Love it or loathe it, it's Valentine's Day this Sunday.
Whether your experience of Valentine’s Day is more Ralph Wiggum or you’re smoother than Barry White - it’s not a day everyone looks forward to - so here are our tips on enjoying the day no matter what your circumstances.
Show yourself some love
It doesn't have to be a day about other people. Show yourself some love instead.
Loving yourself is easier when you actively take care of yourself, so make sure you practice self-care. Listen to what your body needs and wants.
No one is happy all the time. An important part of self-love is holding yourself to reasonable standards. Acknowledge that some days will be better than others and that it’s totally fine to have an off day, or week or slump period.
Don't play games with yourself, if you're sad, angry or just not right, than acknowledge it. Need a cry or a vent? Let it all out!
It's just another day
In the end it's just another day! Try to remove any pressure and don't compare your day to others.
It’s important to remember that nobody is perfect. When we make mistakes it’s easy to blame or criticise ourselves. Try not to punish yourself for forgetting to do something or not doing as well as others.
Will you be my Pal-entine?
They're always there for you, even when you can't see them. Sometimes having a good friend can better than having a not so great partner.
So show them some love and appreciation with a special Palentine's (or Galentine's) card.
What really matters
Focus on what matters most to you. It’s a day about love and not just the love that exists between couples. Ring your parents, go for a socially distanced walk with a friend, take your nan some flowers or spoil your fluffy companions silly.
Do what matters to you and make the day what you want it to be, not what traditionally society says it should be.
Don't tease yourself
If it's a day you find difficult then that's okay, but it's important to avoid your triggers.
Stay away from social media for the day if you can and maybe save the rom-coms for next week. Try make a plan in advance to keep yourself busy and distracted.
Just because you can't go out for a traditional date night doesn't mean you can't still have fun.
Hold a virtual 'come dine with me' night with friends or turn your house into a pub crawl for two. Gift someone a DIY spa experience, turning your bathroom into a relaxation sanctuary or snuggle up and enjoy a simple but satisfying movie night.
A good gift
It’s not all about chocolates and roses - give your loved one the gift of a break and well-deserved rest.
This might mean doing the cooking for a change, taking the kids out for an hour to give your partner some piece and quiet. A gift doesn't have to cost the earth.
You never know who might also be feeling lonely on Valentine's Day and will welcome the chance to catch-up, so reach out and you might end up brightening someone else's and your own day too!