It’s that time of year again. The red heart boxes are littering the grocery store aisles, roses, and glitter-filled cards are everywhere you look, and you forget to try to eat at a restaurant this weekend (even takeout). It’s enough to make your heart sink, not sing. Everyone else is so in love. Or at least that’s how it can feel. Rest assured, you’re not alone if you feel like you can’t wait for this day to pass.
Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Many believe the holiday originated with the Roman ritual of Lupercalia, where spring was welcomed in the same tradition as in Victorian England. Over the years, it’s brought Christian and Roman traditions together and got its name from Saint Valentine. We celebrated our true loves in the United States for centuries on February 14. It’s a chance to share your love with those closest to you.
Changing the tune
Chocolates, flowers, and other gifts have made an industry behind the holiday. Of course, expectations can be very unrealistic with all of those traditions. Often those in a committed relationship aren’t immune to the stress and anticipation of a celebration that can always fray from expectations.
Sometimes it’s a song, a place, or even a simple picture or image that can remind us of a person who’s no longer here or a time we were in a committed relationship. And when it happens, remember this is something everyone goes through at one point. Even those dating, married, or committed to others often can’t be with their special someone on Valentine’s Day. So, why not make this day about you?
Celebrate Yourself on Valentine’s Day
Whether you’re in a relationship or not, take the opportunity to practice a little self-love on Valentine’s Day and start a new tradition. Spend the day celebrating yourself and all of the things you love. And if you’re with a partner, that includes them too! Reframing how we celebrate this day is a great place to start. Here are a few things to give a try:
- Take a break from social media. Yes, some of what people post is real, but some of it is manufactured, and it’s human nature to begin comparing ourselves to others’ seemingly perfect lives. Pause the scrolling and focus on yourself.
- Cultivate your own social support network. Use this day to reach out to good friends and family or reconnect with those you’ve lost touch with.
- Spend time with family and friends or the people you enjoy most. Ask yourself who makes you feel good around them and spend your energy and time with them.
- Make a point to do a few things just for yourself. Whatever you love to do, that’s what you can do on Valentine’s Day. A hot bath, your favorite meal, retail therapy, or even just taking a much-needed break from the weekly routine–whatever you enjoy most is what you should spend your time on. After all, it’s your day.
- Buy yourself a gift or treat. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. Caring for yourself is also about rewarding yourself for being who you are. Keep it simple and do something for yourself to celebrate.
- Find a cause or a charity and volunteer. Being around others and focused on something bigger than ourselves is a terrific way to maximize your free time. Making a difference for others in need goes a long way to giving the day new purpose and importance.
- Go for a long walk or exercise. We all know exercise releases feel-good endorphins and improves our mood. Here’s your reminder. Get a bit of exercise or even go outside. Being in nature can have a calming and uplifting effect.
Between work, school, family, and various other responsibilities, we can all struggle to prioritize ourselves, find time, or make the most of alone time. This Valentine’s Day, think about and do what makes you happy.