The festive season is behind us, but the new year’s calendar is still littered with ‘momentous’ dates to mark. Celebrations like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day can come burdened with stress and worry – it can be all too easy to become overwhelmed with what you ‘should’ be doing, rather than really asking yourself how you would like to spend these dates.
It’s time to dial down the expectation and settle into a freer, lower key rhythm, where the beauty lies in simply being with whoever lights up your life. Here are some thoughts from people we love on how to mark these dates mindfully – and some reasons why making time for yourself and the people you care about is more important than any commercialised calendar date.
Emma & Will on shepherd’s hut sheltering for Valentine’s Day
“Our love of shepherd’s huts started during lockdown – with overseas trips firmly off the menu, we become more curious about staycations. It was honestly eye-opening – places we never would have considered pre-2020 were some of the most spectacular destinations we’d ever visited. And for me, a shepherd’s hut is a way to really get out into the wild and experience somewhere off the beaten track, but keep all your creature comforts.
“This February we have our eye on North Wales – it’s a short drive away from our home in Manchester, and you can find plenty of secluded, peaceful places to hide away. We love to escape at this time of year – the January blues are banished, spring is tantalisingly near – and even if we don’t officially celebrate, it’s a lowkey, low-pressure way to mark Valentine’s Day as an occasion (or just escape from the noise).”
Katie on a natural, simple Mother’s Day
“What does Mother’s Day often look like? Flowers, lunch, cards, a quick hello – me and my mum prefer to throw cliché to the wind and actually spend quality time together instead. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – in fact, the simpler, the better.
“Instead of a spa day, for example, at this time of year we like to visit somewhere like the Sawna Bach near Rhosneigr on Anglesey. It means we take an hour out of our day to really recharge and be present with each other, nothing but breathtaking natural views in all directions to distract – even better in winter, as if you visit later in the afternoon you’re enveloped by Anglesey’s dark starry skies.”
Laura on how to make Galentine’s glorious
“As someone who has been single for a while, I can safely say that Valentine’s Day is not a calendar date I count down to! However, it’s definitely an excuse to get away for a long weekend as a group. We dedicate whole days to our partners and parents – so why not our friends too?
“My favourite way to spend a few days at this time of year is to gather my closest loved ones and find a beautiful big place where we can really batten down the hatches. Ideally with a steaming hot tub that we can all kick off muddy boots and clamber into after a fresh tramp through the forest!”
Max on marking a wonderful, wild, truly Welsh celebration
“After the chaos and obligation-filled festive period, the last thing me and my partner want to do is to start piling the pressure on to Valentine’s Day. We like to mark St Dwynwen’s Day instead by taking shelter with a little break just for the two of us, towards the end of January.
“Last year, we stayed in Beachcomber’s by Borthwen Beach – packed up with a pile of logs for the fire and plenty of wine. It’s a seashore shack perched right on the edge of the shore, so you get a really unique perspective with ocean views from nearly every window. A getaway in deep midwinter is a heavenly way to take pause for a few days, rest and disconnect.”
Ready for a celebration a little less ordinary? Find your escape.