Seattle — Valentine’s Day looks completely different this year than I thought it would. I am no longer in a relationship or dating, so I was not asked to be anyone’s Valentine. I could let the holiday bring my spirits down, but with my desire to focus less on a romantic life this year, I am not dreading the holiday.
Instead, I am using the holiday to focus on self-love and self-care while I embrace my girlfriends.
Self-love is something people beat you up about more than encouraging you with, especially in your 20s. You’re told you must love yourself to be suitable for a relationship. I find self-love essential at this time of life because our 20s are when we’re experiencing new things and evolving into who we are. This personal growth, exploration, and identity period makes self-love especially important.
After my breakup, I was told to focus more on myself and learn who Tracy is. It sounded so cliche, and I was highly annoyed because people couldn’t possibly know what I needed more than I knew myself. However, when I took the approach of no longer dating for some time, I became much more comfortable with the good, bad, and ugly parts of myself, and sadly, they were right.
I have a completely different approach to how I view myself. My confidence is better, my friendships and family relationships are great, and my mental health has significantly improved.
Self-love has helped me focus on setting and sticking to healthy habits. I prioritize adequate sleep, exercise, eating healthy, skincare routines, and going to therapy.
My Valentine’s Day plans focus more on giving myself what I deserve. I will buy myself flowers, eat a nice dinner with dessert, and watch my favorite romantic comedies.
With my desire to embrace my girlfriends, I will do several things to make the women in my life feel special. I will be calling my closest friends and letting them know how much I love them and how special they are to me. I will also have a night in with a friend where we’ll bake cookies, drink Poppi, watch a rom-com, and exchange a Galentine’s Day basket.
I am so excited about how to show up this Valentine’s Day for myself and the special people in my life by prioritizing self-love and self-care. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or a situationship, I encourage you to embrace this holiday to celebrate love in all forms.
Tracy Noze is a Seattle-based journalist.
Edited by Nykeya Woods