On Saturday, the Instagram pictures will go up and the tweets will be posted and we’ll all know just how much our friends love their significant others. If you’re a single girl like me, Valentine’s Day might come with a dash of bitterness and a hint of self-loathing, all made worse by the World Wide Web. Once the first “I love him so much” caption is posted under a picture of red roses, we all seem to exchange our confidence for a list of our own inadequacies. I’ve spent many Valentine’s Days feeling the same as I’m sure many of you are feeling as this one quickly approaches. Over the years I’ve learned that focusing on the things I love about myself is a much better use of my time and energy than focusing on the one thing I don’t have. As a single girl you should spend Valentine’s Day focusing on yourself and appreciating the people in your life who love you. Here are five ways to spend the big day feeling good about yourself instead of crying into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Instead of spending your day scrolling through your Instagram feed, spend it celebrating the things you love in your life. Do you love reading but haven’t been able to sit down with a book in a while? Dust off the book that’s been collecting dust on your desk, find a sunny spot, and spend a few hours reading. Are you an avid knitter? Spend your day knitting yourself a cap, or mittens, or whatever you want. Focusing your time and energy on something you love will only make your day better. Connecting with something you love is a great way to reconnect with yourself.
Go buy yourself your favorite flowers or splurge on that cute top you’ve been eyeing in Anthropology. It doesn’t have to empty your bank account; it can be as simple as splurging on a delicious mocha at a local coffee shop. No one knows you better than you do, so go ahead and treat yourself to something that makes you smile. A little piece of advice, make sure you’re treating yourself to something you know will make you happy and not something that leaves you feeling guilty. We all know that pint of Ben & Jerry’s tastes good in the moment, but if you know it will be followed by a two-hour-long sob session during which you cry/sing “Since You’ve Been Gone,” you might want to put down the ice cream and walk away. Save the Phish Food for another day.
Have you always wanted to try a pottery class or take up kickboxing? Today is the day to try out something new. There is no one holding you back from doing something you’ve never done before. Maybe there’s a new coffee shop in town you’ve been dying to try or a hiking trail you want to take an adventure on. Do it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Maybe you’ll find a new passion or something new to love about yourself.
Nothing brightens my day faster than being able to make someone else smile or laugh. I urge you to try it out. Tell someone a stupid joke, bring a friend her favorite flowers, or give your family a call. Try it yourself and see how it makes you feel; you may even start to incorporate this mindfulness into your everyday life.
Spending Valentine’s Day happy means focusing on the things in your life that you love, not cyber stalking your ex. Put down your phone and log out of Facebook for the day, because nothing good will come from scrolling through selfies of your friends kissing their significant others. Grab some of your single comrades and do something fun: take a picnic, go for a hike, or grab some drinks. Facebook will be there tomorrow, just focus on you for the day.
Try out any or all of these tips for a happy, single Valentine’s Day and let me know how your day goes. Don’t wallow in your single status; embrace it. If you’re spending your day with friends, make sure they are positive people who make you feel good about yourself, and do the same for them.