7 Ways to Love Valentine’s Day – I have a friend whose favorite day of the year is Valentine’s Day. She’s not in some grand, romantic relationship (she’s actually usually single), but she looks forward to celebrating every year. Why? Rather than putting a damper on the day by lamenting the fact that she’s not dating the love of her life, she intentionally makes it special. She books a massage week in advance and makes plans to take herself out to lunch, where she sits with a great book and a bottle of French wine.
If you’re a person who has found yourself rolling your eyes at the “silly Hallmark holiday” or frantically swiping through a dating app in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to flip your perspective this year. Here are seven things to try, whether you’re single, dating, married, divorced, or anywhere in between.
Schedule something you’ve been wanting to do. We all have lists of movies we’ve been meaning to see, restaurants that have been recommended to us, and road trips we’re excited to take. Why not book one of those for Valentine’s Day and give yourself something to look forward to rather than dread?
Luxuriate in being alone. Being alone is kind of awesome. You can do whatever you want without taking others’ preferences or dietary restrictions into consideration. You don’t have to make conversation with someone who you might not know that well. Even if you do have a significant other or family, take some time just for you on Valentine’s Day and relish the time spent enjoying your own company.
Remind yourself why you love your town or city. Why have you chosen to live where you do? Instead of focusing on romantic love for Valentine’s Day, pay homage to the love you have for your town or city. Go for a long walk through your neighborhood without looking at your phone the whole time, visit a museum (and leave a donation!), or volunteer for a local charity.
Send someone a card. Remember when we used to send valentines to our classmates in grade school? How cute was that?! Try out the adult version by sending someone a Valentine’s Day card and let them know you’re thinking of them. I guarantee it’ll make their day.
Make a list of the things you love. There’s a reason there are special gratitude journals and that many spiritual practices include a healthy dose of giving thanks: positive psychology research has shown that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Take ten minutes, write down a list of things you are grateful for and love, and wait for the dopamine and serotonin rush.
Deck yourself out in pink or red. When I used to climb mountains, I had these pink goggles that always made it feel like I was living in a cotton candy dream world. You can apply the same principle to getting dressed on Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t it make you feel happier to look down and see bright colors rather than dreary gray or boring black? Just as importantly, what if you could make others smile by outwardly projecting a more cheerful persona?
Help others see the beauty in the day. The next time you hear someone throwing shade at Valentine’s Day, help them think about it in a different way. Talk about the non-romantic plans you’re excited to have made. Ask them what possibilities exist for them to do the same thing and help them get inspired to think outside the box.
We have the ability to make any day exciting (or terrible, annoying, or frustrating) if that’s what we decide it’s going to be. Sure, external things happen from time to time, but how we choose to look at those has a big impact as well. When we start realizing how much power we have to define our outlook, we stop being held captive to the calendar.
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