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TeenHelp February 6th 2016 10:25 PM

Enjoying Valentine's Day when you're single
Enjoying Valentine's Day when you're single
By Cassie (Cassado) and Haley (Halcyon)

Valentine's Day is a highly anticipated day for some, but the complete opposite for others. Many single people struggle with conflicting feelings on Valentine's Day, but they are not alone in their struggles. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help combat the negative feelings you experience around Valentine's Day.

Create a plan for the day. Time flies if you're having fun, and keeping busy will help you stay distracted too. Make the day about yourself and do whatever it is that you want to do. Spend some time with your friends. Throw a party to celebrate your friendship, or have a movie night with plenty of candy and popcorn. Spend the day hiking and appreciating nature. Make a cup of hot chocolate, paint your nails, and then take a candlelit bath. Spend time with your pets and play board games with your family. If there isn't anything particular you want to treat yourself to, keep yourself busy by checking things off your to-do list. Not only is that productive, but crossing things off that list will make you feel accomplished as well.

Practice self-care and self-love. It's always important to take care of yourself and Valentine's Day is a good occasion to start learning how to love yourself. Take some deep breaths and listen to positive affirmations or list a few things you like about yourself. Get outside in the sun for some Vitamin D and take a walk to enjoy nature. Go through your social media accounts and delete or block any unhealthy people. Then turn your phone off and let yourself sit with your thoughts for a while. Pay close attention to the things you usually do without thinking, like showering, cooking, or vacuuming. How do these things feel or look to you? Try to take it all in. Treat yourself, even if it's something small, like a piece of candy or a day off from your job.

Share love with all the important people in your life. There are many forms of love, and celebrating love is not exclusively for those in romantic relationships. Turn Valentine's Day into an opportunity for sharing love with your close friends and family. Do a nice gesture for the people who have enriched your life, or who have been there for you every step of the way. Tell them that you appreciate them, and write down all the reasons why you love them. Show how much they mean to you by making them a special gift. For thoughtful gift ideas, read the article Valentine's Day gift ideas.

Brighten up someone else's day. Take a social media break, or skip technology entirely for the day, and make time to do something nice for someone else. Reach out to someone you haven't spoken to for a while, as you never know who else might be feeling lonely or in need of someone to talk to. Volunteer at a local shelter or at a retirement home. Babysit for a friend or neighbour. Deliver Valentine's gifts to a children's hospice. When you focus on bringing joy and happiness to others, you will in turn do the same for yourself.

Hug a loved one. There are many physical and emotional benefits of hugging someone. (You could also cuddle with a pet or a stuffed toy.) When people share loving gestures like hugs, the hormone oxytocin is released. This lowers blood pressure, meaning less strain on the heart. Oxytocin also reduces levels of cortisol, which is released by the body when stressed. The act of hugging helps to relieve tension and makes us feel generally calmer as well. It is also said that eating dark chocolate releases another feel good hormone called endorphins, so go ahead and treat yourself (but be careful not to overindulge).

Remind yourself of the benefits of being single. Being single gives you more time to work on yourself. Working on yourself takes a lot of time and effort and it can be difficult to do if you're in a relationship. It is nice to be able to focus on yourself and it will help you become more independent. You can spend more of your time with friends and family, instead of having to divide your time between your partner and everyone else in your life. You can make decisions without having to consult your partner first. You can get better rest and you can get to know yourself on a deeper level.

Many people think of the day as a commercial holiday, an excuse for retailers to make money, while others see it as a big deal if they're not with someone. No matter what your views are, remember that you're not alone, as there are many people without a date or partner on Valentine's Day. Above all, it's just another day and it can be whatever you make of it.

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