If Valentine’s Day Isn’t Your Thing
Ah, Valentine’s Day – a holiday to celebrate love with the one(s) you love – or at least that’s how we’ve been taught to view it. This can be a challenging day for people for a number of reasons. Whether you aren’t in a relationship, your partner(s) are unavailable, you have recently ended a relationship or lost a loved one, you are navigating a new relationship with or orientation to love, or you simply can’t get on board with the commercialization of love, you might be dreading this day.
If you want to find ways to engage with this day in a meaningful way, here are some options:
Focus on Self-Love
We often think of self-love as pampering ourselves. If bubble baths, face masks, and your favorite movie help you feel nourished and recharged, that’s great – do it! However, self-love is also about taking care of yourself in a way that expresses care & respect for yourself.
Figure out how you like to be cared for, and care for yourself in that way. What is your love language? If it is words of affirmation, you might focus on acknowledging all the amazing ways you have grown this past year. If it is acts of service, you might finally purge and organize your closet, change that light bulb, or prep next weeks meals. If it’s quality time, you could imagine your ideal date and take yourself on it, or maybe find some reflective journal prompts and explore your thoughts & feelings. You get the picture. Actively loving and caring for yourself can be just as fulfilling, and often more empowering, than being cared for by another.
Focus on Friendships or Family
Romantic love isn’t the only love worth celebrating. Expressing love for friends and family is just as important! You might simply reflect on all the things you love about a friend or you might plan to spend the day/evening together celebrating your relationship. Notice how your non-romantic relationships deepen when you put intentional energy into cultivating safety, love, and vulnerability.
Focus on Community
Giving extra attention to your inner circle is amazing. Doing the same for the larger communities you exist in is not only helpful, but cultivates a life that reflects your values. Take some time to volunteer with a group you feel passionate about supporting. Take action to support a cause that is near and dear to your heart. Check in on those in your community who might be struggling. This might look like spending time at your local animal shelter, retirement home, or spending an hour cleaning up your favorite natural space.
Love comes in many forms, all equally valid and important. Take time this Valentines day to reflect on and connect with the love in your life and nurture it!