Valentine’s Day is here again and it’s hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind of it. I’m guilty of feeling pressure on ALL holidays, really — whatever the expected emotion or action is, I tend to think of it a little too much, and feel bad or less than if I don’t fully embody it all day long. New Year’s Eve is such a huge party holiday that I feel like a bit of a loser if I’m at home sipping champagne with my dog (err, next to my dog). I feel pressured to have a huge, blowout BBQ on Memorial Day (which I know shouldn’t be the focus AT ALL). And today, on Valentine’s Day, I wonder why I’m not in the kitchen busting out some adorable, heart-shaped cookies, wearing head-to-toe pink and red, and surrounded by flowers and candy. We’re molded by society and media no matter how hard we try.
A big downside of this holiday that is also, of course, deeply ingrained in peoples’ minds is this insane pressure to be romantically involved with someone. SO much of this day is tied up in getting expensive gifts, indulging in dinner and champagne, and just generally having someone in your life to shower you with THINGS and cards and chocolates. It should come as no surprise that I think this is crap. If we can get past the overwhelmingly materialistic aspect, we’re reminded that it’s JUST ONE DAY, and making people feel like shit because they don’t have a romantic partner to shower with money and useless shit is… well, pretty terrible.
Instead of focusing solely on a romantic partner today, why not simply show your affection to ALL of the people you love? Extend kindness and happiness into the world. Compliment someone you see at the store. Give some candy to your mom. Make a homemade card for your neighbor. Send your grandfather a sweet e-mail. Post a funny photo on your friend’s Facebook wall. Make everyone around you feel loved, and realize that YOU are loved as well, by a whole myriad of different people, and hopefully by yourself as well. Treat yourself in some way. Sit down and read a book. Make yourself some hot cocoa (with marshmallows). Listen to your favorite music, or watch your favorite TV show while you’re cuddled on the couch. Sip some wine. Love yourself, ignore the stupid commercials, and remind yourself that not only will it be over tomorrow, but there will be deeply discounted candy, too. 😉