we should also acknowledge that often we are our own worst critic. Take the time to really grapple with the questions and issues explored by places like womenshealthmag.com and internalize body positivity in a way that makes sense to you and is honest to you. You don’t have to pretend that you are perfect, for no-one is, nor do you have to ignore what you might consider weak points that you want to work on. What you do have to do, however, is recognize that there’s a lot to love about anyone’s body and the sooner you start loving yours, the sooner you can start feeling comfortable and confident.

Pic by Pexels

Spend time on the fundamentals

While body positivity is about accepting and loving yourself for who you are, there is no denying that the simple act of working on your appearance will help you feel a lot more confident. Whether it’s skin care, make-up, or efforts to work on your body, the feeling that you are in control and making an impact will help you feel much more confident to display your taste and to own it publicly. One element that can help you feel good in any outfit is expressing yourself through your hair with the help of sites like therighthairstyles.com. Not only are you going to look good, you’re going to feel that sense of ownership that comes with enjoying the fruit of your labors.

Find your outfit enhancers

That sense of ownership and confidence in your choices can also come with the little touches you make to your outfits to make them uniquely you. We all like to think we have a sense of personal style no matter what we wear, but we can’t deny those moments that we don’t feel like building elaborate outfits when we just want to get on with the day or need to dress down. Even in those cases, however, accessories are a simple touch that lets us customize our look and feel like we’re showing off our fashion flair even with the most generic of outfits.

Get experimental

Restricting your clothing choices based on what you “know” will work on you is a mistake. Fashion isn’t a set of “yes” and “no” items, just as artists don’t specifically choose which colors they are best with painting and which they should avoid. You should be willing to push outside your comfort zone and try new things while crafting outfits. You might not have the budget to indulge in constant shopping sprees, of course, which is why guides to thrift store shopping from places like apartmenttherapy.com can be hugely helpful. You can try and buy a whole range of wallet-friendly items that allow you to get more experimental in the outfits you’re going to make. Your experiments aren’t always going to be a success, of course, but if you don’t try, you’re going to miss the permanent benefit of finding something new that makes you look and feel great. Simply trying on outfits that don’t look as good on you as you wanted and learning that it’s not the end of the world is going to build the resilience that serves as a cornerstone to self-confidence, too.

Pic by StockSnap

Break the rules

In a similar vein, don’t take supposed fashion rules too seriously. Yes, there’s some conventional wisdom that has built up over the years that can help you make choices more likely to work. They can work as a foundation of a sense of style. But over-reliance on them can act as a crutch that stifles your own personal taste. Go with your gut and be willing to break those rules.

Learning to quiet the little voice in your head that says “this might not be a good idea” is one of the most freeing fashion tips you can follow. Get experimental, try things out, and express what you really want to. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t. Just move on and try the next idea.

Working On My Self-Esteem

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Something that I’ve always struggled with is self-esteem. I don’t come from a particularly “build you up” kind of family (when I got my first pair of glasses, aged 11, my family decided to tell me I looked like Dennis Waterman and called me that for many years, knowing how much I hated it). One of my worst character traits is my ability to be self-deprecating, and as much as I find it hilarious to make mean jokes about myself, my kids are starting to notice and it’s probably not the best thing for them to hear.

Just last week, Husband said to me “you look nice”, and I replied “don’t be ridiculous!”. I should have just said “thanks love”, but I didn’t and as much as he didn’t say anything I could tell he was disappointed with my reaction. I know I need to work on my self esteem, but the sad fact is, I don’t know where to start.

I’ve heard a lot of women say that a good place to start when trying to make yourself feel good is with your underwear, so I was thinking of investing in a whole new load of undies, like this. I’m not much of a ‘frilly knickers’ kinda girl, so something simple yet pretty would be perfect for me.

Another thing I know I need to do is get back to the gym; when I started weightlifting last year, I felt like I’d finally found an exercise that I loved…and I was good at it, too. But a few things happened to knock me off the rails and I managed to completely give up on what I was doing, watching all the gains I’d made slip away. It was a a double blow because my self-esteem was already struggling and having to admit I’d failed at something AND watch all my hard work go down the drain had a bad effect on my mental state.

We had some friends over last night for the football and they asked me if I was still exercising, and while I was telling them (or more accurately, reeling off the list of excuses that I’ve cultivated about why I quit), I realised that I missed exercising and taking control of myself. I missed being productive and showing my girls that we should look after ourselves. And most of all, I missed that daily sense of achievement I got when I got my butt to the gym, ate within my macros and lifted a little bit more weight than last time.

So, for the sake of my girls, I’m going to try to get back to it.

I’m re-taking control.

What’s Your Excuse?

I’ve been thinking long and hard about writing this post because I don’t want it to seem like I’m attacking anyone. My friend Kate bestowed a mantra upon me a while back – “You Do You” – and I really strongly believe that everyone is free to do whatever the hell they want when it comes to their own body, but I’m not addressing people who CAN’T exercise here, or even those who don’t want to. If you’re happy the way you are or have physical difficulties, this post is not for you.

Now I’ve cleared that up, I want to talk about EXCUSES.

Last week, I saw an article about how “fat shamers” were on the wrong side of science and cited 7 different studies which apparently proved that some people were fat for reasons completely beyond their control and how people who “shame” others into exercising are bad. It gave reasons such as an “obesity gene”, poor sleep and how being overweight can make it harder to lose weight. In fairness to the people who wrote the article, each point was based on an academic study which proved the points they were making in a roundabout way. But here’s the thing:

They aren’t REASONS. THEY ARE EXCUSES.

I feel really well qualified to talk about these things because up until January of this year, I made a lot of excuses, including but not limited to:

  1. I have a range of conditions which make it hard to lose weight
  2. I don’t have time to go to the gym
  3. I can’t justify the money I spend on a gym membership
  4. I don’t want to be left with a lot of loose skin
  5. I can’t ask someone to look after the kids every time I go to the gym

There are SO many more that I could list, but we’d be here all day. Back in January, I decided to get real with myself and start being brutally fucking honest. I’d spent the majority of my twenties being overweight and I was damned if I was going to be unhappy with my body for the whole of my thirties too, so I decided to do something about it. And when your state of mind shifts, it’s amazing how those EXCUSES that you’ve made in the past become irrelevant.

Yes, I have diabetes and an under-active thyroid and endometriosis, but those things don’t stop me from exercising or moderating what I eat. Yes, I have a busy life, but so does everyone and if I can make time to binge-watch whole series of shows in a week, then I can definitely find time to exercise. My current gym membership costs £9.99 a month – I used to spend more than that in a week just on sushi! Loose skin wont kill me. High body fat will. I’m lucky that my MIL is an absolute gem and looks after BB when Husband and I work out, but even if she didn’t there are PLENTY of forms of exercise which can be done for free and with a toddler in toe.

As I said above, if you’re happy with yourself and don’t WANT to diet or exercise, then all power to you. But, if you fall into the HUGE percentage of people I see who give excuse after excuse for why you can’t eat better or move more, can I suggest taking a really long, hard look at those reasons? If you look and come up with solutions, that’s awesome. If you look and realise that it’s actually more to do with the fact that you don’t WANT to exercise, go from there.

I usually hate motivational bullshit which assumes that a one-size-fits all approach works for everyone, but there’s a poster up in my gym which really speaks to me;

If you want to make a change…I mean REALLY WANT IT, you’ll do it. Start small, install MyFitnessPal and track your food. Walk a little bit further than you normally would. Join a gym and try ONE class. You have nothing to lose except the weight and it will happen if you make the effort. Don’t allow the part of your brain which wants to sit at home eating ice cream and watching Netflix to overpower the part of your brain which wants to be healthier. Articles like the one which prompted this post are really not helpful because they just nurture unhealthy excuses for you to remain overweight or unfit. I’m all for love and support and being happy with yourself, but kidding people into thinking that their weight is completely out of their control is damaging and dangerous.

As I said, I’m not attacking anyone, just hoping to make you think a little differently about things in the hope that it might help you a little bit. What excuses are you making to yourself? Leave me a comment below.

Keep Decay At Bay: Five Reasons To Focus On Your SMILE!

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When we have time to focus on our health, we tend to keep a closer eye on one thing or another. We try to eat healthily, of course. A healthy weight is always a focus, whether you want it to be or not. We will focus more closely on anything that runs in our family, or that we ourselves have had an issue with. But how much do we focus on our teeth?

Let’s face it, when it comes to personal health, our teeth have become the poor relation as compared to issues like weight. But although it may feel lower on the priority list than some things, it’s still vital to pay some attention to your SMILE.

S, for Social

Yes, as you may have noted from the fact it was all in caps, SMILE isn’t just about gleaming pearly whites. There are several reasons to keep your teeth in good nick, and social niceties are among them.

Dental equipment suppliers are making more and more gadgets available, and it’s worth shopping around for the best. A sound oral health regime will keep teeth clean and breath fresh.

M, for Medical

If the first reason seems a little shallow, this one is anything but. You see, we talk about brushing as though it’s all about the teeth. They need to be kept in order, no disputing that. But your entire mouth will benefit; your whole body, in fact.

If you don’t keep up an oral care regime, you open yourself up to a higher risk of dangerous conditions. These include heart disease, dementia and respiratory issues.

I, for Inspiration

If you’re a parent, it’s all the more important to look after your teeth. Although you may be able to excuse yourself a slip, it’s setting a bad example to your kids, who need to learn sound habits at an early age. Brush with them, if needs be, to ensure they see what it takes to keep a good regime going.

L, for Laughter

A recent study showed that a third of teenagers are too embarrassed about their teeth to smile in front of friends. Given that other studies have shown that the mere act of smiling or laughter can make you happier, imagine the logical conclusion of that! When you’re happy or amused, you want to be able to laugh. So don’t get to the stage where you’re ashamed to!

E, for Employment

If you walk into a job interview with your hair done, new stylish clothes and flawless makeup, you’ve got a better chance of getting the job. If you then open your mouth to reveal decaying teeth, it will put any interviewer off. See, they aren’t just considering your aptitude for the job, but how you’ll fit in a team. Poor dental hygiene can make others uncomfortable – and cost you a dream job!

Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Lovehoney lickable candleOkay, so I realise I wrote a post last week talking about how most people simply wanted time with their partners for Valentine’s Day, but no-one specifically said that they DIDN’T want an actual gift! With that in mind, I thought I’d give you a few suggestions for the big day:

Something Naughty

We’re all grown-ups here, we can talk about sex toys without blushing, right? Right?! No? Okay, well that’s fine because Lovehoney is the perfect way to buy sex toys and other naughtiness with complete discretion. You can buy online in the privacy of your own home and the packaging is always a plain brown box, saving your blushes! Plus, there are some great
Lovehoney voucher codes around to help you get a bargain.

A Promise

Cinema vouchers, in my opinion, are a really nice Valentine’s gift as they’re basically the promise of future date nights. If you’re busy people or parents, getting yourself out of the house for some dedicated alone time might not always be a priority, but if you have some vouchers sitting around it might give you the impetus you need to do something together.

A Recipe

Cooking a meal for someone is really nice, but cooking together can actually be really fun and rewarding. When you write their Valentine’s card, print off either a menu for dinner or the recipes and slip them inside, then have all of the ingredients ready for an evening of culinary togetherness.

Something Personal

Now that Google is a thing, it’s really easy to find map co-ordinates. If you have a special place, for instance the place you met or the place that you got married, you could have the co-ordinates printed on a small canvas. It will look like a jumble of numbers to anyone else, but you and your loved one will know that it represents somewhere very special.

Consideration

Sometimes, it doesn’t take lavish gifts and spa days to make someone feel special, just a few hours of letting them get their own way! Declare your other half to be “King/Queen for a Day” (or President, if you’re a republican!) and allow them to make ALL of the decisions; they get to choose what’s for dinner, what TV you watch, whether they get to sit in their favourite armchair. Little considerations like this can make someone feel very special indeed and it costs basically nothing.

What are you hoping for, for Valentine’s Day?