Is Valentine's Day for you?

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So, Valentine’s Day, with its roots in Ancient Rome but born in a 1913 Hallmark Card commercial brainstorm, is here. Nothing wrong with showing your partner love, appreciation and respect but do we have to do it awkwardly in this socially constructed, commercially driven free-for-all? We think not and we're not alone! A YouGov Valentine’s Day Poll in 2017 found that only 29% of respondents said the day ‘increased good vibes’. Take heart if you’re in the 61% who are indifferent, actively dislike it or find heart-shaped padded cards, red teddies or teddy bears aren’t your thing.

There’s an anti-valentine’s day movement out there gathering pace, organising alternative social events such as urban axe-throwing, (think bowling or darts but with a bit more edge, literally), nothing shouts ‘no’ to romance more than chucking axes.

Maybe you celebrated Galentine’s Day yesterday, ‘only the best day of the year’, an event dreamt up in 2010 by comedian Amy Poehler’s character, in the comedy Parks and Recreation but now celebrated in real life. Life imitating art! Increasingly popular, this is a day when you and your women friends kick-back and celebrate spending time together, leaving partners and kids at home and whatever it is you all love doing when you get together. For the card-buyers amongst you, there are lots of cards out there, from Etsy to Hallmark, celebrating female friendship.

For those of you inclined to drink cocktails with your women besties or partner, we love the idea of the Hot Flush style cocktail offered by hotel London Edition. They’ve created ‘hormone cocktails’ with a gin base: there’s ‘Oestrogen’ topped up with pineapple cordial, Chambord, champagne, lemon and a raspberry garnish, and 'Testosterone' with Cocchi Americano, creme de peche, martini bitter and a lemon twist. It won’t do anything whatsoever to help with hormones but these cocktails sound tasty for anyone in the mood to celebrate. 

If it’s all about rose petals and candles on Valentine's Day– how about a bit of self-love and self-gifting spending when you want to, rather than when marketing pressures dictate? But if you must spend, then treat yourself to something indulgent to help with any hormonal mood swings or sleep problems. You could invest in an aromatherapy candle such as Kiss the Moon’s Glow Aromatherapy Soy candle with orange and geranium essential oils, ‘to lift the spirit and restore the soul at bedtime’. It might be a little pricey but with 50 hours plus, burning time, it’s a gift you could theoretically burn over 100 nights to help you to drift off to the land of nod! Alternatively, go for good quality essential oils such as Lavender, Ylang-ylang or Sandalwood for an oil burner, to help you on your sleep journey in the hope that it'll improve your mood and your ability to connect better with a partner.

Or you could take the pressure off and treat February 14th as just another day! 

On top of dealing with the impact of the tsunami of menopause symptoms, you may not be feeling rainbows, unicorns and hearts. We’ve just met up with a sexual psychotherapist, Jill, who helps people unhappy in, or with, their relationships to unpick what’s going on and how to get back on track. There’ll be a blog on our chat with her soon.  Jill’s also going to share some advice in a guest blog on how to get relationships back on track. Keep your eyes peeled.