Madison (Mads) Hanna is a brand storyteller and copywriter. She actively seeks to tell stories that inspire connection, empathy, and new ideas. She’s a lifelong traveler and learner currently cozied up outside of Denver, CO, USA. Mads has teamed up with Love Is Project for the past two years to bring the Greatest Love Story Ever Told AND the Spread the LOVE Card Deck to life through copy. She floats in and out of our universe to help with blogging, product marketing, and creative campaigns.
Take it away, Mads...
This year Valentine’s Day is going to look a bit different...no special restaurant reservations with your new boo, no Galentine’s gathering at the park, and no surprise weekend getaway to celebrate with the person you LOVE.
Welcome to our first (official) Quarantine’s Day—Valentine’s Day during quarantine.
It’s a shame we can’t celebrate in the traditional ways, but it’s also a unique opportunity to celebrate in new ways, perhaps more meaningful ways. Right now I’m asking myself, how can I LOVE this season in a way that fulfills me while keeping me and my loved ones safe?
And today? Well, I’m starting on the homefront, with myself, by examining the word “self-love.”
When we talk about self-love—what it means to truly LOVE ourselves—it’s a pretty personal and subjective topic. Every individual feels LOVE differently. Maybe it’s turning off your phone for a bit so you can rendezvous with a good book and a bubble bath. Or perhaps you splurge on an online sale because heck, you deserve it.
Those things are great (and things I do for myself on the reg...when I can afford it), but I’m looking to dive deeper this Quarantine’s Day.
Being the word junky that I am, I went the Oxford Dictionary and checked out this definition:
One’s own well-being and happiness…. how do I define that in my own life. Well, let me take a step back.
I moved to Colorado two years ago because I met someone. Little did I know, this person would help me redefine what it means to achieve a state of well-being and happiness. He LOVES to be outside and I LOVE to be outside. You could say nature witnessed our initial sparks and shared vulnerability before we did. The past two years have been a beautiful blur of high elevation gains, bruises, endorphin highs, learning (and being frustrated by) new sports, and all-around vista views.
When you log an outdoor adventure, it’s easy to emerge with only the rose-colored memories...but real talk: jam-packed in between those summit-beer-cheers, downhill roller coasters, hidden natural gem discoveries, and backcountry serenity...are scary moments, difficult decisions, self-doubt, and sometimes, random varying degrees of injury.
To achieve a sense of well-being, and experience a level of satisfaction with our existence —we aim to be comfortable, happy, and healthy. It’s the easy stuff that comes to mind first. But when I get real with myself, well-being is more than just the easy stuff. It’s the hard stuff too.
So, this Quarantine’s Day, as I explore what it means to practice self-love, I’m going to take a hard look at the things in my life that fulfill me...the things that activate an immediate endorphin release and the occasional bruise from an unexpected fall.
I’m a brand strategist and copywriter. This is a somewhat “new” career shift for me in the past few years. Every day I’m having conversations with clients about expectations, feedback, and goals. My line of work is pretty subjective, after all writing is a creative, hard-to-measure skill set. Some days, I nail the exact right combination of words to make the biggest copy impact. Other days, I totally miss the mark and have to rip the page out and start again. Every piece of feedback and difficult review I’ve had, has helped me to become a better copywriter. It’s helped me tell better stories and foster deeper connections with the readers.
Relationships are hard. Relationships can be even harder when your life partner is literally folded into all aspects of your life (quarantine, amiright?)—they’re your co-worker, sous chef, adventure partner, chores partner and tv-watching mate. It’s a lot of time alone with one person. I’ve had some boiling point firework moments go off in my relationship since COVID began, but I’ve also had wildy meaningful, deep, aha-packed moments that have made me a better communicator and person.
One thing that has been amplified during COVID is my ability to explore new outdoor spaces void of crowds. This means I’ve had to break outside of my comfort zone most weekends by venturing into new territories, trusting my body, the learning process, and sharpening my knowledge through education and research. Some days feel like a big ol’ slap in the face (nature wins again!) and other days I’m coasting on cloud9. Every moment, good or bad, easy or hard, leads to more learning and a sense of fulfillment...and talk about the privilege of living in such a beautiful outdoor state. Lots to be grateful for.
This is the day I attempted my first steep mountain bike rock roll . Fell over my bike in slow motion, and earned a big chunky hand-sized purple bruise! I learned about weight distribution and that momentum can actually be your friend.
I recently got AIARE 1 certified so I could learn to navigate avalanche terrain safely. On this day, my instincts led me straight into a (shallow, and half frozen) creek at the bottom. Every turn leading up to that moment felt like a STRUGGLE. Tough day, lots of growth, and of course, cold feet.
On this day, I decided “What the h*ll, let’s do a black run covered in moguls (my LEAST favorite resort terrain). I took it slow and didn’t fall once. Talk about a mini confidence boost! I learned I can trust my body more than I thought. So much of outdoor sports is about the mindset.
This Valentine’s Day, focus on what self-love means to you.
Self-reflection and self-love help us design and build a life worth living. It’s an incredible gift to have the space and time to get to know ourselves a bit better. So in this unconventional year, let’s embrace Quarantine’s Day and LOVE ourselves better than we ever have.
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