5 Mentally Healthy Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day if You’re Single

Single, happy and thriving? Going through a break-up? Trying to find the right person? In dating limbo and not sure where you stand with someone? Ditch the pressure to couple up on February 14th and try doing one of these activities instead.

Start a new journal, book or podcast

Holidays, especially one focused on romantic love, can be hard if you aren’t mentally or emotionally in a great space in that arena. Many of us feel inclined to numb difficult or uncomfortable emotions that may arise with behaviors such as drinking, smoking, over-eating, shopping, binge-watching TV, etc. And that’s okay! We all need to numb ourselves with a distraction from time to time. But if you find that you’re leaning too far on the extreme end of that, a healthy replacement option might be in store.

Investing in a new book or podcast that allows you to dig deeper into the root cause of those uncomfortable feelings you’re having can be both grounding and productive. Whether it’s a book/podcast that’s focused on self-esteem, dating or other parts of your life, like work/career, finding a healthy way to productively focus your energy is a great way to show yourself some love.

  • Self-esteem: You Are a Badass, Single on Purpose, Unlocking Us (pod)
  • Finances: Total Money Makeover, You Are a Badass at Making Money
  • Dating: Attached, The 5 Love Languages, Modern Love (pod)
  • Break-up: Didn’t See That Coming, Rising Strong, Breakup Boost (pod)
  • Work/Career: What Color is Your Parachute
  • Mental Health: How to Do the Work, Self-Healers Soundboard (pod)
  • Family: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

Furthermore, having a space to reflect on all areas of your life – not just romantic relationships – and really assess/address where you’re at in each one can help you to feel more empowered and control. A lot of our clients like ‘The 5-Minute Journal’, but you can also use a blank notebook and create your own structure with the following questions:

  1. What are the important areas of my life? Examples include: career/work, finances, health, family, friends, romance, hobbies
  2. What’s going well in each one?
  3. What’s been challenging in each one?
  4. What is a small shift I can make in each one?

Cook (or order) yourself a delicious meal

Show yourself some love by nourishing yourself with a delicious meal and, if you’re up for the challenge, try making it yourself. It can be incredibly rewarding to do something you’ve never done, so whether it’s trying out a new recipe or throwing together random ingredients, this activity gives both your brain AND your tastebuds a treat.

If you’re sick of cooking or not particularly good at it, ordering & plating some takeout can be equally rewarding. Choose your favorite restaurant – or a new one – and treat yourself to a fancy dining experience in the comfort of your own home. Don’t forget about dessert!

The most important part of this particular activity is that you really take the time to fully enjoy the meal and the experience of eating it. That means putting away your devices, being present and embracing each bite. Try lighting some candles, putting on some music, dressing up, etc. and take the time to really connect with yourself to get the most out of this activity.

Get together with friends or family

Platonic love and familial love are just as important and worthy of celebrating as romantic love. Why not grab a friend or family member and start a new tradition of celebrating that love with them? Connection and intimacy are basic human desires and while it can feel vulnerable to be the first one to reach out for that, chances are the other person is desiring it too.

Whether it’s a friend/family member who’s also flying solo or one who is flexible & available, recommend spending the day or evening or even an hour or two together doing something that you both enjoy. Honoring the other important relationships in your life will make you feel less alone and more grateful & loved.

If you can’t get together in person, make it a point to reach out or connect through text/phone/video or send them a thoughtful gift if that resonates. Sometimes giving love can feel just as great as receiving it.

Write yourself a love letter

It may sound and feel cheesy, but we often refrain from showing ourselves the love we so willingly give to others. And if you struggle with confidence and self-esteem in particular or are feeling down on yourself for being single, this one is a must.

All of us have a self-critical part of ourselves in addition to a confident, loving part of ourselves – it’s just a matter of which one we are more or less connected to at a particular period of time. Writing a love letter to ourselves will help us get more connected to that confident, loving self. Additionally, it will give us a tool to use to reground ourselves in the future in moments where we’re lacking self-compassion.

Take out a blank piece of paper and start small with the compliments you’ve received from others or the things you can identify that you love & appreciate about yourself. Use prompts if you need to (Google: self-love prompts). Once you have a love note finished, keep it somewhere that you can easily access on a regular basis. Take it out and read it daily or during particularly hard times.

Take yourself out on a date

Many of us feel like we need to wait until we have a partner to do the things we want to do. And while we might perceive these experiences to be more enjoyable with another person, it can be incredibly empowering and healthy to do them on your own without the conditions of having another person with you.

Is there a restaurant, bar or activity you’ve been wanting to try? A movie/play you’ve been wanting to see? Go try/see it – even if you do not have someone to join you. The discomfort of this will wear off within the first 10-15 minutes of arriving once you begin to feel the confidence and growth of stepping outside of your comfort zone arise. Furthermore, you never know what platonic or romantic connections you might make while you’re out doing your own thing, which could be an added bonus on top of an already rewarding experience.

Whether it’s taking yourself out to dinner, for coffee, for a drink, to see a movie, to a painting or cooking class, to a concert, etc. choose something that you genuinely WANT to do and gift yourself the treat of doing it. Without conditions.

Even though Valentine’s Day highly emphasizes couples and romantic love, don’t forget about all of the other important love in your life. Platonic love. Familial love. Self love. Love for work. Love for hobbies. Love for nature. Love for animals. All love is important – not just romantic love.

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