Valentine’s Day can be a lovely experience, whether or not you are in a relationship, and if so, whether or not it’s perfect. Here are some tips to help you enjoy Valentines Day:
- Be good to yourself, and appreciate all that you have to give.
Yes, it’s great to be in love, to be loved by that special someone who always knows exactly what you need and gives it unstintingly to you at the exactly optimum moment, and who always gives you the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. But that may not be your situation. And even if it is . . . the first person we all need to love well and fully is ourselves. So make Valentine’s day a day of loving yourself. In the right way, of course. I’m not talking about narcissistic self-obsession. I’m talking about mature, kind, self-awareness and acceptance about what makes you…you. There are two essential elements to this. First, turn off the self-critical voices — this is essential. Then you can turn to the second element of this, which is to appreciate what makes you special, unique and loveable. The more you understand what makes you special, the more you can share this with people in your life. The more you give and love, the more love comes back to you.
- Be grateful for the people in your life that you love, and let them know how you feel about them.
You might not know it to see all the hype about this holiday, but there’s more to love than just romantic love. There’s also friendly love, family love, neighborly love, pet love, colleague love, job love, neighborhood love, love of children and grandchildren, love of life and many more. Love makes your life richer. Let Valentine’s Day be a reason to reach out to everyone you love and let them know how much you care. I know someone who uses Valentine’s Day to write a handwritten note to each of her closest friends, expressing what she appreciates about them. I know someone else who always takes a small subset of her women friends out for dinner that night. I don’t mention these examples to make you feel guilty about one more thing you don’t do, but rather to illustrate a whole other approach to the holiday.
- Don’t let the media, advertising, and the retail industries impact your feelings of well-being and self-worth. Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards. TV ads. Radio ads. Boxes of chocolates. Romantic music and images of stargazing couples exchanging gifts. Ads for diamonds. These are some of the ways Valentine’s Day is interpreted in our culture. It’s become a holiday for everyone who makes money from our need to feel connected, romantic, or loved. Don’t be hijacked by all the hype. You can define how you choose to observe the holiday. Or whether to observe it at all.
One way or another, make it a great day for yourself.
And if you like chocolate? Have some!