Photo Credit: Maria Kotob, Photo Editor
How to beat pandemic loneliness on the most romantic day of the year
Tannaaz Zaraineh, The Mike Staff Writer
Valentine’s Day has always had a love-hate relationship with the general population, something further intensified with single people. What happens when you add pandemic loneliness on top of that? Is it truly over for these people? I am here to tell you that the answer is a firm no!
Although it’s hard to believe, there are a multitude of ways to enjoy this holiday and not sulk around watching a tear-jerking rom-com that wasn’t even good to begin with. Here’s a list you can maybe pluck an idea out of and use to get out of the mindset that Valentine’s Day is a horrendous holiday, no matter how much your nosy family members and mainstream media make it seem like it is.
- First and foremost, remember that Valentine’s is a cash grab for big corporations.
It’s no surprise that just like any holiday, this one also feeds off people in the spirit of capitalism. It’s very consumer-oriented, and its favourite activity is to make singles feel like there’s something wrong with them. ‘Why don’t you have a significant other’, is what these businesses ask as if it’s their business in the first place. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, these people want you to spend a lot, which in essence doesn’t make much sense. Why is there an emphasis to spend on one day? Does that mean your partner doesn’t like you as much on other days? And why does love have to be celebrated this way at all? I believe in the idea of love languages, one being gift-giving, but I also think there’s a limit. Surely, your partner knows that you care about them. Will you hate them suddenly if they realize they can’t spend that much or have other plans in mind? Of course not! Unless for some strange reason you agree with these selfish corporations who already have too much money. They always want to make people feel guilty for not celebrating the ‘right way’ (splurging in exorbitant amounts). So, if you’re single, be glad you’re not contributing and making billionaires happy. If you still want to spend, opt for the sales the next day. One of the perks is that stores have to get rid of their excess Valentine’s merchandise.
- Next up: spend it with your family and friends!
If you have a good relationship with anyone in your family, ask to celebrate together! If you live together, do some activities you both enjoy, and make it a day about giving them the extra attention you would have given to your hypothetical S/O! And if it’s a friend or someone who doesn’t live with you, plan an online meeting. Use this opportunity to catch up, play some online games, or set up a dinner date!
- Indulge in treating yourself.
This isn’t new advice, but with the pandemic, this is super important! A lot of people are experiencing COVID-19 burnout, and this holiday is the perfect excuse to spend time by yourself doing whatever you want to do! Sleep in, work out at home if you have space, play with your pets, read, journal, bake, the list is endless. Find something you like to do but haven’t gotten to fully enjoy because of other commitments. If you can, go for a drive and blast music while taking a scenic route; this always helps clear my mind.
- Purchase some plants!
I am a huge advocate of this because I have a few myself. The initial naming process is fun, and it’s rewarding watching them grow. You’re also forced to take care of them because you decided to make this purchase. It’s almost like having a pet, but it’s low maintenance. One of my friends has an herb garden, and she admitted it has recently given her a sense of purpose. She likes cooking, so it turned out to be a useful investment!
- Treat it like any other day because who cares?
This is a last resort option if you don’t like the other ideas. Of course, maybe you’ve come to the conclusion you don’t need to acknowledge the holiday, which is acceptable. Catch up on assignments, play a video game or two, and handle it like it’s just another weekend. Keep this in mind: at the end of the day, what matters most is that you’re comfortable with spending time alone. You can be in a relationship and still feel lonely if you haven’t learned to enjoy your own company. Sometimes people aren’t yet comfortable and fall into the pattern of settling.
And that’s all! Very easy to achieve if you’re up for it. And don’t beat yourself up for not having a romantic Valentine’s Day this year. It’s a pandemic, and just like every other holiday for the past year, it’s not going to be normal. Personal growth and keeping your mental health in check are especially important nowadays, and when you do stumble across a potential partner, you might not have to come back to this article next year!