7 Ways to Love Yourself on Valentine’s Day
Survey a crowd of kindergarteners and you won’t hear too many complaints about Valentine’s Day; it’s basically just Awkward Halloween, where there’s this strange vibe in the air about “love” or whatever, and people might dress up a little, but really, it’s just an occasion for tremendous amounts of candy. But as the years progress, the holiday somehow evolves into a pressure cooker: fancy flowers, fancy dinner, fancy sex. To be sure, there’s value in setting aside time for you and your partner to do something special for each other, but somewhere along the way, all these whack, material-driven rules got put in place. And if you’re single, there’s all this society-induced pressure to reflect on why, which is extra bullshit.
Maybe we can revisit this conversation once you’re out of diapers, Cupid, but in the meantime, whether you’re spending the day with someone else or hanging solo, we say you hack into Valentine’s Day by subverting any expectations of what you’re supposed to do and simply block out time to do whatever it is that makes you feel loved and relaxed. Consider the following:
1. Block out time to do very little. Going out on Valentine’s Day is weirdly stressful; you have to plan weeks or months in advance, and then once you actually hit the town, it’s crowded with couples trying to pretend the crowdedness isn’t a total mood kill. Prioritize whatever is going to make your night as relaxing as it can be; if that means laying low, no need to feel weird about it.
2. Eat and drink what makes you happy. As someone who waited tables for a long time, I can attest that yes, restaurants are ripping you off on that prix fixe. A lot of chefs put together a special menu halfheartedly, too, because the masses have certain expectations (oysters, surf and turf, chocolate cake, etc.), and that predictability bores them. You know what’s never not sexy? Hot pizza delivered straight to your door. But hey, that’s just one person’s opinion. If you wanna put sushi all over your partner’s body and eat it off, there’s always that, too. If you want to eat three Toblerone bars for dinner, get after it.
3. Get offline and enjoy the eff out of it. No need to make yourself nauseous with a bunch of super staged Insta photos from that girl you went to middle school with, who hashtags all of her photos with #blessed, #lovehim and a minimum of 57 other things. This is a great excuse to just shut the noise out for a minute. When was the last time you listened to music super loud, without doing anything else? It’s a pleasure too often forgotten in our device-filled existence. Put on your favorite record from 10 years ago, close your eyes, and listen.
4. Condition and moisturize all of the things. Slap a hair mask on your hair. Doctor up a bath with salts, bath bombs, bath milks, oils, etc. Exfoliate and actually massage lotion into your skin for once rather than the quick slather you normally do. These things take time you never otherwise have and sometimes, it’s the little things.
5. Love yourself, literally. Right up there with the invention of the wheel, vibrators are a wonder of homosapien ingenuity in terms of efficiency and simplicity (they are also way more fun). If you’ve never owned one and you’re not feeling compelled to do a ton of in-depth research, turns out Amazon has a pretty darn impressive selection (and most of them are eligible for Prime!).
6. Make yourself laugh. Because it feels good and you probably don’t do it enough. Scroll through the TinyGentleAsians Insta. Rewatch your favorite episodes of Broad City (again). Revisit this literary classic, “Texts From Jane Eyre.” Fall deep into the archives of Hyperbole and a Half. Watch all of Insecure if you haven’t gotten around to it. ALL OF IT.
7. And don’t forget to celebrate Galentine’s Day the day before, on February 13! For the uninitiated, Galentine’s Day is a fictitious holiday created by a fictitious character (Leslie Knope played by Amy Poehler on Parks and Recreation, which you could also spend the entire day watching and it would be well spent) but that doesn’t make it any less real...or something. Gather up your best girls for a day of breakfast foods and loving on each other. Because even after all this, that’s pretty much better than anything that could happen on Valentine’s Day, right?