Now, Valentine’s Day usually evokes one of two opinions – you either love it or hate it. Couples shower each other in affection. Friends decide to pamper each other. Meanwhile, those who are single (or like me, perpetually single) tend to despise the Hallmark holiday. My unsolicited opinion? I believe everyday is a new opportunity to celebrate your loved ones and cherish them. Why just one day when you have 365 (sometimes 366) at your disposal? So, this Valentine’s Day, I’m focusing on myself. Trying the “half glass full” approach for a change. Self-love is immensely crucial. We enter the world alone and we essentially leave the world alone, so why not love yourself wholly and without inhibitions? 

Now, I encourage you all to practice self-love for Valentine’s Day 2020. Then, continue practicing it thereafter until the act becomes second nature. Pamper yourselves, friends. You don’t need a  partner to give you the love you so deserve. Know your worth – because you are worth it. L’Oreal was right all along!

Below, I’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day. Get ready to love you, yourself, and…you? The sequel to Me, Myself & Irene obviously. 

1. Spa Day

Now, this one may seem obvious. Typically, most people attend a spa with their pals. Why not take yourself out for a little rest and relaxation? Allow a complete stranger to knead those massive knots you’ve had in your shoulders since 2010. Get a facial or try acupuncture. Just think of all the stress and tension escaping your body via those needles!

Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, and Melissa Fumero

Pictured: Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, and Melissa Fumero in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. They know what self-love is all about. 

2. Movie Date

There’s nothing wrong with a solo movie date. To be honest, I seldom watch movies with other people anymore, with the exception of my family. Grab a hefty bag of popcorn, the biggest soda known to humankind, and sit in a darkened theater for a while. Turn off your brain and dive deep into escapism. Explosions are especially fun to watch on a massive screen. Just pretend the characters in the movie are setting a bunch of Valentine’s Day cards ablaze!

3. Dinner Date

Now, take yourself out to dinner. Go for broke at a fine dining restaurant. Order a juicy steak, if that’s you’re thing. Splurge on dessert. Our bodies need fuel, so why not replenish with foods you love? Time to fill up the tank, friends!

4. Take a Walk 

Of course, some fresh air is always a salve for the soul. For me, taking a walk is a way of clearing my head if I’m feeling particularly stressed. Enjoy nature, and savor a brief respite from being indoors. If you’re in a snowy area, go make a snow angel. That is, if the weather isn’t below freezing – I’m a native Midwesterner, so I understand just how frigid it can get in the winter time. Regardless, try to enjoy some time out of the house. 

5. Retail Therapy 

Now, retail therapy should never be utilized to fill some sort of figurative hole. Your worth doesn’t lie in material things. However, if you’ve been in need of new shoes or jeans, why not treat yourself? To quote Donna and Tom in Parks and Recreation, “Treat yo self!” Rename Valentine’s Day “Treat Yourself 2020.” 

Aziz Ansari and Retta in Parks and Recreation

Pictured: Aziz Ansari and Retta in Parks and Recreation. They definitely know how to treat themselves.

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6. Indulge in Hobbies 

Do you love to read, but find yourself bereft of time? Crack open that new novel you’ve been meaning to read for the past two months. Is writing your thing? Pen a short story, a blog post, or even an old-fashioned journal entry. Are you into art? Craft a new painting to hang in your living room. Indulge in your favorite pastimes that may have taken the back burner. Get all artsy fartsy, folks! 

7. Social Media Cleanse 

Now, most of us are guilty as charged when it comes to spending too much time on our social media accounts. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, some of the newer platforms I’m not familiar with. Essentially, there’s something out there for everyone. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: turn off your notifications. Perhaps even delete your apps for the day, if you’re really feeling the need for a cleanse. Maybe even take it a step further and throw your phone into a lake should the mood strike you (I’m kidding…maybe)!

8. Netflix Binge 

Of course, Netflix is always there to pick us up when we feel down. Normally, I wouldn’t encourage binge watching for too long, but this is a special occasion. If you’re like me, TV comedies are a wonderful remedy. So, turn on your favorite comedy and get ready to laugh. They do say laughter is the best medicine…whoever “they” are. 

9. Do Something Kind

Doing good deeds should never go out of style. Helping others can instill a sense of inner love, besides bringing joy to those around you. Treat those as you want to be treated, right? Apply the golden rule this Valentine’s Day by volunteering at a soup kitchen. Perhaps buy a meal for the homeless person living on your street corner. Clean up trash in your neighborhood. Hold doors open for people. No act of kindness is considered too small in my book. You’ll feel wonderful afterwards, especially with the knowledge that you made a difference.

D'Arcy Carden, Jameela Jamil, and Kristen Bell

Pictured: D’Arcy Carden, Jameela Jamil, and Kristen Bell in The Good Place. Just imagine this photo is of you giving yourself a big bear hug. 

10. Positive Affirmations 

This one is simple. Instead of incessantly catering to the voice in your head that’s spreading lies and spewing venom, give yourself a pep talk. Maybe write a list of everything you love about yourself. Put it by your bedside so you’re reminded of your wonderful attributes on the daily. Read them out loud. Give yourself the grace you so freely give to others. 

That’s all I wrote! I’ll leave you with a quote from Agent Carter:

I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.

So, friends, remember your value this Valentine’s Day. Dismiss the naysayers. Don’t heed their unsolicited opinions, because it’s your life. Treasure yourself. Love yourself. You deserve it.