We’ve managed to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves on Valentine’s Day, should there not be a candlelit dinner for two on the horizon. But between the copious stores decked out in pink and white to restaurants advertising special prix fixe menus, we’re reminded of February 14 whether we celebrate it or not.
The best thing you can do if you’re single on Valentine’s Day is to put yourself first and remember that love is about more than flowers and chocolate.
Love takes many forms
Love isn’t reserved for committed relationships alone. Consider your friends and family (even pets!) who have been there for you through thick and thin, and you’ll feel anything but alone on Valentine’s Day. Take it a step further by giving the people on your list a call or organize a get-together that focuses on the value of your relationship — not the fact that you’re single.
Solo or with loved ones, participate in an activity such as class at the gym, cooking, planning a spa day, or simply vegging out in front of the television for a movie fest — preferably not tear-jerkers or romance movies.
Create a serene home
One of the key elements to being happy alone is taking care of your home. Remove the clutter and create a stress-free space that brings you comfort. Add some simple tweaks like new plants to add some greenery and serenity, aromatherapy-based candles to elevate — or calm — your mood, and photographs or artwork that make you feel happy. Try experimenting with different forms of soft and/or natural light versus bright bulbs or fluorescent lighting.
Though it’s a slightly larger project, consider painting your walls (or at least one room) in a color that creates an aura of peace.
Address your mental health
Statistics show that suicide hot lines light up on Valentine’s Day, with relationship troubles being the number one reason for the calls. Every day — not just February 14 — it’s important to take care of your mental health. If it’s more than just occasional blues, seek the help of a professional.
Instead of masking the problem with drugs, opt for treating it with TMS Therapy, a process (similar to an MRI) that relies on short pulses of a magnetic field to stimulate the nerve cells in the brain responsible for controlling one’s mood.
Do something philanthropic
Perhaps one of the best ways to stop feeling sorry for yourself is by giving back, whether that means volunteering, donating to a charity, or providing an in-kind service or good. Research revealed that participating in philanthropic activities can have mood-boosting effects on the brain.
Consider the numbers
The National Retail Federation reports that consumers will spend an average of $19 billion on Valentine’s gifts — roughly $142 per person. Purchasing pricey gifts detracts from the real importance of the relationship, so not only are you saving money by celebrating single, but you should also feel some relief knowing the pressure is off. In case that’s not enough to convince you, studies show that peak times for breakups are Valentine’s Day and right after.
No matter what you decide to do on Valentine’s Day, remember that accepting yourself for you you are in your life will bring balance, peace and happiness that will last longer than a Chateaubriand for two. This is a good daily reminder even if you’re attached. Sure, you deserve to be loved by others, but in order for relationships to be truly successful, you have to love yourself, too.