Here’s a February 14th fact for you— on this date in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell filed for patent applications for the telephone… Wasn’t it nice to hear a non-romance fact about that day? Well, if you want more distractions for this coming Valentine’s Day, look no further. Make sure you log off of Tinder and Bumble right now… we’re unplugging this Valentine’s Day and getting ready to celebrate for ourselves. Forget about the flood of mushy romantic posts about to consume your feed and focus on what you can do for you. Whether you strive to treat February 14th like just another day or you want to shift your attention to other kinds of love, this compilation is for you.
Explore what possibilities wait for you, even if you’re not in a relationship
1. Horror Movies that will Send Shivers Down Your Spine
The extreme opposite of Valentine’s Day? Watching horror movies that will undoubtedly send shivers down your spine and twist your gut. And definitely not in the romantic way. While Valentine’s offers a day of love and passion, you may prefer to catch up on scary flicks, giving the viewer their own kind of unique adventure. Whether you snuggle up with your furry friend and family or hop onto a watch party with your friends, you will not be thinking about romance with Freddy Kreuger staring back at you. Shutting yourself up with rom coms on this day is a no-go and really does you no good. Horror movies entertain and distract in the most thrilling way possible, so get that popcorn, turn on your favorite movie and definitely don’t look behind you.
2. Simple Baking Right There in Your Home
This is the holiday for chocolates, right? Well, not only can you make your own, but you can expand to even greater feats. Challenge your kitchen skills by spending the day baking fun treats for you and your family. Cakes, brownies, cupcakes — with an abundance of things to whip up in the kitchen, there’s really no way to go wrong. Not only will it offer a perfect way to spend your day, but it can also help you spread the love to the other kinds of loved ones in your life.
“Romantic love isn’t the only kind of love there is. Show your appreciation and affection for your friend by making chocolates for (or with) them! This year I’m planning on making chocolates for my former roommate and close friend. I want to show her how much I appreciate the time we spent together,” Binghamton University junior Patricia Ebrahim said.
Baking= a great gift for yourself and for others. This activity will keep your day occupied and entertained— and honestly, no other activity will give you such delicious results.
3. Say Namaste With Yoga
Center yourself on (and for) this Valentine’s Day by trying out some new yoga moves! There’s no better way to make this day all about you than working to improve yourself with your own goals. Whether the aim is geared toward stress-relief, flexibility or just trying out something new, yoga might just be the perfect way to go.
“I think yoga is such a great self-care activity because of how calming it is, while also being an amazing workout at the same time. It satisfies my desire to work-out while also calming me down from whatever might be bothering me,” St. John’s University junior Samantha Haynia said. “Not only does it strengthen your muscles, but it also makes you feel better within your own mind to be able to just focus on the movements and feeling of your body, rather than all of the outside stimuli that might be bothering you.”
Plenty of tutorials online demonstrate the levels of yoga— beginner or expert— and this exercise will have you feeling fresh and cared for by yourself. Self-love starts with your own actions! This Valentine’s Day, show some love for your body and mind.
4. Book Runs
Library trips may be on hiatus during the pandemic, but we shouldn’t let our love for books dwindle because of it. Running to your local small bookstore or even a bigger Barnes & Noble will surely keep you occupied for hours. Don’t forget to wear a mask or bring a reusable bag! Search for your latest obsession: from that favorite YA series that seems to keep releasing new editions, to a new sci-fi adventure or even a self-help book, treat yourself to a good novel!
Either way, exploring the aisles will take you on all kinds of adventures. When you’re done shopping, take that new book to a park or back home to immerse yourself where a whole new adventure unfolds. Stories could be escapes, or something to love that just touches the heart. Get back to your love of reading on this love-ly holiday.
5. Write Poetry (that Won’t be Sent to a Crush)
A Valentine’s Day classic, certainly, but put your own spin on it! No rules for poetry should be fixated, so there’s nothing to fear with this activity. Get your creative juices flowing and clear your mind. Whether you want to get out all your feelings on love is up to you. Adventure or passion or sadness— all available options for beautifully poetic themes to transfer on paper. Even if you just want to write a fun narrative poem, what’s the most important thing? Get. It. Written.
Don’t just sit by yourself moping about missed opportunities or what-ifs all day. While distractions help us in their own ways, acknowledging and connecting with how you feel proves necessary as well. Break up your day of you with a small poetry session, and even feel welcome to share it with friends.
6. Clean Out Your Closet
Mid-February could mark the start of Spring Cleaning for you, so why not start on Valentine’s Day? Sorting through old clothes won’t only declutter your room, but your mind will thank you as well. Make sure to find all the paraphernalia you don’t wear anymore — anything not in your style or size (or maybe a forgotten article of clothing from an ex) and say goodbye! This will open you up to new buying options in the future and give you a clear look on what your totally unique style. Valentine’s shouldn’t bring messiness or despair, so make it a productive day. Your room and (future) wardrobe will thank you.
7. Picturesque Walks through Nature
Whether love is in the air or not, you’ll still need fresh air. Valentine’s Day 2021 falls on a Sunday, so your body will thank you for dedicating the weekend to getting outside and moving around. You cannot underestimate the benefits of sunlight and movement for your body. Similarly, it provides positive results for the mind to see new spaces and sights. You could find lovely trails and parks in your area or even just walk through the streets. Either way, getting yourself out there is the most important thing. Walks outside stimulate your brain! You could venture out alone with your headphones and classy tunes or bring your friends for a simple and fun adventure. Or, better yet, take your dog. It’ll make their Valentine’s Day even more special and will undoubtedly bring joy to you too.
8. Block! Them! (Yes, All of Them)
As long as we’re doing cleanses, get on your social media. We’re dumping all the extras we don’t need anymore. Now, of course this means literal exes you shouldn’t be (lightly) stalking anymore. If seeing them on your feed makes you unhappy, there’s no shame in unfollowing. Even expanding outside of personal relationships— any page that isn’t having a positive influence on your life? REMOVE. BLOCK. Take the holiday back, show some self-love and create spaces of positivity and encouragement for yourself. It could only improve your social media viewings and engagement and is worth all the little panic of finally clicking “Unfollow.”
9. A Luxurious Spa Day… at Home
Treat yourself, please. Not every day can be a spa day, but if one day deserves it… Valentine’s Day definitely does. Self-love should infiltrate every aspect of your day this February. That means skin care, all the scented candles you love and nothing but relaxation. Set time aside specifically for these things. The responsibilities you’ll need to deal with can wait— you can organize your day and plan for when you get to just do you. Prep by buying face masks or hair masks, moisturizers and get that playlist ready. Maybe a glass of wine if you’re 21. Valentine’s Day for yourself means doing right by you and your body.
10. Get Your School Work Done
You know it must get done. Might as well make February 14th just like any other day. And even better, make it a highly productive one. Making a to-do list of all your responsibilities could be an easy way to organize your ideas and plan your day. As you spend the day, you can check off all these tasks to finish off the day feeling empowered and at ease for the upcoming week. Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be a day of wallowing if you don’t have a significant other to share it with. Take back your day and get done what you need to without dwelling on any negative feelings.
11. Art in All Forms, like Painting!
You don’t need to recreate Starry Night for painting to be a valuable way to spend your time. Especially on days like Valentine’s, self-expression is vital. That means all forms, of course— even painting. Picking up even the cheapest supplies from a dollar store or convenience store will surely kickstart a spark of your emotions to pour over a canvas.
“Painting is something anyone can have fun with no matter how experienced you are with painting. You can choose to let Bob Ross guide you in recreating one of his many paintings, or simply throw colors on the canvas and see where your brush takes you! The possibilities are endless, and painting can definitely be a great way to enjoy yourself on Valentine’s Day, or any day,” Binghamton University junior Angela DeVico said.
Strive to get out of your comfort zone. Try new hobbies, new ideas and new art forms whenever you can. When you get really into it, you’ll even be able to give a painting as a gift to someone you care about. Friends and family deserve presents too! Along with distracting yourself, this could be a great way to show a different kind of love today.
12. Fits Just Right for You—Puzzles!
As far as pastimes go, puzzles don’t get nearly enough credit. They’re entertaining, time-consuming and easy to do while something fun plays on your TV in the background. You could attempt them alone and feel the triumph of finishing, or you could grab a friend or sibling and get that friendly yet competitive teamwork going. Puzzle themes range from basically everything under the sun, so finding a puzzle or two to keep you entertained will be easy. Bring a new image to life and even hang it up on the wall once you’re done. Everyone should try puzzles once— even the more difficult 1000-piece ones— and Valentine’s Day distraction certainly provides the opportunity.
13. Revisit Some Nostalgic Fan Favorites
Distractions and self-care certainly assist in improving a hard day like Valentine’s. But still, sometimes you just need some good old-fashioned comfort for your struggles. Nothing provides comfort quite like your favorite movies and TV shows. A day without plans seems like a good day for a contentment binge. So long as you’re feeling good— and hopefully, get up and move around during the day— dedicating time to the leisure of your old favorites will surely bring a smile to your face. Pull out your favorite comedy special or Disney Channel Original Movie, sit back with a tasty treat (maybe one that you baked earlier?) and simply relax.
14. BINGO… Or Other Online Games
The pandemic certainly brought a lot our way. With that, our exposure to just what the internet provides us expanded greatly. This fortunately includes revolutionizing our virtual hangouts. Gather with your friends online so none of you have to face Valentine’s Day alone. You’ll find comfort with one another and can laugh over any number of the games available online. Play a virtual card game or meet up on Minecraft if you want a bit of a throwback. Even games like Uno have their own online versions. Psst… you could even find a virtual Cards Against Humanities. No matter what you choose, you will find yourself distracted and feeling all the love your friends can bring you.