Being single on Valentine’s Day is no longer the huge issue it used to be. More and more people are referring to Valentine’s Day as “Singles Awareness Day.”
“Times have changed,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a Neuropsychologist and Faculty at Columbia University. “The needle has moved on what being single means for people today. No longer are we moping around and longing for a relationship on Valentine’s Day. We can just celebrate our sense of self,” explains Hafeez. For many women, who have fulfilling careers, lifestyle, and financial goals, and those who are enjoying the single life, Hafeez says, “taking the day to celebrate yourself and your friends, or relax with family is perfectly fine.”
When Valentine’s Day rolls around, more single people want to treat it as one more reason to have some fun and pamper themselves. To keep the positive momentum rising, Dr. Sanam Hafeez shares six ways to celebrate singlehood this Valentine’s Day.
Plan A Vacation
Instead of spending all your money on expensive meals and subpar cocktails, plan a vacation for yourself or with friends. Many people make the decision to postpone travel until they have a significant other to accompany them, but “while waiting for prince charming to ride in or for sleeping beauty to wake up, they get caught up with work and life, and the traveling never happens,” warns Dr. Hafeez. The NYC neuropsychologist advises us to “Take opportunities when they present themselves. It’s better to have life catch up to you than to always feel left behind.” Going on solo vacations can be very liberating, and it can expose us to different cultures, experiences, and people without having to compromise on the itinerary. If done with friends, a vacation can be just as enjoyable, and it can revolve around bonding with those you hold dear.
Redecorate, Reorganize, Reconfigure
A great way to avoid dwelling on lost love or the journey of singlehood is to update your surroundings. Valentine’s day is so heavily marketed to make us want to be in a relationship and spend money, that sometimes we forget we can focus on our own space. “Spending a bit on an apartment update is a great way to express your style and showcase your home in the best possible light. Throwing away things you don’t need, integrating new throw pillows or wallpapers, and even taking side projects upcycling old furniture or statement pieces are great ways to bring a new spirit to your abode,” says Dr. Hafeez who says the space we live in adds energy to out day and contributes to our productivity and joy.
Host A Celebration For Your Entourage
Celebrating singlehood with other single friends on Valentine’s Day can be a blast! Dr. Hafeez recommends inviting people over to your newly redecorated place for cocktails, music, and food. “When we enter relationships, we sometimes grow distant from our friends. The relationship, in some ways, takes over. But single people who have a solid group of friends can always have fun together enjoying each other’s company and support. Anything that can bring these elements together is great, and why can’t it be on Valentine’s day?” says Dr. Hafeez.
“When in doubt, pamper yourself,” says Dr. Hafeez, who recommends “scheduling a hair cut, a facial treatment, a deep-tissue massage, or any other relaxing and enjoyable activity that brings you peace and comfort.” Salons and spas, across the country, offer Valentine’s Day specials and packages for you and some friends to take advantage of. Some go as far as offering after-work treatments so you can go straight from work and indulge. “Treating yourself to a day of beauty or relaxation is a great way to tend to yourself. Single people have the time to focus on their beauty routines without anyone asking how much they spend on eyebrow waxing, facials, highlights, blow-outs, and anything else you choose to do,” Dr. Hafeez reminds us.
Be your own Valentine and purchase yourself a present or several presents; no one is counting! Perhaps there’s a nice dress, handbag, shoes, or fragrance that you’ve wanted to treat yourself to. Celebrate your singularity with a splurge. “Shopping releases a dopamine hit, hence the term retail therapy,” says Dr. Hafeez. The key is not to let it get out of control. When you avoid overwhelming your wallet, you also help save stress later on with your finances. “Set a budget and the intention to enjoy yourself. Buy yourself something that a significant other would typically gift you, such as jewelry. For women especially, there’s something very empowering about a woman buying herself a beautiful and symbolic piece of jewelry,” suggests Dr. Hafeez.
Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Who doesn’t love chocolate? You’re your own greatest Valentine! We tend to stress so much about our health, our dress size, and our calories, and it is amazing when you get to treat yourself and leave the guilt at the door. Grab yourself to your favorite Valentine’s Day candy box and allow a sweet treat. “Want an endorphin boost? Eat some chocolate. Endorphins are stress minimizers and help boost our immune systems,” says Dr. Hafeez.
Cheers to you and cheers to being single.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is an NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C., a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz. Connect with her via Instagram @drsanamhafeez or www.comprehendthemind.com