Psychology Today

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Sharing Love

Valentine’s Day Treats for Yourself

Alice Baland, America’s Good Eating Expert! ™

 I’ll never forget one Valentine’s Day many years ago. My sweetheart and I had just stopped dating a few days before. When Valentine’s Day arrived I felt empty and heartbroken! No gifts were anticipated from anyone, nor was there someone special to whom I could share my gifts. Love was nowhere in sight!

All I wanted was for the pain to go away, but in a healthy way, not drowning in food or alcohol.  What to do? I decided to spend time at my favorite Barnes & Noble. It was relatively new in those days with cozy reading chairs and lots of wonderful books to peruse. I nearly always find joy in a bookstore or library. But this time, even Barnes and Noble was nearly devoid of people! Walking up and down the aisles, I felt even more lonely and sad. I was weeping inside and out. THAT idea didn’t fill the void within. Maybe my expectations were misaligned.

What next? Supermarkets nearly always fill me with happiness too, especially since as a nutrition professional I spend a lot of time there keeping up with the latest food products and doing supermarket education tours. But this time, even the supermarket was nearly empty, except for a few purchasing flowers for their sweethearts. My eyes feasted on all the colorful, fragrant flowers of every kind there, including roses. I knew that no roses or chocolate awaited me at my little apartment home. How was I to get over this melancholy and find the optimistic me again?

Um. The answer? Create a NEW BELIEF and NEW ACTIONS to go along with it. Being the spontaneous person I am, I decided to buy beautiful flowers and a box of dark chocolates to celebrate myself! Yes, I do love myself – even when broken down, alone and missing being in a healthy relationship.

It occurred to me that Valentine’s Day need not be just for lovers, couples or sweethearts. It actually seems to be designed by companies selling cards, flowers and chocolates more to make a profit (nothing wrong with that, but it didn’t serve my need). Why not be creative? I chose some gorgeous yellow roses and chocolates for myself and took them home to enjoy. Temporary, yes, but satisfying in a way. I was FEEDING MYSELF in a healthy way.

Then I remembered that in grade school all of my classmates would exchange lots of little Valentine cards with each other. What a good idea! I bought adorable little boxes of children’s Valentine cards. Then I addressed and mailed them to family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues and even dropped a few by in person.

That’s when I decided that any holiday need not be spent feeling sad or alone. I thought of all the elderly folks who didn’t have anybody. My dad called me yesterday from the VA to tell me that a little 7 year old girl had brought him a Valentine card! As he read it to me he cried with happiness. I wish I had sent him a card this year! Next year I will! Single college students without someone special may appreciate a Valentine card or thought. I decided that I would send little Valentine cards to clients, family and others in the future to share my love and respect for them.

Yes, I was still sad and lonely that I had a broken heart, I still cried some tears, but thinking of others helped ease my pain. Getting outside of myself is usually a good way to break the BLUE cycle. There are other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This morning I invested an hour in a LifeCycle and weight training workout – a proven way to release feel-good endorphins. I received a Happy Valentine’s Day text from one of my college student clients and replied back to her. I felt happy inside! Make a few quick phones or send a text message to someone you care about. Drop a Valentine card or gift in a mailbox or on a doorstep near you. Get OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF and share your great GOODNESS with others. SMILE! You are here for a reason and someone needs what ONLY YOU have to offer.

Treasure yourself! And if no one has yet told you HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, you’re hearing it from me. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO SOMEONE SPECIAL – YOU!

Love, Alice

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