Are you “solo” this Valentine’s? Don’t let all the buzz get you down! Here are some ways to make the most of this season of love and practice the most important type of love—self-love.
1. Learn something new
When we learn or try something new, it exercises our brains and improves our cognitive functions. Make a painting. Take a yoga class if you’ve never done it before. Sign up for a workout class. Practice singing with YouTube. Try a new instrument or a craft. Play a new sport. Don’t be worried about being perfect or even good, just focus on the process of getting out of your comfort zone. It might be uncomfortable at first, but being able to push through those initial feelings of awkwardness will feel really good after!
2. Go dancing
Whether you’re a great dancer or someone that never dances, dancing is a great way to improve both your physical and mental health. It reduces stress, keeps the mind sharp, and helps you get in touch with your body! Afrobeats, hip-hop, salsa, bachata, and contemporary are just a few of the types of dance you can practice. Whether in person or online, get moving this Valentine’s!
3. Have a dinner party
A dinner party is a great thing to plan and look forward to! Whether it's with friends or family, you can entertain yourself with the process of entertaining others this Valentine’s. Think of who you want to invite, where you want to host them, the type of food and drinks you want, the vibe you’re going for with the party. Do you want games? Decorations? Gifts? A dinner party can really be anything you make it, the most important thing is that you bring people together and have a great time.
4. Wine & dine yourself
What better time to take yourself out on an extravagant date? Valentine’s is all about the commercialization of love so use it to your advantage! Make a reservation at a fancy restaurant and give yourself the opportunity to dress up, be seen, and take tons of pictures! Alternatively, order in or cook something good and have a great dinner right at home.
Pro tip: If you want to spice things up when you go out, you can tell the waiter you were stood up for a chance at free drinks!
5. Visit the theater
Have you ever gone to see a movie by yourself? Everyone should do it more! Going to the movies alone is a nice, simple way to spend you-time this Valentine’s. It also helps you feel more comfortable with yourself! You can see whatever film you want, sit wherever, eat whatever, and just do your own thing! If you want to sneak in a snack (or five) and have a cute little nap in there, that’s all up to you! Go forth and prosper.
6. Start a creative project
This might sound a bit like work but it’s not! The project can be as big or small as you want it to be, it just needs to be something that stimulates your imagination and helps you express yourself. It can also be relaxing! From writing a poem to doing a puzzle to putting together a piece of furniture, these kinds of projects boost creativity, take the mind off stress, and develop skills.
7. Bake something
There’s a reason banana bread and sourdough became so popular during the first lockdown— baking is therapeutic! No matter what you decide to bake, the process of following a recipe, carefully putting things together, waiting, and getting a finished product is very satisfying. Some easy things to try are cookies, muffins, brownies, bread rolls, and scones, but if you do decide to try to make more complex desserts like cheesecake, pie, or things you can’t pronounce, just be prepared to be challenged!
8. Explore a new part of your city
How long have you lived in the city you’re in right now? Whether it’s home for you, or you’re new to it, exploring like a tourist without a specific plan in mind can be a great way to spend your Valentine’s. Think of a neighborhood or area that you’re not too familiar with but looks nice and safe to explore. Check online for some things you might be interested in checking out. Do they have small markets? Food trucks? Nice parks? Try taking a walk or public transit to and around that area for a new experience.
9. Book a photoshoot
Getting yourself a photoshoot is an amazing way to pamper yourself. Whether you feel at home in front of the camera or need some guidance, a professional photographer should be able to guide you through the process and help you feel like the main character! Photos help you memorialize this moment in your life and can help you feel good about where you currently are in your personal journey. No one is perfect and no one has it all together, so it’s important to make the most of our present and be content in our now. You can even print some of your favorites and hang those physical mementos up somewhere!
Pro tip: It doesn’t have to be a solo shoot! Have photos taken with your best friends, siblings, pets etc.
10. Travel for Valentine’s
Solo travel has gotten more popular recently with many guides and tips out there for anyone thinking of trying it out. Is there a place you’ve been thinking about visiting? Or somewhere you’ve been dying to return to? Go now! Whether for a day, a weekend, or a week, there is a destination out there that fits your needs and what you’re looking for. On a budget or looking to splurge? Need a relaxing getaway or an activity-packed trip? A little research will lead you to your destination if you don’t already have one in mind. As faraway or as close by as the location is, make sure to plan well and be sharp. Most importantly, have fun!
11. Buy yourself flowers
Getting flowers is a simple but surefire way to lift your mood and the ambience of your living space this Valentine’s. Add some life and a splash of color to the spaces you spend the most time in, whether that’s your room or work area. Roses are standard for Valentine’s but you can do something different based on your personal tastes. Lilies, tulips, carnations, or dried floral arrangements are some great options!
Pro tip: Buying a plant instead gives you something that (hopefully) won’t die soon. Plants in the home improve air quality and also improve our moods because they give us the opportunity to take care of something outside ourselves.
12. Have a spa day
Massages, scrubs, aromatherapy, streams. Make some time for a full pampering experience with any of these treatments. Getting your hair and nails done can also be a part of your Valentine’s spa day! This is one of the most straightforward self-care activities you can do and will definitely result in you feeling like a new person.
Pro tip: Take advantage of the specials and packages during this season by taking a friend or family member!
13. Celebrate Galentine’s or Palentine’s
How often do you have all your friends in the same place? Spending time with friends gets harder as we get older so Valentine’s is an awesome opportunity to spread the love and make your friends feel valued! Whether you host Galentine’s for just the girls, or Palentine’s for all your pals, you can turn the night (or day!) into a great one! Have a spa day and then a night out, or just a game night at home. Whatever you and your friends end up doing, having something to look forward to together is a great way to spend Valentine’s!
14. Go shopping!
Let’s be real, we’re all constantly shopping BUT holidays and special occasions help us feel much better about it! Treat yourself this Valentine’s with something you’ve had your eyes on for a while. You can also surprise your friends and family with something thoughtful and sweet, they will definitely appreciate the gesture. Take advantage of deals (like the Naija Nation Valentine sale!) to love on yourself and your loved ones!
While these are great for the Valentine’s season, they are things that should be done all through the year! Self-love and self-care are so important for life and wellbeing. Take care of your needs and be kind to yourself!