Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Every store is littered with cards, candy, red hearts, stuffed animals and roses. Some people despise a day where they feel pressured to show people how much they care, dubbing it a “Hallmark Holiday.” Others (like myself) adore it. Seriously, I think it’s my favorite holiday.
Valentine’s Day can often be disheartening (no pun intended) for my fellow singletons out there. Here are some suggestions to brighten your day when you’re not feeling the affection of Cupid’s arrow.
Celebrate all your relationships
It’s been years since I’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day with a significant other, but that doesn’t stop me from showering my people with love. Many of my closest friends and family receive small gift from me around Valentine’s Day. Love is love. You don’t need to be in a relationship to revel in it. Toss it around like confetti.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to show people you care. Have a craft night and cut hearts out of construction paper and write something you admire about someone on it. Then mail it to that person. (Everyone loves snail mail.) Or revert back to your grade school days and buy a box of Valentines and leave them on co-workers desks. Or bake some goodies. Brownies, cookies – whatever you fancy! Decorate with some red and pink sprinkles and viola! Instant daymaker for the people you love.
Reconnect with loved ones
Perhaps you don’t have time to make valentines and the idea of baking is far too overwhelming. Try connecting with another single friend and grabbing coffee or lunch. Schedules get busy, but reaching out to someone you haven’t been able to spend time with lately will mean a lot to them too.
Take time to express gratitude for the loving relationships in your life. It’s helpful to remember all the wonderful things we have in our lives instead of focusing on what’s missing.
If none of those ideas is appealing and you’re set playing the part of sad panda on this day, that’s ok too. It’s important for us to acknowledge and respect the feelings we have. Take time and remind yourself what you love about you. Try these tips to pamper yourself and be your own valentine.
Go to the spa, get a massage, pedicure, or haircut. Show yourself that you are worth it and give yourself an opportunity to relax.
Take a class
Try something you’ve never done – a new yoga class or maybe kickboxing. Check out any paint and sip-style classes in your area. (Or if you need to let out some creative aggression, may I suggest mosaic? It’s incredibly fun.)
Get lost in a book
Go to the library or local bookstore and wander around a bit. If you’re not feeling inspired, ask a staff member to recommend something that is matching your mood.
Buy a present for yourself
What would you do for someone you love? Plan a date night? Buy flowers? Order in Chinese food? Treat yourself the way you would treat someone you love. After all, you’re worth your own love first and foremost.
Wherever you fall on the Valentine’s Day spectrum, remember it’s just a day. If you’re feeling a little blue amongst the pink and red, test out some of the above suggestions. And above all, remember no one deserves your love more than you!
Shannon Gwash is the Director of Wellness Services for Jefferson Center for Mental Health and is also a Certified Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach. She earned her MS from the University of Denver in Strategic Health Communications/Behavior Change. She has nearly 10 years of experience in the communication world and nearly three in parenting … which clearly makes her an expert there. To stay sane, she runs around Sloan’s Lake, hikes with her daughter, enjoys outdoor concerts and reads nerdy books.
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