How To Have A Date With Yourself This Valentine's Day, According To Experts
Valentine's Day is typically billed as a couple's holiday, plain and simple. The pop-culture advent of the alternative Galentine's Day has added a little variety to the whole flowers and fancy dinner with bae thing, but still, the celebration of romance continues to be the dominant theme. While there are plenty of people who couldn't give two hoots about V-Day, some will still inevitably feel kind of bummed by the whole thing if they don't have a conventional "date." And if that's you, I'm with you. So, why not learn how to have a date with yourself this Valentine's Day?
Before you scoff, let me tell you what you probably already know: Spending quality time with yourself, and doing things that make you feel good, is simply a great mental and emotional health practice. We're just going to take it to the next level this Feb. 14.
Luckily, Elite Daily had the opportunity to speak to several experts on the best ways to go about executing the perfect solo date for Valentine's Day. As Kansas-based marriage and family therapist Afton Strate says, it really is a good idea to try to set some intentions for the day, especially if V-Day has consistently made you feel sort of down in the past. "I have found it to be critical to have some advanced planning for the day," Strate tells Elite Daily, "while also holding realistic expectations if things go differently than expected."
So, here's to making a plan that's all about loving and treating yourself exactly the way you deserve.
1. Start Off Your Morning With A Peaceful Meditation
While starting off your day with a little time to breathe and center yourself is always a good idea, make the morning of your Valentine's Day date one that's all about your heart. Yoga instructor and meditation teacher Veronica Parker suggests beginning your day with at least 10 minutes to sit down in your favorite quiet place, and just breathe.
"Begin by closing your eyes, place both hands at your heart center, and inhale to the count of five," Parker tells Elite Daily. "Suspend your breath for five. Exhale for five." Repeat this breathing rhythm for a few minutes, savoring the time to yourself. Parker says this is a great way to clear your mind and find a greater sense of inner peace as you go about a day that's going to be centered around self-compassion and self-love.
2. Elevate Your Normal Routine
So yeah, for most of us, Valentine's Day is a normal work or school day, but that's no reason not to sprinkle in a few special moments.
Yoga teacher and healing artist Brianna Bedigian suggests elevating your normal routine with a few simple tweaks: Take yourself out for a whole sit-down lunch instead of grabbing something on the go, or if you order an evening pizza, add candlelight and music, and maybe a nice glass of wine, too. Indulge, baby, indulge.
3. Send Yourself A Plant Instead Of A Bouquet Of Flowers
Screw those cheesy flower bouquets! Besides, they die in just a few days anyway.
Erin Stokes, N.D., medical director at MegaFood, tells Elite Daily that instead of treating yourself to flowers, buy yourself a new plant "that you can watch grow and thrive under your care for months and years to come." Yes, a real live plant is something you can tend to with love and care, just as you are tending to yourself.
Stokes also suggests getting outside during the day while you're at it, even if it's chilly out there. "Go on a walk outdoors and feel your spirits lift," she explains. Fresh air really does do wonders for the soul, y'all.
4. Go On, Really Pamper Yourself
Licensed clinical social worker Rhonda Milrad says to just go for it and pamper yourself, spa-style: "Do something nurturing, like having a massage, a facial, spending time at a day spa, getting your nails done, or having a session in reflexology."
Doing something relaxing and rejuvenating is a great way to show yourself you care about numero uno, you know?
5. Tell The People You Love That You Love Them
Even if your Valentine's Day is about having a date with yourself, it'll still feel really good to make time for appreciating the relationships you really value in your life.
Strate tells Elite Daily that spreading the love with kind acts throughout the day is going to make you feel your best, and since not all love is of the romantic variety, it can really be an opportunity to appreciate all your connections, the ones that really feed your spirit. Strate suggests sharing with friends or loved ones what you value about your relationship through a card, a meaningful gift, or hey, even a quick email. Spread the love, girl!
6. Comfort Yourself By Doing What You Love, No Matter How Big Or Small
Strate says that Valentine's Day can be a time when we give ourselves permission to receive love and self-compassion. "Make a list of things that bring you comfort," she tells Elite Daily, "like spending time outdoors, or going to a museum." For you, maybe it's just reading a good book, or watching RuPaul's Drag Race. Give yourself enough time to really enjoy whatever you choose, and turn off your phone for good measure.
Top it all off by ordering in, or taking yourself out for a delicious meal.
7. Get Creative And Check Something Off Your Bucket List
Maybe it's something as simple as going to a 3-D movie, or perhaps you've been dying to try out a sensory deprivation tank, or take a tennis lesson. Whatever it is, plan an activity in advance that you're really, really excited to try, all by yourself.
Keisha M. Wells, LPC, NCC, MS, of Transformation Counseling Services, tells Elite Daily that if time allows for it, go for a day trip to a nearby city or town to enjoy yourself in a different environment. You can even save that plan for the weekend if your heart is set on it but you can't find the time on Valentine's Day.
Either way, consider this outing an opportunity to explore new sights, sounds, and even tastes. Spending time with yourself outside of a normal location can be energizing, and it can even help create a safe space for those who are newly single and learning to adjust to a solo role. There's nothing more empowering than proving to yourself that you can have fun and be genuinely happy without an SO beside you.
Happy Valentine's Day, friends!