Living well in the time of COVID-19 isn’t always easy. Recent stats suggest alcohol intake has increased and it doesn’t look like calorie intake has gone down either. It isn’t difficult to understand – we all need some comforts and warmth in these dark winter, homebound days. As the grey skies of February loom over us, many of us are looking forward to the next special date in the diary, February 14th, St. Valentine’s day. Amidst a global pandemic, it might look a little different this year.

Valentine’s Day is a time for reminding the people that we love, how much we appreciate them – and we certainly do all need an extra little bit of love this year! This Valentine’s will be tougher than usual – some of us may be self-isolating at home, we might not get to see our significant other, and for those who are single, the possibility of a girls or guy’s night is not on the cards. There’s nothing we can do about lockdown measures – but we can all remind ourselves that…

Conversations will not be cancelled

Relationships will not be cancelled

Love will not be cancelled

Self-care will not be cancelled

Valentine’s Day is about feeling special, feeling loved. Wherever you are, whoever you are with, let’s use Valentine’s Day to be kind to the people we love, including ourselves! Below are a few Valentine’s acts of kindness for you or for sharing love with your nearest and dearest – healthy, warming, feel good and hearty.

  1. Make your partner breakfast. It’s approaching Shrove Tuesday, so why not practice your pancake making skills and serve up a warm stack of pancakes!  These easy-peasy 3 ingredient pancakes won’t take long to prepare – don’t forget to top with more delicious fresh fruit!
  2. Give the gift of time. We all know that the best gifts are those that can be shared. Craft a DIY ‘voucher’ for your loved one – ideas to get you inspired could be offering to give your partner a 30 minutes shoulder massage or a coffee walk around their favourite places.  
  3. Home spa evening. Bubble baths and candles, who doesn’t pine for this after a busy week?! Dim the lights and put on some relaxing and romantic music. 
  4. Sunday stroll. Wrap up cosy and head out for a walk with your partner. Why not walk down memory lane a little and detour to a significant place, perhaps your favourite spot.
  5. Cook together. Usually food features as part of Valentine’s day culture – so why not choose to try out a new healthy recipe at home?! WCRF have a wonderful new Simple Stews cookbook packed full of delicious healthy meals (which is free!) 
  6. Finally, don’t forget to drink well. Yes, there are always a wide choice of alcoholic drinks, but keeping in the “spirit” of warmth and love there are some great low/zero alcohol drinks to try, including lovely bubbly, alcohol free prosecco. There are many low and no alcohol tipples to pick from – gone are the days of boring old alcohol-free beer. 

Dr Suzanne Zaremba