|Posted on February 7, 2017 at 2:55 PM|
It is everywhere! Walk into any store and you are hit with an explosion of magnificent hues of reds; whether it be heart shaped boxes of chocolates, a sea of roses and balloons, or Hallmark cards with loving sentiments. The jewelry stores entice us with advertisements for brilliant diamond rings and marriage proposals, while the restaurants are full of delectable delights for romantic dinners. Valentine’s Day symbolizes the celebration of our love for that special someone in our life.
It can; however, be a completely different experience for some people who are single. Walking into the “sea of red” in a store could be a reminder that they are alone, or trigger such feelings as grief over the loss of a spouse or partner, sadness and anger over a divorce or relationship that did not work out, or even hopelessness that one has not found their soul mate yet.
How could Valentine’s Day be positive or beneficial for single people? One way could be shifting the focus to the relationship that we have with our self. This is called the aspect of self-love and it is a sacred journey of appreciation for oneself. It grows from actions that support our psychological, physical and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic and enables us to have: compassion for ourselves, acceptance of our weaknesses, confidence with our strengths, definition of personal meaning and purpose, value in our core beliefs and the ability to live intentionally. Whether we have contemplated self-love or are already in the process of discovering it, this is one of the most important relationships you will ever have! Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our love for others, but it is also a beautiful reminder to love ourselves first! Self-love can be a gift that lasts a lifetime.
The following includes several ways to practice self-love in our lives:
• Practice Mindfulness
• Create Purpose & Meaning
• Assertiveness for Needs & Wants
• Respect & Express your Feelings
• Set Healthy Boundaries
• Honor & Practice Spirituality
• Increase Awareness & Insight
• Practice Self-Respect
• Practice Self-Forgiveness & Learn from the Past
• Practice Self-Acceptance
• Self-Care (nutrition, exercise, sleep hygiene, intimacy, social interactions, etc.)
• Take Responsibility for Your Actions
• Live Intentionally
Single people could also celebrate Valentine’s Day by sharing their love with those in need. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available in our communities such as homeless shelters, foodbanks, Boys and Girls Club, etc. There are also a lot of animal shelters that would benefit from a Valentine’s Day visit. Volunteering connects us with the community and makes it a better place. Even the smallest tasks done in love can make the biggest differences in the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. Volunteers are said to have better health (lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life), more empathy, meaning and purpose, stronger social bonds and an overall increase in feelings of happiness and love. Volunteering on Valentine’s Day is an act of love that not only benefits the receiver, but also the giver.
Being single on Valentine’s day can be a great opportunity to celebrate the love of self and others. Consider the benefits of self-love or collective love through community involvement. The power of love is amazing, and transforms every life that it touches!
Megan Atkinson, MA LLP