It's that time of year again. Cheesy holiday cards, big red chocolate hearts, and anxious first dates. If you're anything like me, you may be known to roll your eyes at the whole overproduction of the day.
I've also had my share of adoring the perks of the holiday and being specially cared for by another. I've shared the day with friends laughing over dinner and drinks, watching movies in sweats, and eating allll the chocolate. I've been in relationships and I've been single. I've anticipated the day with delight and with dread. And I've noticed how much my past experiences depict my emotional reaction to the present.
As a little girl, my dad would always have a single carnation with a small gift waiting for each of us girls. To this day I cherish the memory of waking up on Valentine's day morning to the treats on the kitchen table. This first act of love from my dad taught me so much more than I even realized at the time.
The truth is there's so much more to Love than the romance of it. The love of friendship, family, and let's not forget the love of self. And I'm learning to slow down and practice the presence of Love in all its forms on this special day. It's important to realize that we don't need another person to soak in gratitude and celebrate the many gifts Love offers us. We can do it for ourselves.
So whether you're flying solo this Valentines Day or in need of some extra self-love, here's a few date ideas just for you, yourself and I to make the most of the holiday this year.
1) Table For One
I know what you're thinking, eat alone? You betcha! Let's be honest, if you don't have plans yet you were more than likely going to be eating alone at home anyways. So why not have someone else make the food? You get to skip the sink in the dishes after. Dress up or dress down, whatever you please. It's about what brings YOU joy darling. Bring a book to read or your current knitting project or listen to your favorite Pandora playlist while dinner gets served. Talk about luxury. So you know that restaurant you've been dying to try? Call in that reservation. And while we're at it, say yes to dessert.
2) See a Show
A concert, a play, or even a movie. Skip the need to coordinate with other people, risk running late, or having to find enough seats for everyone. When it's only you, you get to arrive when you want, sit where you want, talk when you want, and leave when you want. See the pattern there? Have you ever made decisions just for yourself, or allow yourself the space to think "What do I want to do?" Now's your chance, enjoy the show!
3) Spa Day
I don't know who couldn't benefit from some R&R, and spas are one of the best ways to do just that. So treat yourself with the whole body treatment. I'm talking scrub, wrap, massage, 90 minutes everything! Spas are calm and warm, and create the perfect space to pause, breathe, and practice more presence. Let the pampering begin.
4) Pay it Forward
Consider being the secret admirer you always wished for. Maybe it's surprising someone in your community with a few treats to brighten their day. It doesn't need to be fancy, and it doesn't need to be romantic. Who is someone who simply could be told they matter to you. Help spread the meaning of the whole day with some good ole fashioned genuine Love.
5) Take a Hike
There's nothing else like being alone in nature. Your senses awakened as you walk farther and farther from distractions and weights of everyday life. I love to set intentions while on my walks. Asking myself what am I wanting to discover while on the trail or what am I inviting into my thoughts and heart, and what I am I kicking out. Time in nature is very healing, I can't think of a better way to love ourselves.