It’s Valentine’s Day and you’re without a date. This can be difficult for anyone, especially those with mental health conditions. Our deepest fears are reinforced and we often choose to blame ourselves. This can lead to a downward spiral of self-deprecation and potentially dangerous and destructive behaviors.
See, Valentine’s Day is simply not meant for singles, unless, of course, you want to throw caution to the wind and play the rebel. And why not? There’s no reason to ruin an otherwise wonderful day. Too often, we find ourselves stuck in a pattern of self-loathing, wondering why we’re single, talking down to ourselves, and negatively affecting our self-image, our self-esteem, and our overall mental wellbeing. With that in mind, here are some ways that you can treat yourself and join in on the fun on your own terms. You may have more fun than you expected and give yourself a mood boost in the process. After all, taking care of your mental health is critical. A little self-care goes a long way.
Buy Yourself a Gift
Get yourself something nice — you deserve it, and it would certainly lift your spirits. Besides, it’s not too indulgent if you focus on your physical and emotional well-being with a S’well water bottle, a foam roller, a customized yoga mat, or a few sessions with a personal trainer. Along those lines, a Fitbit activity tracker could help you stick to those New Year’s resolutions. The important thing is to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day, regardless of what you choose to get.
Spend Time with Your Family
Show your love for your parents or siblings by paying a visit on Valentine’s Day. They’d appreciate it all the more if they have no big plans themselves for the holiday, and it would give you a chance to catch up on new events while doing something fun together. The laughter you share will quickly put the single’s blues to rest. Further, time with loved ones can stave off loneliness and serve as a reminder that you don’t need a romantic interest to feel loved and respected.
Hit the Town
Get out into the night for a few drinks and a whirl around the dancefloor, which is often best done with some of your other single friends in tow. Let a groovy beat pick you up and forget about the one that got away. You’ll probably have more fun than they are anyway.
If you’re a single parent, remember to hire a babysitter, and do it early before the qualified ones are all booked up for the holiday. Besides, it will put your mind at ease knowing the kids are safe at home. What’s more, you can relax and let the good times roll.
Try Something New
Toss tradition aside and add a little adventure to your life, which could mean skydiving, bungee-jumping, downhill skiing, or taking a hike. If you’d prefer something on the quiet side, that can be easily arranged. Sign up for a pottery class, begin meditating, or take the plunge and start learning a foreign language — the options are almost endless.
Go to the Spa
Heading to the spa might sound decadent, but it bears numerous health benefits along with simple pleasure. It’s an effective cure for stress as you relax your worries away, and there’s nothing better than a massage to rub aches and pains out of your muscles and joints. Perhaps best of all is the peace and quiet that allow you to reconnect with your inner self. Though it may seem indulgent, bear in mind that taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do for your mental (and physical) wellbeing.
Cook Dinner for One
Cook dinner for yourself and make whatever you want, though you may want to stay on the lighter side if you’ve got those New Year’s resolutions on your mind. Even if that’s the case, you don’t have to scrimp on flavor, as Bon Appétit has dozens of recipes that would tickle your taste buds without adding unwanted pounds to your waistline.
Forget about bawling your eyes out with tear-jerking romances that remind you of how alone you are. Hollywood has much more to offer than that, including comedies and dramas that focus on friendships and pursuing dreams amid the absurdities of modern life, and you’ll find a selection of those from Bustle. Of course, don’t forget the popcorn.
Spoil Your Pet
Maybe you’ve found the love of your life, but they have four legs and shed on the couch. Let that little ball of fur cuddle on your lap as you laugh your way through some of those movies. And to spoil them even more, offer them a few treats of their own to nibble on. They’ll appreciate your affection — and give you some in return.
Moral of the Story, Take Care of YOU
It’s hard enough taking time for yourself in our ever-busy lives. We toss aside our mental and physical well-being in favor of other “priorities”. But now you have the perfect opportunity to try some of these tips to improve your mental and physical health. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying these healthy and fun activities on your own or with friends any other day of the year. All you need is a weekend and a will to make the best of your situation, which isn’t all that bad — even if you’re single.