Whether in a relationship or not, you are likely to hear people moan about this ridiculous festival. On this one day, you are forced to show love to your other half, and pay 3 times the normal rate to do so. The deeper and more problematic message is that it tells us we need other people to show us love. So what does this mean for the singletons? That we are just to sit and wait for love? One of the most important things that you can do as a single person is to show yourself love. This might sound self-indulgent, but if you are unable to accept love and compassion for yourself, it will be even harder to accept it from someone else. If we cannot accept these positive feelings towards ourselves it also makes you more vulnerable to accepting poor treatment from others.
So on this Valentine’s Day, why not try to show yourself some love! Here are some tips how:
- Start the day off by doing something different and nice: Can you get up earlier and go to a sport class, sit with a nice coffee and a magazine, meditate or go for a nice winter walk. Some of these things need only take 10 minutes but will send a powerful message of self-care for the rest of the day.
- Buy yourself a nice treat: What would be a small token of affection for yourself? Would it be flowers? a nice lipstick? craft beer? It may also be a commitment to buy yourself something nice which you need to save up for. Often, we can rely on others to get us that nice peice of jewelery or that TV. You do not deserve something only if you are in a relationship . You do not need the permission of anyone else to get yourself something valuable. So start thinking now!
- Think of a person in your life who make you feel good about yourself: Analyse what it is they do or say that makes you feel good. Think about how they treat you. What can you learn about the relationships you want from this positive relationship. If you are lucky to have more than one person in your life like that, than even better!
- Take time to enjoy your meal: Too often we grab the first thing at hand and swallow it, while barely giving ourselves the time to really taste and enjoy the food. How about trying mindful eating? Pick something you would like to eat and really take the time to savour the food. Eat as though it is the last time you will ever eat that food and want to remember the taste for the rest of your life.
- Go for a walk (or exercise): Sorry to go on about exercse but it does release endorphines which will make you feel good, and it is such an important way of caring for yourself. Walking is particularly good as it has been shown to be one of the best and easiest things to improve mood.
- Plan a nice evening for yourself: Whether you decide to go out or stay in, take time to plan a nice evening for yourself. You could watch a nice film, play some sport or try to attend a Meetup of intrest.
- Stay away from social media: Why not try and stay away from all social media today. It has been shown to make people feel worse as is a tool for showing off and comparing yourself to others. So rather than focus on what others are doing, focus on yourself.
- Make a photo album: People often have tonnes of digital photos which they just forget about. We have lost the art of creating beautiful albums to commemorate lovely and special moments in our lives. Why do we only think that weddings deserve an album? So why not look back at some of the lovely moments of last year and make an album. Even if you had a rotten year, I can guarantee that you will have taken some snaps of times you laughed or felt connected to someone.
- Start a gratitude journal: It has been shown that people who keep a gratitude journal experince an increase in well-being. At first this can seem a little cringeworthy but the research shows it works. Here is a good talk about it.
- Plan a nice bed time: People often rush going to bed and complain that they do not get enough sleep. So make a point of turning of TVs and screens an hour before your bed time and instead slowly get ready for bed. Perhaps you can have a bath or read a book instead. You could even start that gratitude journal!
Dr Isabelle Hung is a co-founder of divorceclub.com and clinical psychologist. Having got through her own divorce just three years ago, she is now remarried and happy to report that divorce really is an opportunity for growth and positive change.