My husband and I have been married for almost ten years. That’s difficult for me to fathom, at times, considering I was a shy, anxious teenager who accumulated very little dating experience before meeting my future spouse senior year of college.
Despite being married for as long as we have, my husband and I are not overly zealous about Valentine’s Day.
Perhaps my apathy for Cupid and price-gouged roses is due to my lack of serious relationships over the years, or maybe I just don’t think we need a heavily commercialized holiday in order express our love to one another.
Anyway, if you’re anything like me, I have some non-romantic suggestions for “celebrating” Valentine’s Day this year. If you’re single, these may help you feel more confident about not being in a relationship, and if you are taken, well, you can do these things together or separate, it’s your call.
Volunteer at an animal shelter
Pets need love, too! If you can’t volunteer at a shelter, then visit a dog park or offer to pet sit or walk some friends’/neighbors’ dogs. Whether you are content with life or feeling a little left out, cuddles from furry friends will lift your mood.
Treat yourself to a spa day or a new hair cut/color/style with all the works
While I think every day is prime time for some self-care, Valentine’s Day is an especially perfect day to treat ourselves. Treat yourself to a mani-pedi, new hair style, or massage – and savor it. Open a bottle of expensive wine while you’re at it (you don’t have to finish it in one night).
Tackle a project you’ve been thinking about forever
Do you want to paint or re-floor your home? Create some artwork for your living room? No matter what the project is, spend the day letting your craftiness and creativity flow.
Visit a nursing home
I imagine Valentine’s Day (and other holidays, of course) can be lonely if you’re away from your family or have lost your significant other. Nursing home residents love visitors, and I am sure they would revel in having somebody to share their stories with.
Re-evaluate your New Year’s resolutions/intentions and come up with a game plan
By February, many people have fallen off the resolutions bandwagon, so why not re-focus by coming up with some new goals/intentions or evaluating your original ones? Track your progress, determine if this is what you really want, and make a plan.
Get a jump start on Spring cleaning
Why wait till Spring to rid yourself of clutter? Cleaning, for me personally, is an excellent way to gain focus and work through negative feelings. If you’re lonely or annoyed, put those feelings to good use and empty some closets.
Play tourist in your own hometown
While all the couples are viewing romantic movies and dining out at swanky, expensive restaurants, use the day to visit some local museums, parks, or galleries in your own city. Grab a friend or go solo.
Spend the day writing letters to grandparents, old friends, and others you don’t see often
Love and kindness isn’t just about romance. Why not lift up a loved one’s day by writing them an old-fashioned, thoughtful letter or card? I bet the memories and kind words will put you in a cheerful, positive mood.
Mentor a child
Before I became a mom, children made me anxious. I just didn’t understand them. But, if you’re a kid person, why not volunteer to be a mentor at your local Boys & Girls Club? Brightening the day of a child who’s lacking a strong support system is the ultimate reward.
Open a savings account or start planning/saving for something you’ve always wanted to do
Dreaming of backpacking through Europe? Relaxing for weeks on the beaches of The Maldives? Building a home on a lake? Whatever vacation or big expense you’re longing for, now’s the time to make it happen. Open up a savings account or create a budget. If you have the money and time, go ahead and draw up a plan.
Whether you’re single, happily married, or searching for meaning and vitality in your relationships, you don’t have to sit out this Valentine’s Day. Spread the love and care to those who truly need it or take time for some self-love. You deserve it – we all do!
Catherine is part of the Contributing Writer Network. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.
Featured image via Unsplash