The 14th February has long become recognised as the day of love. Over the years, Valentine’s day has been marketed solely as a romantic holiday. Being single on this day should not mean that one should feel excluded from the joy which typically accompanies this day, but rather, one should be celebrated for the person they are! With this in mind, here are some tips for any single persons wanting to enjoy this coming Valentine’s day.

Firstly, it is high time that Valentine’s day is redefined. The marketing world has promoted the day as that in which one professes their love to another. With another 364 days comprising the year, waiting for February 14th to do just that seems unnecessary. Single or not, let your loved ones know that they are loved and appreciated, daily.

Why not extend this act of love to those who might need it most? If you’re single and wanting this Valentine’s day to be as special to you as it is to any couples, you might want to explore the idea of doing some voluntary work. Having abundant voluntary entities means your options are limitless, and your small gesture of kindness can make a world of a difference to those who receive it.

Thirdly, changing the mindset is key. Use Valentine’s day as an opportunity to focus on yourself, rather than feeling down for not being able to share the holiday with a partner. Take the time to reflect on your worth, your achievements, your strengths, and even your weaknesses. Making use of a journal may help you to visualise all these qualities, serving as both a reminder in times of hardships, and as a motivator to keep improving the person that you are. Ultimately, being able to love oneself is essential in any romantic relationship.

What if this is your first Valentine’s day as a single person in a while? If this is the case, getting through the day might be more challenging for you. You might get lost in thought of what you had in that past relationship, or feel a sense of loss overall. Extend the process of introspection to reflect upon your past relationships. More often than not, the idea of evaluating a past relationship seems daunting, and when attempted, we find that we barely managed to scratch the surface. Sometimes we need reminding that past relationships teach us values and life lessons that will equip us in the future. With this in mind, let us not forget that past relationships also have their positive moments, which therefore also require our acknowledgement. Use this time of reflection to think about what you want from a future relationship, and how you can be the best version of yourself in it.

Finally, spend some time doing that which makes you happy. Go for a run, organise a relaxing spa day with your closest friends, go on a spontaneous weekend solo-trip, or simply stay in with a good movie and your favourite take-out food.

Being single on Valentine’s day doesn’t make you any less worthy of celebrating love. Whichever way you choose to spend the day, know that you matter, and you are loved.

Denise Debattista is a recent Masters in Health Psychology graduate from Middlesex University, London, and is currently involved in the services provided by  Willingness team.