Flying solo on February 14 isn’t the worst thing in the world.
In fact, there are plenty of benefits to being single on Valentine’s Day, starting with the opportunity to shower someone extra special with all your love and attention: you.
“What gives Valentine’s Day meaning is unique to us,” Phyllis Ginsberg, MA, MFT and author tells TODAY.com. Whether you’re alone or part of a couple, decide in advance how you want to feel about celebrating Valentine’s Day and then make some plans (or, you know, don’t).
“If you dream of a magical day full of love, create it,” she says. “What would you like to experience?”
And instead of dwelling on your relationship status, Ginsberg says to make the most of the day by putting yourself first.
“Buy yourself flowers, chocolates or something special. Prepare a nice meal or order takeout. Send loving messages to friends and family and see what they write back. Make plans to get together with someone special,” she suggests.
To help you figure out what to do on Valentine’s Day this year, we’ve put together a list of fun ideas to inspire your plans.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that Valentine’s Day is all about feeling the love – from others and from yourself – and no one deserves it more than you.
Start a new hobby
While it may seem like a simple suggestion, there’s a good reason to take up a new hobby on Valentine’s Day, or any day for that matter.
According to a 2010 study, hobbies are good for us both mentally and physically. Among the many benefits, research shows that people who engage in leisure activities report more satisfaction from life, less stress and blood pressure, and overall improved well-being.
Whether you make it a point to stop by the craft store for knitting needles or sign up for a Zumba class, starting something new is a great way to express yourself.
Book a spa appointment
A little self-care goes a long way, so why not spend Valentine’s Day pampering yourself?
When it comes to taking care of the most important people in your life, you should be at the top of the list. That said, schedule a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, or other spa treatment on February 14.
Budget conscious? Do not worry. Plan a spa night at home. A bathtub, scented candles and a glass of bubbly (ginger ale works too) is all you need to feel positively decadent.
Go to your local bookstore
Books are making a serious comeback this year – not that they’ve ever really gone out of style. But after years of all things digital, the pendulum has swung back to old-fashioned pleasures like going to the bookstore and choosing a new book, making for a perfect V-Day date for one.
There is something reverent about walking between the shelves, looking for just the right reading. Skip the relationship part and go straight to the thrillers or whatever you want.
Not sure what to choose? Try a Read With Jenna book club selection and make sure to keep your reading streak alive by reading a few pages each day.
Cook your favorite meal or order takeout
Going out for a fancy dinner or cooking something special at home is a traditional Valentine’s Day activity for couples, families and friends.
But you don’t need a plus-one (or ten) to enjoy any of those things.
Skip the overcrowded restaurant and order your favorite meal via delivery or takeout. Or, if you like to cook, buy ingredients in advance and treat yourself.
Don’t save on the candles, flowers or beautiful table decorations either. Dress your table as you would if you had guests.
Make it a movie night
Enjoy a classic rom-com or two. Fill a bowl with popcorn, get some candy from the dollar store and sit down to watch Meg and Tom meet (And last but not leastsheesh) on top of the Empire State Building.
Or feel free to kick Cupido to the sidewalk and go for a thriller, science fiction film or action film. Who needs love, right? Team up with Bruce Willis and show your true feelings about the holidays by watching “Die Hard” instead.
Host a dance party for one
Love to dance? Make a playlist of all your favorite songs and get ready to rock. You don’t need a partner, because you dance all by yourself.
Not only does breaking a move put you in a good mood, research shows it can also sharpen your focus, reduce stress, and improve your sleep.
So put on your party clothes, sequin scarf and spend the night with Lizzo (or the artist of your choice).
Host a Pet-entine’s Day party
If you and Rover are alone this Valentine’s Day, go all out with some special themed treats – heart-shaped dog bones for your pup, heart-shaped cookies for you.
Then dress your friend in a cute pet sweater (okay, maybe not the cat) and post pictures to Instagram with a funny Valentine’s Day caption.
Better yet, show off the sassy ensemble at the dog park or on a walk around the neighborhood.
Give yourself a gift (or two)
Consider this: if you weren’t single, you’d probably be at the mall right now looking for the perfect gift to buy that special someone.
Good news, you are also someone special. So put that time and energy into picking out something special for it you.
Maybe it’s that sweater you’ve been looking for or a box of your favorite chocolates. It doesn’t have to be extravagant (although it certainly can be), just a simple reminder that thoughtful gifts on Valentine’s Day don’t have to come from other people to be meaningful.
Surrender to your passion
Just because the holiday falls on a weekday this year doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy your favorite pastime.
Whether it’s skydiving, painting pottery, attending a concert, attending trivia night at the local bar or belting out some karaoke tunes, just do it and chances are you’ll have fun while you’re at it.
After all, nobody knows you better than, well, you.
And, you never know, you might meet someone else who shares the same passion, strike up a conversation, friendship or new romance.
Do something for someone else
If you’re feeling a little down when you see pink and red this year, doing something nice for someone just might be the secret to improving your outlook.
According to a 2017 study, performing acts of generosity can directly benefit your mental health and, yes, make you happier as a result.
There are plenty of ways to spread love on Valentine’s Day (and throughout the year too), such as volunteering in your community, surprising friends and/or family with gifts, making baked goods for a neighbor, or other small acts of kindness .
In fact, it’s likely that someone else you know is spending Valentine’s Day alone. Remind them that they are being thought of with a card, text or drop by with a bouquet of flowers.
Not only will you make them happy, but you will also feel good.
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