Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that gets a really bad reputation. People love to hate it, and not just those without a Valentine. Even for the coupled up, it can be a stressful time. There are many expectations set as to what makes you a good significant other, and these often have nothing to do with how much you actually love your partner. Many bemoan its Capitalist underpinnings, and feel it’s another “Hallmark holiday” created to push products at a time of the year when there aren’t many reasons to shop.
Whatever your reason to dislike Valentine’s Day, one thing is undeniable: you can’t avoid it, especially in our social media saturated world. And it remains one of the most popular holidays, especially in the U.S.
But it doesn’t have to be a holiday that requires splurging on a bouquet and fancy dinner. It also doesn’t have to be synonymous with feeling badly for yourself if you’re single. Because it can be a triggering time for those struggling with mental health, we propose that it’s time you take back Valentine’s Day for yourself. Whether single or coupled up, it’s a perfect opportunity to explore the idea of romancing yourself. Yes, the holiday comes with certain pressure, but there also aren’t really any rules.
Read on for our guide to self-love this Valentine’s Day.
Put your phone away and cuddle up with a blanket
Put your phone away and spend time with yourself... away from social media. If you’re feeling bummed by Valentine’s Day, there’s a good chance it’s because you’re comparing yourself to others who flash the holiday on social media. Reminder: you never HAVE to look at social media, unless it’s your job. Remember that social media is a highlight reel, rarely depicting reality. Imagine how you would want to be treated on a date. You wouldn’t want your date refreshing Instagram, would you? Pretend you’re completely captivated by yourself. Grab a blanket, a book, and some tea (or hot chocolate) and just get cozy with yourself, no outside noise allowed.
Treat yourself to some chocolate
There’s no rule that says you can’t buy yourself chocolate. Plus, eating chocolate can have other benefits on your mental health, as dark chocolate has been found to raise serotonin levels, which can lead to a mid mood in your mood. Plus, you can buy yourself the exact type of chocolate that you love, and avoid one of those nasty combo-packs with the mystery filling.
Make yourself a nice dinner
Whether you’re unphased by Valentine’s Day or it really bothers you, it never hurts to make a nice meal for yourself. Avoid the busy restaurants by preparing a dinner for yourself... and maybe even a non-romantic friend. This is an excellent opportunity to finally try that recipe you’ve been wanting to experiment with.
Remember: you’re not alone
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the idea that you’re the only person alone, when this isn’t the case at all. If you don’t want to spend Valentine’s Day alone, plan something with your single friends or co-workers. Defy the holiday by gathering a group together for karaoke, a potluck dinner, or even a craft night.
Do something special for a broken-hearted friend
Maybe you’re fine being single but a friend of yours is brokenhearted. Do something for this friend to make their day great too. Even if it’s a platonic relationship, you can still show said friend that you care. Did you know that giving back to others can actually make you happier, too? Try it and see how you feel.
Create something for yourself
Have you ever created something for yourself, by yourself? Use this holiday as an excuse to get self-centered. This can be as simple as creating a list of all your best qualities or the things others love you for. Take it a step further and write yourself a love letter. No, this is isn’t narcissism, it’s self-care! I buying and arranging.
In the end… remember that you can have romance in your life with or without a partner. Why should the privilege of romancing YOU be reserved for others? Don’t hold back. Treat yourself like you would your beloved, knowing that your self-love sends a strong message to others that you’re also ready to receive that level of love from the world.