Toward the end of the winter holidays, I remember running to my local grocery story to grab some last moment holiday baking items and I remember being surprised to see pink and red holiday candy and décor already out. February was still two months away, yet people were already planning to start celebrating the next holiday while there were still Christmas presents under their trees!

Maybe it’s the fact that January tends to last a whole 31 long cold days with little sun and plenty of brrr from the breeze and frost. Maybe that’s why grocery stores, retail stores and supermarkets try to help us out by reminding us of the next upcoming festivities. By displaying ginormous bears and hearts and candies and cupcakes.

Taking a look back into history St. Valentine’s Day is a holiday with Roman origins, [1] where lovers showed displays of affection with gifts and greetings. Overtime, I think we can all agree it has become a Hallmark holiday.

As if the pressure to be paired up during the winter holiday months of Thanksgiving and Christmas wasn’t enough here is yet another holiday where people often feel the pressure of being in a relationship. But, here is a gentle reminder that it’s okay. You do not have to be in a relationship to be happy this February 14th. There are many other ways you can share displays of affection with gifts and/ or greetings with family, friends or even yourself.

Before we go any further, I want to state that if you are in a relationship or have a romantic interest that is perfect and there is nothing wrong with doing so. Maybe you can relate to this blog, maybe you can’t. But we must go on for those who are curious as to how to solve their predicament.

First, here is a short list of people who you can chose to celebrate with:
– Mother
– Father
– Brother
– Sister
– Grandpa
– Grandma
– Uncle
– Aunt
– Best friend
– Cousin
– Niece
– Nephew
– Dog
– Cat
– Neighbor

Second, chose an activity to celebrate instead of focusing on buying generic cards and chocolates:
– Bake heart shaped goodies
– Capture a sunrise and sunset
– Cook a home-made meal for yourself and/ or your important person
– Dress up and go do a photoshoot around town
– Go for a hike
– Go on a picnic
– Go on a roadtrip
– Go to the gym
– Go watch a local sports game
– Hand make cards and write letters to your loved ones
– Learn to play golf or at least start with mini-golfing
– Play some boardgames
– Sign up for a painting or sculpting class
– Take a dance or workout class together
– Take a walk around your neighborhood
– Visit a local museum or two
– Volunteer at the local homeless shelter

Hopefully you were able to get some ideas of what you can do whether you chose to do it by yourself or with someone. But, just remember to give yourself time to rest and unwind from all the pressure and stress of the holidays. Maybe you read all the above ideas and end up ordering food in and binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix and that is absolutely okay!

There are no right or wrong answers with what you chose but just don’t forget to choose yourself. Take a moment to reflect. Write a letter to yourself, record a blog about your day, create a Q & A podcast about yourself. Just remember to love yourself 

Remember to focus on your heart health after all February is also American Heart Month.

~ Jasneelam Kaur