Valentine's Day is upon us and if you're single, it can be a painful reminder that there's no one in your life to buy you flowers, take you out for dinner, give you a foot rub, or bring you breakfast in bed (for now).
For many single people, Valentine's Day is something best ignored, or perhaps self-medicated with ice cream, alcohol, or a binge of their favorite Netflix series.
It can be a time to be angry and frustrated about past, unsuccessful relationships; to wonder how you've arrived at another Valentine's Day without a date, or to feel sorry for yourself for being alone.
You can spend the day feeling lousy, or you can get creative and find a way to enjoy the day.
There are five things that single people everywhere can do to bring more love into their lives on Valentine's Day. If you're single, it's all about being more loving to yourself, and to others.
Here are the five ways you can bring more love into your life on Valentine's Day:
1: Spend time connecting to your inner child. Give this child within you all the affirmation, validation and nurturing it desires. The inner child is a part of your psyche that can benefit tremendously from any love and validation that you send its way.
2: Do nice things for yourself, like going for a walk in nature, getting a massage or cooking a delicious, nutritious meal. Just because there's no-one else there to do nice things for you, it doesn't mean that these things are unavailable.
3: Be kind to strangers. Sharing a smile, a kind word, or a helpful gesture with someone at the store, on the bus or in the street will create loving feelings within you. Expressing kindness to others releases hormones like Oxytocin and endorphins, which create feelings of love and well-being within you.
4: Visit a neighbour. Spending an hour or two with a sick or elderly neighbour will make them feel loved and cared for, and their gratitude and appreciation will warm your heart. Altruism has been shown to benefit the giver even more than the receiver and after the visit, your brain will be bathed in love-inducing chemicals for hours to come.
5: Don't forget your pets. They might not be people, but they love you unconditionally. Take a moment to give them cuddles, and to soak up their limitless adoration. While pets might not be a substitute for human relationships, they do add enormous value to our lives and they show us how to love more freely and deeply.
Even if you feel lonely on Valentine's Day, you can bring more love to yourself and to others. And who knows, with all this love in your heart, you might just attract a new partner into your life in the coming days.
Click here to see my new book, "Back on the Market: The Grown-up Woman's Guide to Great First Dates... and Beyond."
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