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The One Where We're *REALLY* Feelin' the Love

Hey Corkers!

Welcome back to my little corner of the blog world! If you're new around here, I'm so happy you've joined this community of wine drinkers, champagne flute clinkers, and forward thinkers! I'm just your average Jane who happens to love wine and I also love sharing what I learn with you fine folks.

This blog post is a bit different than the others because it doesn't really focus on wine at all! Instead, it's inspired by Valentine's Day; so whether you love or loathe the day of Cupids, chocolate-covered strawberries, and roses, read on for some staggering facts about this holiday that all-to-often (and unnecessarily) comes with a hefty price tag...

The origin of Valentine's Day is a bit shrouded in mystery as there are a number of martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines of history, a few of which are connected in some way to February 14th. The most well-known is the imprisonment and beheading of Saint Valentine of Rome who allegedly wrote the jailer's daughter a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell before his execution on (yep, you guessed it!) the 14th of February, 270 AD.

The custom of sending Valentines greeting cards developed some-thousand years later in England (circa 1800) when a British publisher released The Young Man's Valentine Writer, essentially a collection of pre-written love messages for the hopeless romantics of the world who struggled in the writing department. Printers began producing a limited amount of cards with verses and phrases, which became known as "mechanical valentines", but eventually these cards picked up popularity, were made with real lace and ribbons, and were fastened in factories. Despite postage being quite expensive in that time, over 60,000 Valentines were mailed in the UK in 1835.

Today, V-Day has evolved into one of the year's most lucrative shopping seasons. But don't just take my word for it...the proof is in the...well, the chocolate hearts!

-Valentine's Day spending in the US amounted to over $20.7 billion in 2019.

-Men will spend more than twice as much than women, on average, for V-Day gifts ($231 vs $101). Ok seriously though, what kind of gifts are these people buying!? I'd really love to know...

-Roughly 34% of people expect their SO to spend at least $50 on a gift, according to WalletHub's 2021 Valentine's Day Survey.

-Online dating across the US increases approximately 33% between February 1st and February 14th.

This is insane! Reading these statistics makes me feel a little sad for society; the success of a relationship should not hinge on the value of a material item purchased on a day that most people probably don't even know the origin of! #amiright? So, I decided to focus my message this year on ways to *really* feel the love on Valentine's Day, whether you're celebrating the love you have for your partner, for your friends, for yourself...or all of the above!

  1. Open the blinds, take a walk, or climb a tree: regardless of the weather where you live, studies have shown that even 5 minutes of sunlight boosts Vitamin D production which will give you natural energy. It also balances cortisol (or stress levels) in your body. Research suggests that being outside also improves sleep, lowers heart rate, and stimulates the immune system.

  2. Practice a self-care activity: whether it's getting a massage, getting in some cardio, or putting on a face mask, studies have shown that self-care practices reduce anxiety, relax and revitalize the mind, and improve feelings of confidence and self-love.

  3. Put your phone down: screen time has been linked to depression and has been countlessly credited for feelings of disconnection or distance in relationships. Instead, play a game, go for a bike ride, or cook a tasty meal!

  4. Set a positive intention for someone else: there are a lot of people who struggle on Valentine's Day. Start your day by setting a positive intention for someone in your life who needs some high feeling frequencies coming their way. You may be surprised how much positivity comes back to you when you give it out freely!

  5. Take time to appreciate- and no, I'm not talking about appreciating gifts! Really take the time to appreciate the people you love in your life: your spouse, your friends, your family members, and of course, yourself. Love is a precious gift. Recognize the love in your life and verbalize it often (even if it the form of self-affirmations!)

  6. Enjoy what you love...whether it's a glass of wine, a slice of cake, or a heart-shaped pizza, enjoy what you love and don't feel guilty about it! Eat intuitively, but don't buy into the idea that you have to "earn" your meals. Life is about balance and ultimately, about enjoying your time here on earth. So pour a glass, bake that cake, and grab a cheesy slice.

  7. Enjoy a sweet release: whether you're with a partner or by yourself, studies have shown that having an orgasm does amazing things for the mind and the body...including better sleep, reduced stress, pain relief, stronger immune system, and even a longer life!

And since this is *technically* a wine blog, if you are looking for a love-themed wine to try, pick up a bottle of Longevity Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay! The owner and winemaker behind Longevity is Phil Long, who is the current President of the Association of African American Vintners. Not only is there a heart-warming love story behind the label (to get the whole story, visit my Instagram page @thecandidcork), but it also made Oprah's list of favorite Valentine's Day items this year! I'll cheers to that!

Thanks for joining me for my Valentine's, Galentine's, or Self-Care Sunday Special! Don't forget to click here to join my mailing list so you'll be the first to know about new blogs, recipes, and give-aways! Cheers, Corkers!

Until next time-

Jane Marie

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