U.S.A. I’ve been thinking about the Valentine’s Day tradition of giving flowers, cards, chocolates, and fancy dinners with wine to beaux. Shouldn’t those of us without dates be the ones getting chocolate and wine? The ones with dates already won. At least give us singles a consolation prize. I know, I know, flowers and candy are just vehicles for expressing love. Well, here are few tips for celebrating love on Valentine’s Day without an admirer to shower you with gifts.

  1. Platonic love. Make the day about loving the important people in your life. Avoid reminiscing over past relationships; they’re over for a reason. Nostalgia tends to exaggerate the positives and minimize the negatives of past experiences. Instead, cultivate good will towards your friends, family, pets, and anyone who adds to the fullness of your life. Celebrate more than just romantic love.
  2. Self-care. Show yourself love and appreciation. Paint your nails, get a massage, cook yourself a nice meal—maybe with wine—, take a hot bath, light candles, and drink hot chocolate, tea, or coffee in front of the fireplace while watching your favorite movie. These suggestions may seem cliché, but caring for yourself is important. Take a break to recharge. Pamper yourself. Allow yourself grace and compassion.
  3. Distraction. While I do not recommend avoiding feelings, distraction can be a helpful coping skill. Plan to do something you enjoy that will get you out of your head and keep you focused on the present moment rather than ruminating on your solitude. Just being around other people can help. Try going someplace where you will feel a sense of community. For example, visit a coffee shop, a gym, a library, a bookstore, or a place of worship.
  4. Journal. Write about what you feel grateful to have—people, pets, hobbies, the things that make you who you are. Write down what you love about yourself. Maybe you are fantastic at building gingerbread houses or find four-leaf clovers all the time or would totally survive a zombie apocalypse. You can sprinkle in some serious traits you take pride in having, too, such as creativity, being a great listener, or the ability to make others laugh.
  5. Nature. Spend time appreciating nature. Breathe in the fresh air and let the world around you restore peace in your soul. Go for a walk, photograph landscapes, have a picnic, or meditate outdoors. Take in the quiet and stillness of nature and recognize yourself as a part of it.
  6. Cuddly animals. Play and snuggle with your pets or with homeless animals at the shelter. They need love and have lots of love to give, too.
  7. Put it in perspective. So you don’t have a date on Valentine’s Day. Well, guess what. It’s just another Saturday. Romance is not bound to the calendar. Love cannot be scheduled; it comes and goes as it pleases. Lacking a date one day of the year does not mean that you are unloved or alone. Stay away from all-or-nothing thinking and self-pity.
  8. When all else fails, surround yourself with your girlfriends. Have a good old-fashioned sleepover with the women who are there for you regardless of your relationship status. I find girl talk incredibly therapeutic, and having friends around helps me feel loved. Girl time is also a great opportunity for self-care and distraction. Paint your nails together, go out to a nice meal, or watch a movie with your girls. I wish you all the best of luck, singles.

We can survive another Valentine’s Day.