Like many annually celebrated events, there can be a split of emotions. For some, it creates an excuse to spend more time with loved ones, for others it can create some unwelcome loneliness.
According to the Wellbeing and Loneliness Community Life Survey, 2020/2021 - approximately three million people in England said they feel lonely often or always.
A day like Valentine’s can amplify such emotions. So, how should you spend the day if you don’t have/want to spend it with your partner?
Spend time with friends
Arrange a phone call, dinner, or something fun with a friend. We’d also advise voicing how days like Valentine’s makes you feel - as the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved!
Treat it as just another day
If you don’t fancy getting out and about or you’re struggling to find someone to meet up with - alleviate the pressure and just live out your normal day. Get some laundry done, whip up a nice meal, and catch up on your favourite series.
To keep you company, switch on a podcast that discusses a topic you’re interested in, this can help you to feel connected to complete strangers.
What would you usually spend on someone else? Spend that amount on yourself! Whether it’s a nice bunch of flowers, a trip to the driving range, a massage - be sure to set yourself aside some money to treat yourself appropriately. This can provide you with a good little boost as well as some self-appreciation!
Volunteering is a well-known way to interact with others whilst carrying out a mutually beneficial service to those who need it.
Not only will volunteering get you talking to others, but research has shown that doing good deeds can have a positive impact on your mental health.
Thomas H. Sander, executive director of the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard University, said in one study, "Civic engagement and volunteering is the new hybrid health club for the 21st century that's free to join ... Social capital research shows it miraculously improves both your health and the community's through the work performed and the social ties built."
Take advantage of free spaces
On Valentine’s day, it’s quite common for shops and gyms to be pretty quiet. Use this as an excuse to enjoy all the free space to get your weekly shop in - or to finally have free rein of the squat rack!
Borrow a dog
A survey by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute found that 80% of pet owners said their pets made them feel less lonely. If you don’t have your own pooch to walk or give some attention to - you can borrow one!
If you can’t convince a friend or family member to let you borrow their dog, try using Borrow My Doggy!
However you spend your Valentine’s Day, it’s important to remember that such events are never a measure of how loved or important you are - this manifests in everyday life.
But if you feel like loneliness emerges on more days than just February 14th, please seek help immediately.
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