15 Things to do if you’re single on Valentine’s Day – NBC Chicago

Romance schmomance. It’s Valentine’s Day, and it’s next to impossible to avoid all things lovebird-related, especially when you’re single.

But don’t let the most romantic holiday get you down. Instead, take inventory of what really matters in life, and you’ll likely discover that the most important person in the world isn’t a plus-one, but rather you.

Yep, all that stuff about Cupid and sweet nothings is nice and all, but Feb. 14 is about a lot more than heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and rom-coms.

It’s about loving the one you’re with, and if that person is you, why not take the day to treat yourself?

“Consider showing yourself some love,” Phyllis Ginsberg, M.A., MFT and author, tells TODAY.com.

“Buy yourself flowers, chocolates, or something special. Prepare a nice meal or order takeout. Send loving messages to friends and family and see what they write back,” Ginsberg suggests.

That’s especially important if Valentine’s Day has you feeling a bit blue over all things red, white and pink. If that’s the case, Ginsberg recommends shifting your perspective to avoid dwelling over a litany of what-ifs.

“What gives Valentine’s Day meaning is unique to us,” she says. Whether you’re alone or part of a couple, decide in advance how you want to feel about celebrating Valentine’s Day, then make some plans.”

Even if those plans are to sit simply hang out at home, what matters is that you’re in the driver’s seat and doing exactly as you please, which isn’t always a bad thing.

Should you decide that you’d like to celebrate you in style this year, we’ve gathered a list of creative ways to spend Valentine’s Day if you’re single. The best part? We think you’re going to love ’em.

Start a new tradition

Whether it’s making a silly craft, channeling your inner Picasso at the local paint and sip class, indulging in a box of French macarons or setting up an annual phone date with your bestie, establish a new Valentine’s Day tradition to look forward to each and every year.

Make it something unique and all about you. Should you find yourself part of a couple in the years to come, include your person and turn it into a subsequent celebration for two.

Get a tarot or astrology reading

Not sure what comes next in life? Perhaps the answer is written in the stars — or on a deck of cards. Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, it can’t hurt to find out with might be in store for you from either an astrology expert or tarot-card reader.

You might be surprised what you’ll learn about not only the future, but also yourself in the process. If nothing more, it’s a fun and memorable way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Host a Galentine’s Day party

After originating on the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” celebrating Galentine’s Day with the girls has become almost as popular as Valentine’s Day itself. And why not? There’s nothing like spending an evening with your closest gal pals who are bound to remind you that while love is sweet, friendship is sometimes better.

Dress up and go out to dinner or wear matching jammies and watch movies on the couch. Whatever you decide, kick off the party with a little “let’s go girls!” enthusiasm à la Shania Twain.

Go on a vacation (even if it’s just for the day)

Rather than watch everyone get flowers and gush over their big dinner plans at work, take a vacation day or week (why not?) and enjoy some much-needed time to yourself.

Visit a museum, discover new music or soak up the sun poolside. Better yet, plan a trip to a destination you’ve had idling on your bucket list.

Without someone else to consider, you can do exactly what you want, when you want to do it.

Improve your surroundings

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Even rearranging the furniture is a fun way to shake things up. Do as little or as much as you feel like taking on.

Get creative and carve out cozy reading nook in your space, shop for a plant or two to green up your home, or decorate for the heart-shaped holiday.

Take up a new hobby

Though it probably seems like a simple suggestion, there’s good reason to start a new hobby on Valentine’s Day, or any other day for that matter.

According to a 2010 study, hobbies are good for us both mentally and physically. Among the many benefits, research shows that people who engage in leisure activities report greater life satisfaction, lower stress and blood pressure, and overall improved wellness.

Whether you make it a point to stop by the craft store for knitting needles or sign up for a Zumba class, starting something new is a great way to show up for yourself.

Book a spa appointment

A little self-care goes a long way, so why not spend Valentine’s Day pampering yourself?

When it comes to taking care of the most important people in your life, you should be at the top of the list. That said, schedule a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage or other spa treatment on Feb. 14.

Budget-conscious? No worries. Plan a spa night at home. Bathtub, scented candles and a glass of bubbly (ginger ale works, too) are all you need to feel positively decadent.

Head to your local bookstore

Books are making serious comeback this year — not that they ever really went out of fashion. But after years of all things digital, the pendulum has swung back to old-school pleasures like going to the bookstore and choosing a new book, which makes for a perfect V-Day date for one.

There’s something reverent about walking among the shelves, searching for just the right read. Skip the relationship section and go straight to the thrillers or whatever else tickles your fancy.

Not sure what to pick? Try a Read With Jenna book club selection, then make sure to keep your reading streak alive by reading a few pages every day.

Cook your favorite meal or order takeout

Going out for a fancy dinner or cooking something special at home is a traditional Valentine’s Day activity for couples, families and friends.

But you don’t need a plus-one (or ten) to enjoy either one of those things.

Skip the overcrowded restaurant and order up your favorite meal via delivery or pickup. Or, if you love to cook, shop for ingredients ahead of time and treat yourself.

Don’t skimp on the candles, flowers or pretty table settings either. Dress up your table just like you would if you had guests over.

Make it a movie night

Indulge in a classic rom-com or two. Fill a bowl with popcorn, pick up some candy at the dollar store and settle in to watch Meg and Tom meet up (finally, sheesh) at the top of the Empire State Building.

Or feel free to kick Cupid to the curb and go for a thriller, sci-fi flick or action movie. Who needs love, right? Join Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling for Barbie-themed night at home.

Host a dance party for one

Love to dance? Make a playlist with all your favorite tunes and get ready to boogie down. No need for a partner since dancing is something you can do all by your one-some.

Not only will busting a move put you in a good mood, research shows it can also sharpen your focus, reduce stress and improve your sleep.

So, put on your party clothes, sequined scarf and spend the night with Harry Styles, Taylor Swift or any other artist of your choice.

Have a Pet-entine’s Day party

If it’s just you and Rover this Valentine’s Day, go all out on with some special themed treats —heart-shaped dog bones for your pup, heart-shaped cookies for you.

Then dress your pal up in an adorable pet sweater (OK, maybe not the cat) and post photos on Instagram with a funny Valentine’s Day caption.

Better yet, show off the spirited ensemble at the dog park or while taking a walk around the neighborhood.

Get yourself a gift (or two)

Consider this: If you weren’t single, you’d probably be at the mall right now looking for the perfect gift to buy that special someone.

Good news, you’re a special someone, too. So, put that time and energy into picking out something just for you.

Maybe it’s that sweater you’ve had your eye on or a box of your favorite chocolates. It doesn’t have to be extravagant (although, by all means, it can be), just a simple reminder that thoughtful gifts don’t have to come from other people on Valentine’s Day in order to be meaningful.

Indulge in your passion

Just because the holiday falls on a weekday this year, doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy your favorite pastime.

Whether it’s skydiving, painting pottery, seeing a concert, attending trivia night at the local bar or belting out karaoke tunes, just do it and chances are pretty good, you’ll have fun while you’re at it.

After all, no one knows you better than, well, you.

And, you never know, you just might encounter someone else who shares your same passion, strike up a conversation, friendship or new romance.

Do something for someone else

If seeing pink and red has you feeling a bit blue this year, doing something nice for someone just might be the secret to improving your outlook.

According to a 2017 study, performing generous acts can directly benefit your mental health and, yep, make you happier as a result.

There are plenty of ways to spread love on Valentine’s Day (and the rest of the year, too) like signing up to volunteer in your community, surprising friends and/or family with gifts, making baked goods for a neighbor or other small acts of kindness.

Even better, it’s likely that someone else you know will be spending Valentine’s Day alone. Remind them that they’re being thought of with a card, text or stopping by with a bouquet of flowers.

Not only will you make them happy, but you’ll feel good, too.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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