This Valentine’s, I’m not going to wait for a man to validate me with a plastic rose or heart-shaped chocolate. This year, I’m doing it for myself. I’m going to show myself the love I’ve been waiting for rather than wait for some Player to spare me some. And I now begin to suspect I may die in that waiting room, honey! Here are some ideas I have for showing myself some love. Take a look:
- Take care of number one. I know that if I don’t at least like myself, nobody else is going to put in the work either. I’m going to invest in how I feel about myself and try and do things that build me up rather than break me down. I’m going to find articles, books and YouTube videos online that help me to do that. Maybe I’ll read The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs to get a better idea of how to feel better about myself as a gay man.
- I’ll take it easy. I’m not going to be my own slave this year. I’m going to allow myself to relax over weekends and chill out a bit. I know that I am actually more productive when I’m rested and calm. Maybe I’ll give that meditation thing another bash (if my legs will stop going to sleep when I sit cross-legged).
- I’m gonna get checked. I’m going to go to a Health4Men serviced clinic or Yellow Dot Doctor to get screened for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. I may also get a PSA test to check my prostate as well as my blood sugar and cholesterol. I know that being informed about my health is empowering.
- I’m going to come prepared. I’m hoping to have sex with another person eventually at some point this year; so, I want to make sure that I’m ready at all times if the opportunity presents itself. I’m going to find out about going on PrEP to make sure that I can stay HIV-negative if I test negative, and if I test positive I’ll immediately start taking my ARVs religiously so I can become undetectable and not be able to pass HIV on. I’m also going to make sure I have condoms and lube in my car, man bag, gym bag and jacket pockets – Just in case!
- Less is more. I know I can be tempted to overindulge sometimes in food, booze and other substances that make me feel crappy later on. I’m going to tone it down a lot and save these things for special occasions, and not every weekend like I have been doing.
If you’d like to know more about some of the things you can do to improve your life and love yourself, check out www.wethebrave.co.za and if you’d like to find a clinic or doctor that caters to men who have sex with men, check out www.health4men.co.za or http://www.yellowdotdoctor.co.za/
Bruce J. Little is the Content Creator for Anova Health Institute.