Valentine’s Day is the day of the year you’re supposed to celebrate the love of your partner which is hyped up by the marketing gimmicks of the retail industry. But it is just another day and you can choose how you feel about it – it’s totally within your control. You can choose to ignore all the outside pressure of how you ‘should’ be feeling and what you ‘should’ be doing. Instead, you can choose to celebrate yourself and who else you love in your life. It doesn’t have to be a romantic love that you celebrate.

Valentine’s Day, when you’re single, can be a stark reminder that you’re not in the ‘perfect’ relationship. If you’ve just gone through a breakup, it can be really difficult seeing all the romantic gifts and cards everywhere you look – reminding you of what you don’t have. Even the supermarkets have special Valentine’s Day meals for two!

Many people are struggling with their mental health this year as a result of lockdown, especially those living on their own. Look at this Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to spoil yourself and make the time to do whatever makes you happy.

If you are single and alone this Valentine’s Day, here are 9 tips to help you celebrate it yourself.

  1. Indulge in some retail therapy – celebrate yourself and how amazing you are. Send a message with the gift telling yourself how loved and fabulous you are. Send yourself your favourite flowers or buy that thing you’ve had your eye on for ages. Make yourself feel special and treat yourself.
  • Arrange an online zoom with friends – Even though you’re single and we’re in lockdown, you don’t have to spend the day on your own. Arrange dinner or drinks and cocktails with your single friends and dress up for the occasion. It’s been too easy just to sit around in our lounge wear for the last year. Show yourself you’re worth it and make the effort to dress up.
  • Have a pamper session – make the time to pamper yourself with your favourite products. Treat yourself to something extravagant that you’ve never bought yourself before. Get rid of any distractions and have some time just for you. Self-care should be a priority, not just a treat.
  • Watch your favourite movie or series – engross yourself in TV for the evening, without feeling guilty about all the chores you ‘should’ be doing. Make the room nice and cosy with beautiful candles and have your favourite chocolate or popcorn on hand.
  • Talk to someone – We’re all desperately missing human contact during lockdown and being single and living on your own is particularly difficult. Speak to your family or close friends on Valentine’s Day – actually speak to them, not just text or message Choose someone who lights you up and makes you laugh though, instead of someone who drains you.
  • Write a gratitude list – it can be too easy for us to focus on what we don’t have in our life, rather than appreciate everything we have in front of us. Gratitude is a great way to boost our mood and calm all the negative emotions we may be experiencing. Start by listing down everything you can think of that you’re grateful for and add to the list every time you think of something else over the next week. Make sure you take the time to actually feel the gratitude rather than just using this as a tick box exercise. It’s been scientifically proven that writing a list of 3 things you’re grateful for every day for 3 weeks can improve your mood.
  • Write a list of what you want your future ideal partner to be like – Take some time to actually reflect on this. If you focus on it, you’re more likely to be open to it and attract it, as your brain will be searching for it. Think about the qualities you want, but also think about what you need. Don’t forget to list down what they must not have either. By being consciously aware of what we don’t want, it means we don’t repeat patterns from previous relationships, that don’t serve us.
  • Turn off social media – constantly comparing yourself to other people on social media doesn’t do your mental health any good. It’s too easy to go down a rabbit hole of comparison. People only post on social media what they want you to see and there will be plenty of photos of the so-called perfect couples around on Valentine’s Day. Take a break and focus on yourself and what you want instead.
  • Do some exercise – and if you can get out in nature, even better. Exercising releases all those endorphins which give you the ‘feel good factor’. Do something that you enjoy and involves moving your body, even if it’s just a 10 minute walk outside. You can listen to inspiring or funny podcasts whilst you do it.

Above all try and keep it in perspective. It’s just one day of the year with all its expectations and it will pass. Don’t put additional pressure on yourself. Be proactive and take control of the situation instead of just moping and feeling sorry for yourself. You’ve still got plenty of time to plan in some of the things above such as ordering yourself a gift or flowers. Celebrate yourself and what you have in life. Who knows where you’ll be this time next year!