Feeling blue because you’re single on Valentine’s Day and not anywhere near ready for dating? Instead of feeling down on yourself or lonely, make it a special day to celebrate your sobriety and your newfound love of life. There are plenty of reasons to love yourself and your choice to get sober. You may still feel like you’re missing out on all the fun when you see happy couples everywhere, but make it a special day just for you.
TAKE THE DAY OFF
Do you have vacation days you can take at work? Take the day off if you can. Take time to enjoy a slow, leisurely morning instead of the usual rush. Sip coffee and read the newspaper or do some yoga in the morning to stretch and get your blood flowing. If you’re worried about having too much time on your hands to feel lonely, here are some recommendations on how to spend your day.
TAP INTO NOSTALGIA
Remember those valentines you got from your classmates? Buy a box of those valentines and write one to yourself for every obstacle you’ve overcome, every time you’ve shown strength, and every trait about yourself that deserves love and recognition. Remember those little candy hearts with messages like “be mine” or “true love?” Buy some for yourself.
Things that are nostalgic or remind us of our childhood can produce positive feelings in many people. Take advantage of any good associations with your past. Even if you are recovering from childhood trauma, most people can find something from those early years to spark good memories and the resulting pleasant feelings that come from them.
WRITE ABOUT IT
If you keep a journal (and if you don’t, you should), take the day to write about all the things you love about yourself. This may be hard at first, but give yourself time to come up with compelling evidence of the work you have put in on your journey to sobriety and all the reasons to love yourself.
Keeping track of your feelings and your responses to triggers is always a useful tool in recovery, but don’t forget to write down your positive feelings and celebrate your wins. Anytime you’re feeling down, re-read your Valentine’s Day journal entry to boost your self-esteem.
SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
What’s Valentine’s Day without gifts? Whether big or small, buy yourself some gifts that you have been wanting or things that can help you in getting healthy. You can even wrap them up for your personal celebration. I know it’s a little weird, but unwrapping gifts for yourself, given by yourself, can be very satisfying (not to mention you know you got exactly what you wanted because you picked them out yourself). Trust me and give it a try.
HEART-SHAPED (CHOCOLATE) BOX
Buy yourself a big, heart-shaped box of candy, and feel free to poke in your finger to see what flavors are in each chocolate. Added bonus? If you find some dark chocolate, you’ll get a higher boost of serotonin to stabilize your mood. Chocolate also boosts dopamine to make you happier. And you thought you just loved chocolate so much because it tastes so good! There’s a scientific and physiological response when we eat chocolate that explains our obsession with it and why it is so connected to romance.
DINNER DATE FOR ONE
If you are a gourmet cook or love trying to be, whip up a special meal of some of your favorite foods. Maybe there are some foods you can only afford on special occasions like lobster or a nice ribeye steak. Splurge if you can–you’re worth it and it’s worth celebrating your journey.
On the other hand, if you aren’t such a great cook, you may consider take-out or delivery from your favorite Chinese restaurant or maybe some great Mexican food. But if you choose to go that route, don’t eat out of styrofoam or cardboard cartons. Take the time to set the table with your best dinnerware, candles, and nice glasses. If you have cloth napkins or fine silverware, use those as well. Whether home-cooked or carry-out, make this dinner special.
PLAN A NIGHT IN
Who wants to go out with social distancing restrictions and all those couples wandering about to make us feel more lonely? Have a private movie festival in your living room. Line up two or three of your favorite movies to create an evening of fun entertainment. You may not be at the theater, but don’t forget the snacks. Pop some popcorn and indulge in all that candy you bought yourself for Valentine’s Day. Maybe even buy some specially-bottled soda. Turn out the lights and create a theater at home.
They say one is the loneliest number but it doesn’t have to be. Make Valentine’s Day a personal day to celebrate your love of life and sobriety. If you have vacation days or are lucky enough you don’t have to work, think of it as the recovery version of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”–without having to play hooky. Buy yourself candy or maybe even flowers. Buy yourself gifts and indulge in a great meal and movie night. The greatest love affair of your life can be the one you have with yourself. Okay, maybe you’d rather find your soulmate, but your own company is more than enough for now. Learning to be alone can be an important part of recovery. At Everlast Recovery Center, we start you on this journey and provide aftercare to support you as you adapt to your new lifestyle. You may not be ready to date yet, but you’re always welcome here in our sober family in Riverside, California. Call us today at 866-DETOX-25