St Valentine isn’t the patron saint of finding the first person on the street and shacking up for the Valentine’s season. Sure, true companionship is wonderful, but as many extremely cliché movies will tell you – you can’t really love anything until you learn to love yourself. When you get away from all the noise and confusion, finding somewhere quiet and peaceful can help you to really enjoy your own company. So why not treat yourself this Valentine’s, or indeed, any other day of the year? COVID won’t be around forever and with the vaccine in sight there are more and more options bound to be in their way back in the future.
For ideas on the day, consult our day 2 guide to a solo Valentine’s day by the brilliant Niamh Heron. These ideas can go for any day of the year, but the theme of self love is here too!
1) Catch a Movie
There’s something special about the theatre experience – the extortionate popcorn, reclining seats, having a little nap when the movie gets a touch on the boring side. Have a look into your local cinema when things begin to open up as many independent operations have begun to pop up – converted Victorian and Edwardian theatres giving new purpose to their old stages and trendy new operations with attached bars and weathered sofas rather than the traditional rank-and-file seating. Grab a beer, or a glass of wine, and retreat into the traditional movie experience.
If you can’t wait for COVID to pass for your movie experience, bring it to you. Get the snacks in, turn your lights off and shut the world outside for the movie that made you happy as a kid. Why not indulge yourself every once in a while?
Okay, hear me out, strenuous exercise doesn’t exactly sound like a fun jaunt. It sounds sweaty and boring and like a lot of work. Sure, it’s a little difficult to reach those peaks and it can feel like hard going in the wind and rain. But it’s worth it when you manage to get out for a hike alone, into a little serene pocket of air away from the gale, and take in the outdoors for a while. Really take in your surroundings; the colours, the smells of wherever you’ve managed to get to. Hey, if you feel like it, talk to yourself. You might get a couple of funny looks – but who cares? People concerned with what everyone else thinks aren’t worth your time.
It’s a really great way of getting to know yourself to spend some time outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Even if you live in the city, it can really help to take a long walk out to the nearest park, examining the surroundings.
3) Takeaway Your Troubles
All of these types of guides for corona-time dating make much of getting dressed up to jump on zoom with a bit of takeaway to spend time with your significant other. But why not do that for yourself? Put your best suit on, or dress, and cook or order in your favourite meal. Feel free to have it with your favourite tipple as well. Don’t feel guilty or sad for drinking or eating alone – like I’ve said, you’ve got to be able to love your own company. Hit up Deliveroo and see what they can bring you – take a couple of selfies in the mirror, get dressed up, feel great for yourself before you think about any other people.
If you’ve got a pet, get them a special dinner too! They love you and they can teach you a thing or two about loving yourself. Put your favourite playlist on, or a vinyl record to really enjoy the paraphernalia. A date doesn’t have to be for two people, and you deserve the treat!
4) Camp out!
Okay, so maybe this one’s a little bit out of left field and you might struggle to find an appropriate spot in the current climate. But why not even do it in your own back garden, or the closest bit of forest you can find? Take some snacks and light a (legal!!) campfire, sleep out under the stars. Make sure you wrap up nice and warm, but otherwise, you’ll be able to really connect with nature and relax away from the busy surroundings that are bugging us all at the moment.
For the minute, remember to stay local and stay safe when you are camping out. But as we get freer and freer, it;s a great way to relax and really treat yourself to some ‘you’ time (even if camping really doesn’t seem your thing!)