When you’re single and looking for love, Valentine’s Day can be a sensitive subject. Rather than candy hearts and love letters, many equate this romantic holiday with heartache, painful memories, commercialism, a sense of lack, and/or simply indifference. Yet Valentine’s Day can be the perfect time to celebrate love in all its forms—including self-love. If you’re struggling with your single status right now, consider these ideas for reclaiming Valentine’s Day and reflecting on the love you crave.
Cosmo said it best: “Journaling can *majorly* glow up your love life.” Not only can journaling strengthen your relationship with yourself, but it can help you gain clarity around your values and the type of partner you're seeking. Take a moment on (or before) Valentine’s Day to sit down and give yourself the gift of time and reflection to further explore what this highly-charged holiday brings up in you. If you wish, you can also set goals and intentions for how you want Valentine's Day to look next year.Try it! These journaling prompts will help you delve deeper into your thoughts, feelings, and desires:
Soothing practices like taking a bubble bath or drinking a hot cup of tea are often the first things that come to mind with the term “self-care,” but in actuality, self-care can be anything that promotes our mental, physical, and/or emotional well-being.Meditation falls into that category. According to the experts at Headspace, meditating can help us drill down past all of our complicated thoughts and emotions and uncover an “underlying sense of contentment, fulfillment, and satisfaction in life.” While there are many types of meditation, guided meditation can be a great way to get started—and laser in on the love you want. There’s no right or wrong way to practice guided meditation; you can be laying down or sitting up, eyes open or closed—whatever works for you. Free guided meditations abound on YouTube channels such as Calm and The Mindful Meditation, as apps like Headspace, FitBit, and Unplug for meditating on the go. All you need to do is relax, tune in, and focus on breathing in…and out.Try it! Need some Valentine's Day ideas for self-love? Check out this guided meditation from the Itty Bitty Blue Dot:
Emotional freedom technique, also known as EFT or “tapping,” can be another meaningful way to practice self-love and acceptance—as well as to alleviate stress and anxiety. Utilizing Chinese acupressure points, this simple but powerful method helps to release physical and emotional pain.“[EFT taps into] the power of saying, ‘Even though I am anxious, I honor how I feel, I accept these feelings,’” states Jessica Ortner, co-founder of The Tapping Solution. “When you combine this acceptance with the tapping, you stop that fight in your mind regarding how you think you should feel. You allow yourself to be with your feelings, to experience them, and then have the power to move through them.”In simple terms, EFT involves gently tapping various pressure points to decrease cortisol levels in your body. Tapping these meridian points while acknowledging your worries and fears can help you navigate the sensation of “fight or flight.” Tapping the top of your head (the governing vessel) or your chin (the central vessel) can help you address relationship-oriented concerns with less anxiety.Try it! Check out this tapping sequence from Gala Darling to embrace being single:
Whether you’re holing up at home, heading to a singles bar, or even going on a date, there are some simple and easy way to stay centered and in tune with yourself.Consider coming up with a go-to mantra you can repeat inwardly when you get nervous or on-edge. The mantra could range from a phrase (like “You’re doing great” or “Your past doesn’t define you”) to empowering song lyrics to just counting to 10. If you're out in public and find yourself filled with anxiety, feel free to head to the bathroom for a quick tapping session or outside for some fresh air while you focus on your mantra for a few minutes.If you’re not up for a night out, there are plenty of places that can soothe the mindful dater’s soul: a quiet park, a peaceful waterfront, a local nature preserve, or simply a place free from loud, jarring noises and sensory overload.No matter which Valentine’s Day ideas feel right to you, the important thing is to try to keep things in perspective and make the day your own. If self-care means watching 500 Days of Summer or Marvel movies in a heated blanket, so be it. At the end of the day, Valentine’s Day is one of 365 days in a year and one of many holidays. Take care of yourself first and foremost, because that's the greatest love of all.