Valentine’s Day, which some have reclaimed as Single Awareness Day, is right around the corner, during another year with COVID and what is turning out to be a pretty harsh winter.  While traditional options for celebrating may not be in play, regardless of your relationship status, don’t ignore the opportunity to celebrate a day devoted to love.

Even if you don’t have a romantic partner that fills your heart with joy, most of us have plenty of other sources of happiness including our friends, family, work, or individual interests.  I’d like to focus on the latter because the more at peace you are with yourself, the less likely you are to tolerate a toxic romance or settle for a meh relationship.

The importance of self-care, where you ensure your own needs are met cannot be overstated.  More than just meeting your basic necessities, you should make time to treat yourself on a regular basis with little acts of kindness.  My goal for this year leading up to a milestone birthday is to do one weekly act of kindness for myself that is completely unrelated to my responsibilities at work or as a parent.  Maybe you can try out some of these examples this month as your own treat for Valentine’s Day:

  1. Home– Can you do a room “refresh” without doing a major renovation that will be expensive and time consuming?  Could you reorganize a closet/storage unit that has been bugging you for some time?  Can you declutter, purge some junk or shred old documents that are taking up space?  Given how much time we spend at home, it’s important make sure this is a source of comfort and peace.
  2. Food– Are you tired of the same routine? Why not take an online cooking class or try a pre-packaged meal prep service (e.g., Hello Fresh or Green Chef) for a few weeks to change things up.  Maybe you can suggest doing a recipe exchange with friends.  We all need to eat, but having the same meals every week can get boring, so break up the monotony a bit.
  3. Travel– I have always enjoyed traveling, but last year during COVID, I only left the DC Area to visit family in California and Florida.  While I will probably do that again this year, I have also made plans to go on some golf trips.   If a spa or beach retreat is more your speed, that’s fine- the point is simply to plan a getaway that does not involve visiting family.
  4. Small gifts– Chocolates, flowers and champagne are all nice but won’t last.  Why not buy yourself something that will at least last you a whole season? As a golfer, I opted for customized golf balls that will arrive just in time for V-day even though I will probably have to wait until March to enjoy them.
  5. Outings– There are many great outdoor activities you can plan, either by yourself or with friends recognizing of course they will be weather dependent.  If your friend bubble is comfortable with indoor activities, then schedule a Galentine’s Day brunch or happy hour, do a museum tour or go enjoy a concert, movie or show.

What you choose to do on Single Awareness Day aka Valentine’s Day isn’t important, the main point is to not ignore the holiday.  Love is such an important part of everyone’s life, not just those in a committed romantic relationship.  Despite COVID and the weather, there are plenty of options for celebrating that do not rely on anyone else to bring you joy.  Find your own source of happiness, the rest will all fall into place.

By Regina A. DeMeo