Because not all of us have a romantic date with Prince Charming or Miss Universe planned for Valentine's Day.
Some of us would rather skip over the whole Valentine's Day hoopla. Maybe because we don't have a date; because it reminds us of a bad Valentine's Day experience, or an ex; or maybe simply because we feel it's overrated.
I have had all of these feelings at once and combined at one point or another during my 27 Valentine's Days on this planet. Trust me.
I know the gut-wrenching feeling of having to see all the happy couples smooching everywhere around you and only serve to remind you how lonely you feel after leaving your cheating ex boyfriend.
Or the roller-coaster ride of emotions when you've planned the perfect Valentine's Day date, splurged on a dress you'll probably only wear once, and baked the SOB cookies, only to be stood up because he didn't believe in Valentine's Day. (Of course, you later found out he had other plans with someone else. Also, different guy from the one in the first scenario).
Finally, having the guilt creep up on you when your significant other makes elaborate gestures of love when you hurriedly picked out the last box of chocolates you could find at Target because you completely forgot.
Valentine's Day is not a mandatory holiday. You are not obligated to celebrate or observe this day as anything more than another fabulous mid-February day.
That being said, why pass up the opportunity to celebrate?!
There are many ways to celebrate this day of love without having to be "in love."
Maybe you've been wanting to go to the movies, but haven't found anyone to go with. Girl, put on a cozy sweater, buy yourself some contraband candy (it's probably already on sale) and go to the movies! I've done it plenty of times and have never regretted it.
Craving some spaghetti a la carbonara from that new restaurant that just opened up downtown? Make reservations and take your parents or a sibling. It'll give you a chance to catch up and remind each other of the love you have for family.
Or, my personal favorite, put on some jammies, curl up on the couch with your fav snack and read a book you've been wanting to dive into without any interruptions.
Valentine's Day is a day of love. That should start with the love you have for yourself. Indulge in something that makes your soul feel love and happiness. Do something you've been wanting to do.
Another exercise that can help encourage you to embrace more love on this day is to list the things you love about yourself or the things you love about your life. These include things like, "I love that I am friendly and can easily approach people," or "I love that I have the opportunity to travel every summer." Whatever it is, write it down. Read it out loud. Keep this list somewhere so you can reread whenever you need a little boost in your day. Or, frame it and put it by your bed side so it's the first thing you see in the morning and before you go to bed at night.
Although not as exciting, another way to celebrate a day of self-love is to do the things on your personal to-do list that are beneficial to you. For instance, maybe you've been putting off that appointment to the Gynecologist. No bueno! Schedule your appointment today. You'll feel glad that you did, and probably relieved thinking "why didn't I go sooner?" Or get your busy schedule in order, buy a planner and start planning your days to ease your anxiety and avoid any double bookings!
Again, whether it's life changing or not, do at least one thing today to show yourself the love that matters: the love for your beautiful self!
Happy Valentine's Day! Sending you love and a virtual hug!
-The B of V