If you are single, Valentine’s Day marks the end of the trifecta of couple-focused holidays. First, there is the December holiday season. Followed by New Years’ (which, for most people, this year was celebrated on the couch anyhow). Then Valentine’s Day.
It’s not that single people hate Valentine’s Day; it is just, you know, a little awkward. Commercials and advertisements about romantic gifts. Sentimental stuff. It is great when you have a ‘special someone.’ But if Valentine’s Day this year means you and your cat, you need a plan.
Instead of indulging someone else, you can spend the day doing special things for yourself. If ever there was Valentine’s Day more worthy of some self-indulgence, it’s this one amid the pandemic. So, think about splurging a little extra money and some time on giving yourself a great Valentine’s Day.
February Is a Rough Month for Mental Health in America
After the glow of December, holidays are over, January and February can seem anticlimactic. There are many reasons why Americans rate February as the worst month of the year. The post-holiday season can feel a little lonely. And the pandemic and social distancing have compounded that feeling.
Tanzina Vega is a New York Public Radio host, and she started tweeting in January about the “pandemic wall.” She may even be the inspiration behind the phrase “It’s okay to not be okay” during the Covid-19 health emergency. Things are not normal, and dealing with the ‘new normal’ of pandemic life has really worn people down.
The burnout of working from home (or working in off-hours, because what else is there to do?) is having a toll. Social isolation from friends and loved ones have taken away the natural support networks we all rely on. The touchless society where we socialize by Zoom isn’t working for most people. Loneliness is at an epidemic level. So are new cases of anxiety and depression.
Psychologists started warning about the ‘pandemic burnout’ potential in mid-2020. It is the duration of the pandemic that is taking people past their threshold of emotional comfort. Remember when Covid-19 was going to ‘go away’ on its own before summer? Did any of us really think it would last more than a year? No, but here we are. And it is taking a toll on mental health not just in the United States but globally.
Romans Dedicated the Month of February to Ritual Purification
The earliest historical roots of indulgence on Valentine’s Day may have had nothing to do with romancing a partner. In fact, the word Februarius means “the month of ritual purification.” And as the name suggests, the month of February was spent in complete and indulgent self-care. Sounds pretty cool, right?
The Roman festival of Februalia marked the end of the Roman calendar year. Kind of like we celebrate the end of one year and the start of a New Year. The first of March, annually, started a new year in the Roman calendar.
Romans believed that you needed to purify your body, mind, and soul to have a good new year. The Roman God Februus was associated with purification and renewal. Essentially, the entire month was making offerings to God’s, bathing, and undergoing religious rituals to help you purge “the bad stuff.” It allowed Romans to clean the slate and start fresh.
Part of the rituals celebrated to cleanse the spiritual and mental palette in February was a deep cleaning of the home. So, now you know where the cultural “spring cleaning” also comes from. Good food, lots of sleep, and frivolities. Gladiators were especially popular as ‘party favors’ during February. If you know what we mean.
So, February’s romanticism was pretty much the invention of greeting card companies, florists, and chocolatiers. Throughout thousands of years of history, February was meant to be a month of self-care and rejuvenation. You can take one day to celebrate yourself and your health on February 14th, guilt-free.
Ditch the Phone for a Day
Even during the pandemic, couples are going to do their couple thing. Which leaves the rest of us, single folks, trying hard not to be jealous. Or bitter. Don’t even think about going on Facebook on Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t make things better.
Unplugging from news and social media for a self-care day is actually a good idea. Less screen time and more focus on doing things that feel good and make you happy. In fact, just taking a day without your smartphone can help you recharge your emotional batteries. And allow you to relax and enjoy a day of taking care of yourself.
1. Soak in a Hot Bath
Are you a shower person? Most people are. But not because showers are enjoyable. They are just the fastest way to step in, get clean, and step out. Many people have a bathtub in their apartment or house but never use it.
Epson salts are cheap. You can find them at your local pharmacy. There are other types of salts that are scented, which you can bathe in, and bath bombs, of course. But what is great about soaking in Epsom salts is that it can help reduce stress. The Epsom salt in the bathwater will soften your skin, and also help exfoliate skin cells. Not only will you be super soft and shiny when you get out of a 40-minute hot bath, but you may also feel like taking a nap in your bathrobe. And that’s fine too.
Some people say that soaking in a cannabis bath is medicinally (and psychologically) beneficial. Why use a vaporizer when you can dunk in green and drift off, inhaling cannabis rich steam from your bath? While you are at it, why not use a CBD infused hair mask. Wrap a hot towel around your hair, and let it all soak in.
2. Explore Edibles or New Strains to Keep You Blissfully Relaxed
If you do not live in a state where edibles are legalized, you can skip past this part. The good news is that many states who have medical cannabis programs are moving toward legalizing edibles as Florida did in 2020.
Edibles are the top-selling cannabis product in almost every state. There are a few reasons for that. First, well, they are tasty. Whether you get a soft gummi, a pastry, or other baked goods. But it is the effect of edibles people love the most. They can take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour to ‘kick in.’ As your body digests a cannabis-infused food, it is a slow-release body high.
Edibles are really enjoyable if you don’t have to go anywhere. If you have aches and pains, they can help you feel more comfortable. Stream your favorite movie, grab some snacks and relax on the couch. You are allowed to ‘do nothing.’
If you are feeling decadent (hey, it’s Valentine’s Day after all), browse the dispensary websites and see if you can find some dessert strains. Not all cannabis tastes or smells like skunk weed. Look for strains like Mochi, which is an Indica dominant bud, and a cross between Thin Mint Cookies and Sunset Sherbet. Blueberry pie? Delicious. The Key Lime pie and Lemon Merengue are other choices for people who love sweet weed.
3. Do Some Dollar Store Art This Valentine’s Day
One of the best stress relievers that can recharge your batteries is art. And it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to get that therapeutic benefit. Your left brain will thank you. Most dollar stores have everything you need, from small canvas to brushes and paint. Explore your inner Picasso.
Did you know there are channels on YouTube that share craft ideas using only materials from a dollar store? You can make some pretty cool and useful things to use around your home. If it doesn’t look like a #PinterestFail, go ahead and Instagram it. You did a thing.
4. Make Yourself a Romantic Valentine’s Dinner
Okay, so you have no one to share it with. Big deal! You are totally worth indulging. Think of your favorite meal. Whether it is one your mom used to make, or maybe your ex… okay, let’s not go there. Google the recipe and make your own dream lunch or dinner.
Maybe you want to do a little experimenting in the kitchen? Decarboxylating cannabis only takes about 30 minutes. You can then look up about a million cool recipes for cannabis-infused anything. From sauces to soups, desserts to hot chocolate. So, while your friends are sharing romantic pictures of their significant whatever’s, you can make them all jealous with your cannabis-infused roast beef dinner. And brownies for dessert.