Valentine’s day is a time to reminisce about the love we receive and the love we give, but that doesn’t have to be only romantically speaking.
Also known as the day of love, 14 February is the day we have an excuse to cry at the cheesiest of romcoms on Netflix. The day in which card and gift companies get a big spike in revenue. However, what I’ve always wondered is why people seem to feel particularly sad on Valentine’s day. It’s as if being single is a reminder of their ‘failure’ to live up to society’s expectations and to fill the empty space in their hearts. But, what if we were to look at it from a different perspective? Look around you and within yourself, was there ever any emptiness to begin with?
Lockdown has been the perfect example of why it is so important to love and prioritise ourselves. We have been forced to spend more time with ourselves than ever before and many of us have had to confront issues that we either didn’t realise we had, or that we tried to ignore by keeping ourselves busy.
If self-love wasn’t something that you were ever mindful of, then of course it will be a challenge. It will take time and a lot of second-guessing yourself, but once you build that relationship with yourself where you know your worth and can think about your own priorities and your own future, the feeling of needing to find a romantic relationship starts to fade into a void of irrelevancy. You begin to realise that romance was never worth stressing about.
Media often put pressure on our lives’ expectations, making it seem as we’re in a rush to find the love of our life, our dream job and to live in a big house. However, great things take patience, hard work and definitely a few mistakes along the way. Actually, this will be more rewarding when we’ll look back on how far we’ve come and who we’ve become, once we’ve reached our goals.
Valentine’s day should actually be seen as a celebration to remind yourself to stop comparing your achievements to those around you, on social media and in romcoms, and just appreciate what and who you already have in your life. Call your family, call your friends, or anyone who has been there for you in hard times and tell them how much they mean to you. Take a step back and ask yourself if you’ve shown them the love they deserve. Ask yourself whether you are being loved in the way you deserve to.
However, it doesn’t end with loving yourself and the people who are special in your life. There are many ways to express your love – yes, even in lockdown. For example, you could donate to a charity close to your heart, or simply support someone on their journey.
When we appreciate what we have and the accomplishments we’ve reached, what we don’t have doesn’t seem to matter as much.
So, by all means, watch a romcom, eat a box of heart-shaped chocolates made for sharing, daydream about your perfect match, but just don’t lose sight of what and who is important. Pamper yourself, do the things you love and never forget to be your own best friend.