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by Sahar Aker, Founder of I Choose Beauty

I didn't get married until I was 42, and trust me when I say I had plenty of years before then that I was single on Valentine's Day.

Seeing my friends and co-workers get roses and boxes of chocolate from their significant others made me question why this holiday should even exist.

But, since Valentine’s Day isn’t going anywhere, why not take advantage of the lovefest in a different way?

No partner? No problem.

Try these ideas to spread lots of love…to yourself.

1. Make yourself a care package.

person surrounded by wrapping paper cuts off a piece

Fill a pretty box or basket with a few of your favorite things to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. Mine would definitely include dark chocolate, herbal tea, and some lavender essential oil.

2. Go shopping.

little dog pushes tiny shopping cart

Give yourself permission to splurge a little. You deserve it. Buy yourself a special little something.

3. Plan a fun night with friends.

Rachel and Phoebe from Friends jump up and down with excitement

Rally your single pals and make the holiday about hanging out together – kind of like Friendsgiving with a Valentine’s Day twist. Make dinner reservations for an evening out with your group or have a cozy night in and enjoy each other’s company.

4. Make a list of at least 3 things you love about yourself.

Jimmy Fallon sits behind his desk and writes on paper

Whether it’s a part of your body, something about your personality, or a special talent you have—write it down and show yourself some love.

5. Spa night.

Oprah sits in bathtub

Indulge in some self-care at home with a face mask, bubble bath, and candles. It’s probably been way too long since you took some time out for yourself.

6. Get pampered.

person takes cucumbers off the eyes of a cat who is wrapped in towels

Schedule a massage, mani/pedi, or maybe a blowout. Relax, and let someone else take care of you.

7. Be selfish.

Peanuts characters dance on wooden floor

Do something that makes you happy. Maybe that’s a yoga class, dancing to loud music, or baking. You do you.

8. Wear something that makes you feel good.

person snaps fingers with sass and says 'I'm cute'

Strut your stuff today in your favorite jeans, shoes, or adorned with that necklace that always makes you smile.

9. Take some down time.

Matilda sits in chair reading and giggles to herself

Binge-watch Netflix, browse through your favorite magazines, or do some deep breathing. Inhale self-love, exhale self-doubt.

10. Buy your own darn chocolate and flowers, if that's your thing.

dog stands in field of flowers and looks around

Who says you have to wait for someone else to do it for you? Pick up some fresh flowers from the grocery store or Farmers Market and go to that chocolate shop and get yourself a few special seasonal treats.

Valentine's Day doesn’t have to just be about the love of a partner.

In my book, it's all about love. Period.

For more self-care tips, check out 31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health.

If you’re a student, make sure you Boost Your School Performance by Taking Care of You.

headshot of Sahar Aker      
Sahar Aker is a depression survivor, Mental Health America Partner, and founder of I Choose Beauty - a social media project that highlights the simple beauty in life and helps to bring hope and healing to those who are struggling. Previously, Sahar worked as a TV health reporter and freelance journalist.