Valentine's day is either the best day of the year for some or the worst. For those who are in a healthy and happy relationship, it is an intentional day to show
the one that you love all the ways that you love them. For those who are experiencing hurdles and struggles within their relationship, navigating Valentine's day may be difficult and straining. It may especially be difficult if you are navigating this day as a single person.
Many of us who are single often will approach this day with sheer avoidance, total angst or as a reminder of how unlovable we are. As a single person who has had her experience with navigating this day alone, I have had all three approaches.
During adolescence, I had to endure the torture of hearing all of the girls who were in relationships names be announced on the intercom to come and pick up their roses, carnations or whatever other gift was provided to them by their significant other. Needless to say, my name was never called. As a result, Valentine's day became a day that was extremely emotional, an attack on my self esteem and a day that I was smothered by the weight of my then core belief "I am not lovable".
For those who struggle with the pressure of being single, days that are designated for love can bring our inner core beliefs to the forefront. Whether we are experiencing pressure from family, friends or from society as a whole, singleness can cause one to feel unlovable if they have not had much success in the love department. If you are having the thought of being unlovable on Valentine's day, it is possible that it is a belief that you have been dealing with on other days and in other areas as well. I think that it is important to explore that belief and work on ways to challenge it.
When I struggled with the belief of being unlovable on this day, I made intentional efforts to love on myself on this day to avoid feeding into those thoughts. If you are struggling with negative core beliefs about yourself, those issues can best be explored or processed with a licensed counselor or therapist. However, I put together a single's toolkit to help you navigate Valentine's day with a positive attitude.
Use your coping skills to have fun on this day. Most of my coping skills involve humor. I use my sarcasm and sense of humor to poke fun of this day which makes me feel better. One of the things that a friend and I used to do was plan an Anti V-day party. We would dress in all black and decorate in anti V-day decorations. (if this idea is too dark for you, maybe you'll like #2.)
Turn V-day into a Self-Care/Self-Love day. Many of us live busy and fast paced lives and would agree that it is difficult to implement self-care. V-day could be an intentional day where you take time off to show yourself some love. You can take yourself out to dinner and a movie, plan a spa day, plan a healthy meal, take time to exercise, REST, read a book, etc. Your self care/self love day can be as simple or extravagant as you would like.
Spoil your other single friends. Giving to others is a great way to boost your mood and take your mind off of being single. My friend and I have developed a healthy competition of who can spoil each other the most. We have taken our V-day concept and implemented it throughout the year. We send each other surprise gifts, take each other on surprise outings or just spend the day with each other. Spending time with your friends or loved ones is a great reminder that you are loved. It is also a guaranteed way to challenge the belief of being unlovable.
Connect with something greater than you. If you are a person who considers yourself to be spiritual then connecting with something greater than yourself could be a great option for navigating V-day. Meditation, Yoga, Spending time in nature, praying, attending worship services, watching or listening to inspirational/motivational messages are great ways to remind yourself that you are loved by someone greater than yourself.
Develop affirmations designated for this day. Developing positive affirmations to remind you that singleness can be a gift instead of negative reminder of being unloved will help you develop a different outlook. I once watched a video of a dynamic actress and she was describing her outlook on being single. She stated "I am single because I enjoy my own company and whoever I am with company has to be better than my own". Tracee Ellis Ross was the actress that quoted that. Since watching that video, I have added her quote to my list of affirmations. Here are a few affirmations that you can add to your toolkit for navigating V-day.
Being single is my time to to explore who I am and work on enhancing myself
I am single because I choose not to settle for less than what I deserve
A relationship will not make me whole. I am whole all by myself.
I am happy with my space, my peace, my freedom and my life.
I hope that this little navigation tool for V-day will help you challenge in negative core beliefs that you have about your worth. I also hope that this toolkit will help you to make V-day an intentional day of reminding yourself just how worthy and lovable you are.
Happy Valentine's Day!