Here's How To Show Yourself Love On National Singles Day, According To Experts
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that being single sucks. When all your friends are coupled up, all you can think about is what you're "missing out on." Well, enough of that. Sept. 22 marks National Singles Day: A day dedicated to celebrating all the wonderful things about being single. If you're wondering how to show yourself love on National Singles Day, look no further. You don't have to spend NSD moping around the house just because you're single. In fact, you should use it as an opportunity to celebrate your independent relationship status.
In fact, being single, especially during cuffing season, can be a delight. Relish the fact that you can do whatever (and whomever) you want, when you want. Revel in your autonomy. Celebrate the fact that you don't have to worry about anyone but your bad self. And if anything, use it a reminder to make self-care, self-love, and self-pleasure a priority — on National Singles Day, and every day. Take yourself on a date! Give yourself a booty rub! Book a solo vacation! And love on yourself, however that feels right. Below, some helpful tips from experts on how to make the most of a day made for celebrating that single life.
Why Is Self-Love Important?
"Self-love" and "self-care" are terms that people tend to throw around all the time, and for what? Everyone knows that it's important to love and feel good about yourself. But it's crucial to remember that your self-love journey isn't about simply checking off a box.
As Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, relationship expert and Astroglide’s resident sexologist, explains, "The way you feel about yourself affects every area of your life." This includes your mental and physical health, all your relationships, your work, your stress levels, your energy levels, your cognitive function, your sleep patterns, and your diet. "Self-love — however you define it — is one way to augment your self-esteem to make all areas of your life more meaningful and fulfilling," O'Reilly says.
Likewise, Natalie Hatjes, a sexual wellness hypnotherapist and sexuality educator, says that self-love is important because it fuels healthy decision-making. "You are more likely to make choices that feed your soul, so that you are operating at your highest potential," Hatjes tells Elite Daily. "You walk away from situations that are not serving you, and are able to set and honor your boundaries."
Casey Tanner, a gender and sex therapist, echoes this, saying, "If we can find that solace within ourselves, we can make choices about how to spend our time that do not come from a deficit mindset, but from a place of strength."
The main way they advise getting there? Work on feeling at home in your own body. Tanner says, "If we don't feel at home in our own skin, we will be forever searching for something, somewhere, or someone outside of ourselves to make us feel OK."
How Does Masturbation Fit Into Self-Love?
One specific way to show yourself some physical self-love is with masturbation, an underrated tool for feeling at home in your body. "Many of us have had our sexualities politicized, targeted, shamed, or exploited by others. Many of us have had sexual experiences with people who did not attend to our pleasure. Many of us have jobs that require constant attention to others," Tanner points out. "Masturbation and self-pleasure create space to mindfully attend only to you."
Similarly, Hatjes says, "For me, self-pleasure is one of the greatest ways I practice self-love. It keeps me present and aware of all parts of my body. I am able to receive pleasure and practice gratitude all while loving myself vulnerably and intimately."
At the end of the day, masturbation can actually be a radical act of self-love. "We live in a world that often minimizes the importance of pleasure, and tells us that our worth is tied to productivity and consumerism. This is the opposite of self-love," Dr. Chris Donaghue, a sexologist and SKYN Condoms' sex and intimacy expert, says. "Focusing on acts of self-pleasure challenges this and reinforces that you are already inherently of value."
So How Should You Treat Yourself This National Singles Day?
Self-care can look different for everyone, every day. You can practice self-care by protecting your energy and setting boundaries, seeing a therapist, or journaling. But self-care can also include physical experiences that nurture you, too.
If you want to stay in on National Singles Day, why not journal about all the things you're grateful for, give yourself a facial, or spend the day unplugged by turning off your phone? Tanner also suggests writing yourself a letter. "Tell yourself the things you admire, desire, and enjoy about who you are. Tell yourself about a time when you did something bad*ss this year, or tell yourself about a time that you struggled and were brave," Tanner says.
You can also book an acupuncture appointment, a massage session, or go out to your favorite restaurant to enjoy a meal by yourself. And of course, you can also indulge in masturbation as a form of self-care. "Masturbate," O'Reilly says. "It’s sex with someone you love and you’ll likely find that you’re in a better mood when you’re done."
Again, your National Singles Day should be all about you. Use the sex toy you want. Explore the fantasies that turn you on. Light the candles you like. "Enjoy your body, solely because it's yours," Tanner says.
Hatjes also adds you can buy yourself flowers and turn on some music to set the mood. "Massage your body with oil and acknowledge all of your senses," Hatjes says. She also advises trying to focus how good the pleasure itself feels, without necessarily making an orgasm the goal. "Self-pleasure may not come easy at first, so it is OK to start slow. Caressing your body and reciting positive sexual affirmations are great ways to create a new process of self-love through masturbation."
Don't Forget These Tips On The Other 364 Days Of The Year
"I tell my patients to engage in daily acts of self-love, because anything less is actually self-harm," Donaghue says of his work as a sex and relationships therapist. "If your schedule does not allow for this, then you are not living a life of mental health. Sex of all types is a beautiful and simple way to begin the process of centering your life around self-love.”
On National Singles Day — and all the other days of the year, really— remember to prioritize your self-love and self-pleasure, no matter what that looks like. Know that it's not about having some perfectly regimented self-care routine, but about checking in with yourself and making sure you're OK. And if anything, take Sept. 22 to look in the mirror, make like Lizzo, and say, "Damn, they're the one."