Oh Valentine’s Day.
It was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. One of the school’s that I went to encouraged all of their students to write one or two things they appreciated or admired to all of the members of their class, in addition to getting all the cutesy candy. It was a wonderful way to reaffirm community and build strong ties with each other.
It hasn’t been quite as enjoyable as an adult. Instead of being about building mutual respect and deep friendships, it’s felt like it’s about status and consumerism. There’s the cute aspect for children, with bad puns and candy. Then there’s the jewelry ads, and flowers, and “traditional” date ideas.
Valentine’s Day just isn’t that enjoyable. Additionally, much of how the holiday is celebrated is designed to celebrate unbridled consumerism.
And it’s fast approaching. Like, it’s Thursday.
So, what do you do if you want to celebrate while not doing so with flowers, and jewels, and consumerism?
(Anything you want. It’s your life.)
Visit a local to you museum, botanical garden, butterfly garden, park, or something like it.
Cook a meal you’ve been wanting to make.
Experiment with making a decadent dessert.
Gift things that your giftee has wanted or needed.
Start some seeds inside.
Text your friends a quick note, telling them something you appreciate about them.
Write your partner a letter.
Take a moment to write out a list of the things you like or love about yourself. Or a list of things that you don’t like about yourself and ask, then answer, why these things bother you. Is there a way you can draw strength from them? Are you ok with not loving every aspect of yourself?
Perform an act of physical care of self you might have been pushing aside.
Go to a local place and get a drink with a friend to catch up. Or invite them over and have a meal. (With the indulgent dessert from earlier.)
Spend some time doing something that you want to do, not just need to do.
Do a half an hour stretching routine.
Go to a local to you bakery or chocolate place.
Tell the people that you love what they mean to you. Whatever kind of love.
What would make it meaningful for you? Do you want to reaffirm your romantic relationship? Would you want to take some time for self care? Do you want to strengthen your platonic friendships? If you were to have an ideal Valentine’s Day, what would it look like? How would you build it?