It is finally less than one month away from my favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day! A lot of people cringe at the thought of this holiday, but I can’t help but adore the pink and red decorations and indulge in my most favorite thing, chocolate! Growing up, Valentine’s Day being a romantic holiday was never the first thought that popped into my mind, and it still is not. To me, Valentine’s Day is a day all about love and showing love to those who you love. This includes self-love too!

I know a lot of people dread the idea of Valentine’s Day every year because it may remind them about failed relationships and some people may go as far as to throw anti-Valentine’s Day parties. Other people hate Valentine’s Day because it is a reminder that they are not receiving flowers or chocolates from an admirer. If you look at all the reasons to hate this holiday, you can definitely find them.

There was also a time in my life, where I would wait to have a Valentine and be sad when that did not happen. I used to get sad when I was not receiving any special Valentine’s gifts or have any plans. Until I decided I was not going to sulk anymore. After all, I did love celebrating it! One year, me and my friend decided to surprise each other with a small Valentine’s Day theme gift. We were living far apart, and decided to mail them so it was a surprise! It has become a tradition since. If not going out to dinner, I look forward to cooking my favorite dinner on Valentine’s and indulge in my favorite dessert. Some years I buy myself flowers, some years I buy myself balloons. I decorate my living space with Valentine’s themed decorations in February to remind myself of the love all around me. I make sure to fill my Valentine’s Day with the little things that bring me joy such as enjoying a good cup of coffee and spending some time outside.

Feeling alone on Valentine’s Day is not fun if it’s all you focus on. I forgot I had myself. Loving ourselves is a hard task. It is easy to buy other’s gifts and speak kindly to our loved ones, but too often we forget to do these things for ourselves. This Valentine’s Day, write yourself a Valentine’s Day card of all the reasons you love YOU. Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to treat you to everything you want this Valentine’s Day! Regardless of your relationship status, practice self-love this valentine’s day and do something for yourself or say no to something you don’t want to do! Self-love does not have to be a big act; it can be as simple as lighting that candle you’ve been saving for something special or even practicing affirmations. Reach out to a therapist at Works Counseling Center if you would like to work on enhancing your self-love!