by Dr. Marita Schauch, ND, Tall Tree Integrated Health Centre –
Happy love month! At this time of year, it’s easy to cave in to the idea of the height of romance being a night on the couch with your Netflix cued up, especially if you’ve been with your partner a while. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want to do, but if you’re feeling like you need to bring a jolt of fresh energy into your Valentine’s Day date, give one of these romantic and healthy options a try. (You can thank me later.)
Couples Massage. This one is a total classic. Not only is it a yummy and relaxing experience for you both, but massage also has whole-body benefits including reduced muscle tension and improved circulation, as well as a reduction in stress hormones. On a budget? Take turns giving each other a massage.
Hiking. Get out and enjoy this beautiful Island together. Explore somewhere you’ve never been before, and let the restorative effects of nature saturate you. Being in nature not only reduces stress, anger and fear, but it also reduces blood pressure, heart rate and levels of stress hormones. I recommend Jocelyn Hill at Gowland Tod Park for the spectacular views of the Finlayson Arm.
Nourish Yourselves. Head out for a meal at one of the many local restaurants with a whole-food focus and a romantic atmosphere.
Couples Yoga. Partner yoga is a great way to increase intimacy and trust between you and your significant other. Can’t find a class near you? Try out some YouTube videos!
Make a Lifestyle Change Together. Have you been talking about making smoothies a part of your daily routine for ages? Been putting off those fitness classes you wanted to take together? Having a shared experience will increase both your intimacy and your likeliness to succeed.
Play 20 Questions. Stay in and set the mood for a cozy and vulnerable night of intimacy building. Emotional intimacy reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases your levels of oxytocin, both of which reduce your risk for heart disease, intestinal problems, depression and anxiety. You may discover a thing or two about your partner you didn’t know before.
Sensual Chef. They say the fastest way to the heart is through the stomach. Choose a new recipe and cook together. Bonus points if you include any aphrodisiac ingredients such as oysters, figs, artichokes, hot peppers or chocolate.
Eye Gazing. As cliché or perhaps uncomfortable as gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes may seem, a 1989 study showed two minutes of eye gazing “produced mutual feelings of love” between strangers.
Single? Why not spend the day connecting deeper with yourself. Self-love is just as, if not more, important than external love. Plan a date with you, and make it sensual, exploratory and nourishing.
Happy Valentine’s Day!