Writer: Alysse Dalessandro | Growing up, I loved Valentine’s Day until my classmates stopped being obligated to bring Valentine’s Day cards for everyone in the class. My middle school Valentine’s Days were particularly painful. I didn’t feel like anyone’s first, second or third choice. I mostly felt pretty invisible and un-loveable every day during Middle School so a day that’s designed to celebrate love can make those feelings extra amplified.
My feelings on Valentine’s Day changed when my sister and I created our own celebration for the day. We wrote each other Valentine’s Day cards from our favorite TV characters. I learned not to hate Valentine’s Day because I started getting Valentines from Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer that said things like “I bloody love you.” It sounds silly to me now but I totally get why those Valentines worked. It helped me to realize that Valentine’s Day isn’t about getting flowers or chocolates from a romantic partner; in fact, you really don’t need anyone else to make your Valentine’s Day special.
I see Valentine’s Day as one more day for self care – something I’m learning to incorporate more into my life. I no longer see Valentine’s Day as a time to dwell on what I don’t have; instead, I celebrate my friends, my family, and myself! Here are five of my ideas for celebrating yourself on Valentine’s Day and all year round!
- Treat Yourself!
Have you ever wished someone else would buy you flowers for Valentine’s Day? I know I used to literally shed tears over not getting flowers from a romantic partner on Valentine’s Day. But now, if I want something, I just treat myself instead because I don’t need a romantic partner to know that I deserve flowers once and awhile. Okay and a few pairs of new shoes while I’m at it, too.
- Treat Someone Else!
I can’t remember for how many years my sister and I continued to exchange Valentine’s but it definitely lasted for a while. Now I celebrate the day with my best friend. We usually go in on a box of champagne infused chocolate covered grapes and buy each other another little surprise or two. Even when we have both been in romantic relationships, we’ve still always found a way to show our appreciation for each other on Valentine’s Day. Giving to my best friend on Valentine’s Day makes me feel good!
- Log Out
If you’re not quite ready to celebrate yourself on Valentine’s Day while still witnessing other people’s professions of romantic love, you can totally take a social media break for the day! There’s nothing wrong with looking out for yourself. I know for me the unfollow button on Facebook is one of my personal favorite forms of self-care. It’s okay to be in process with certain feelings still and recognizing that is healthy!
- Write Yourself a Valentine
Learning to engage in more positive self-talk really helped me learn to love myself more. Instead of putting myself down, I learned to talk to myself like I would talk to my best friend. I practice empathy with myself in the same way I would with a friend. I tell myself that I am worthy of love and I work on putting that love into action and words. So head to Hallmark, grab your favorite Valentine’s Card and tell yourself why you’re the best (because you are!)
- Take Yourself On A Date
I used to feel extremely embarrassed to eat alone. I used to go to great lengths to look busy so that people wouldn’t judge me for being alone. But I realized over the years that the only one judging me for being alone was me. Now, I eat out alone and I don’t think too much more about it than I am alone and I need to eat. If you don’t already have a date on Valentine’s Day, well guess what? You do now! And I hear your date is a real catch!
So whether you’re single or attached on Valentine’s Day, there’s no excuse not to show some love to yourself!