Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and for those of you who are single ladies, the day can be difficult. Stores are already lining their shelves with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, and sentimental pink and red cards. A day that focuses on couples can be hard when you’re a single woman – especially newly single. Valentine’s Day is notorious, and without a “valentine” it’s easy to get lost in unhelpful thoughts, and negative ‘self-talk’.
By using one of the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a highly studied and researched approach to helping people change and find solutions, I suggest reframing the way you look at the holiday. Rather than focusing on being alone, and getting caught up in negative thoughts about how badly being alone makes you feel, try taking a different approach. Easier said than done, right? Well, with a little effort and determination it’s truly possible, and the results can be remarkable, I see it everyday in my office when working with women who are trying to navigate through being single for the first time in years.
My first recommendation is to reframe the holiday, make it about you, and loving yourself. Maybe you had the strength to leave an unhealthy relationship, or maybe you are no longer settling for mediocre dates – all which are reasons to celebrate. This is where self-love comes into play, you cannot only survive Valentine’s Day, but you can actually enjoy the day by being your own Valentine.
You might consider some of the following suggestions:
Reflect on people who do love you. Love isn’t just about romantic love. Love can be about your children, your parents, siblings, friends and pets. Think about how rich with love your life really is. Reach out to them and let them know how special they are to you and how important they are in your life.
Reflect on past relationships. Think about what you learned from those relationships. Remember that every relationship, no matter how difficult, offers lessons. What can you do differently next time, and what lessons are you thankful for?
Make plans with friends. On Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to forget that you are not the only single person. Call your single friends, share the cost of a babysitter and go out for a drink, go to the movies together, or do something you both enjoy.
Pamper yourself. Give yourself permission to indulge a bit – you could buy yourself a little gift, or treat yourself to a pedicure or a massage. Or maybe simply order take-out and after the kids are in bed, set a beautiful table for yourself, pour yourself a glass of wine, and relish in some rare quiet time. Watching a favorite movie, or taking a hot bath can also be a way of treating yourself and celebrating you.
I challenge you to put a new spin on Valentine’s Day this year by being your own Valentine!