My daughter came home the other day. Someone had asked her what she had planned for “Single’s Awareness Day.” I laughed at the time, but later it gave me pause for thought. Does Valentine’s Day always have to be a painful reminder to singles that they are without someone to pine for?
Valentine’s Day can be so much more than the commercial spectacle it has become. In spite of what sugar pushers tell you, Valentine’s is not just for lovers. My parents use to give my brothers and me little homemade gifts and handwritten notes every year, even into my adulthood. My mom wanted it to be clear that Valentine’s day is about taking a moment to be grateful for the love in your life, no matter who it comes from. If you find yourself “uncoupled” and bumming today, here a few things to help you celebrate the love in your life.
Spend Time With the Ones You Love
Whether it’s my daughter, my parents or friends, I take time to tell them how much I appreciate them. We will meet lunch or dinner together. It is an opportunity for me to reflect on what it means to have them in my life. Just because it’s not romantic, doesn’t mean getting together on Valentine’s can’t be meaningful.
Do Something Thoughtful for Someone Else
There are plenty of people in your life who could use a kind gesture. Shovel a friend’s sidewalk, write a handwritten note or offer to babysit so a young couple can go out. Why not bake an elderly neighbor some cookies or drop off some groceries at a struggling single parent’s house. You can even put together a care package for a soldier. Gestures of love and kindness are welcomed beyond the Christmas season.
Share an experience with someone. Take your kid brother to a concert. Take your favorite Aunt and Uncle to a museum. Why don’t you and another friend play hooky and hit a double feature? Maybe invite all of your single friends over and cook a meal together. No one likes sitting home in a funk, feeling sorry for themselves. Sharing an experience is a thoughtful way of strengthing relationships in a memorable way.
Do Something Low-Stress
Take a trip to the bookstore and find a quiet chair in the back. Grab a cup of coffee at your favorite shop. Have an at-home spa night with your girlfriends and pamper yourselves. Have everyone bring chocolates or wine. Treat yourselves to some much-needed low stress, self-care. Guys, gather up your mates and have a winter BBQ or a chili contest. Do something fun and let your hair down.
If you are socially conscious why not spend the day volunteering. Serve a meal at the local food kitchen. Volunteer to pick up trash at your favorite park or visit a senior center (armed with Valentine’s cards and candies). Maybe tutor a student or help at the local food co-op. Sometimes we get stuck in our own heads. Happiness can happen when we are present. Volunteering can help us live in the moment and focus on something else other than ourselves and our problems.
If you’re single, Valentine’s Day is not the day to indulge in self-sabotage or practice negative self-talk. You aren’t a loser or pathetic! Be kind and self-compassionate. Don’t be impatient with yourself…or others. Whether you enjoy being single or looking for love, don’t let one day define your value. Valentine’s Day is for everyone, and everyone is worthy of love…including you!
Who’s going out for half-price candy tomorrow?