So Sunday is the big, red, hearts and chocolates and flowers day. How will you celebrate it? With an expensive meal at a fancy restaurant? With expectations of a pretty bauble from your SO or spouse? Or are you more low-key, in a home-cooked dinner and Netflix night kinda way? Or, maybe you turn your nose up at the big V, for whatever reason.
I’m typically a little anti any holiday that feels like you’re at the mercy of retail forces. Even Christmas rubs me the wrong way in this regard. But with Valentine’s Day, it’s difficult not to appreciate the focus on love. But love doesn’t have to just be about being coupled up. It can be about appreciation for yourself, your friends or family, too.
My favorite V-day memories are when Tim and I went on an exhilarating snowmobile tour in Lake Tahoe together, and last year, when my sister arrived in San Francisco after a five-week road trip from Pennsylvania, to live with us for six months while she got her feet on the ground in a new city. Those experiences were more meaningful to me than any fancy piece of jewelry or overpriced dinner.
Tomorrow, we’ll be spending the day skiing with good friends from San Francisco who we haven’t seen in months. Perfect!
So this Valentine’s Day, even if you aren’t married or dating anyone, take the opportunity to appreciate love in its many forms.
Some ideas, Stretch-style:
- Go do something active with your spouse, SO, friends or family, preferably outside: ice skating and hot chocolate, a hike with your dog, a ski day together, or even just a long walk and coffee on a park bench. Physical activity + simple pleasures + nature = guaranteed good vibes.
- Volunteer. If not tomorrow then sometime during Valentine’s Day week. There’s no truer form of love than giving your time to others in need.
- Single? Get together with friends and try a new sport or workout together. Learn how to belay each other at the climbing gym. Or give that new boxing class a shot. Follow up with brunch while you congratulate each other on kicking butt. This isn’t about sharing bitter breakup stories or lamenting your non-relationship status. This is about loving each other’s strength and general awesome-ness.
- Make a date with a family member. Catch up on each others’ lives and remind yourself how lucky you are to have loving family members living so close by.
- Been hard on yourself lately? Then make a date with yourself on Sunday. Maybe you need a day of quietly reading a great book. Maybe you need to challenge yourself with a new experience. Maybe you need to take back to back yoga classes. Whatever it is, if you need to, take a day to love and remind yourself that you’re worthy and great.
Happy Valentine’s Day!