By Samantha Scholfield, BounceBack.com Dating Expert
For the freshly single, Valentine's Day can sting. A lot. It can seem like every card, advertisement, and plans made by happy, coupled-up friends are designed specifically to Tase our emotionally ravaged feelings and hearts. So, instead of waiting for the inevitable zap, treat this year as an opportunity to recreate V-Day into something you'll not only enjoy, but will look forward to repeating next year.
1) Get out of town. Grab your girlfriends and bail. Plan a yoga or spa weekend. Head to Mexico or Vegas for some girls-only partying, pool-side lounging and Margarita-sipping. Go camping and let nature do its healing thing. Or just plan a whole (non-Valentine's centric) weekend at home with much merry-making, movie-watching and re-organizing of closets, living rooms and kitchens. Removing ourselves from our daily lives (and changing our surroundings) can do wonders for boosting our mood and our spirits, especially on and leading up to a day that can totally blow if we're recently minus a plus one.
2) Volunteer. Just like getting physically out of town helps us recover by releasing us from our memories, volunteering can give us a vacation from the black hole of bummer in our heads. When we focus on others, especially when it's a hands-on helping situation like helping out a soup kitchen or cuddling some needy animals, we lose track of our own worries for a while as we focus on theirs. This has the potential to be incredibly relaxing and a very welcome break at a tough time of year. Plus, we're hopefully making someone else's day better in the process. Win-win.
3) Throw a party. It's almost guaranteed that even some of your coupled-up friends will be happy to skip the traditional dinner/flowers thing and its forced expressions of love. And all your single friends? Who doesn't love somewhere fun to go on a day when it seems like everyone else has plans. So throw a party -- zombie themed, old Halloween costume swap themed or dress up as your favorite color of Jello themed -- and start a new annual tradition of enjoying a very well attended anti-V-Day party.
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be National Single's Awareness Day anymore -- it can be fun, healing and a total blast if we choose to do things that emphasize the awesomeness in our lives and push away the mope. So let's choose fun over bumming and enjoy February in all its winter glory.
Samantha Scholfield is a writer, dating coach and author of Screw Cupid: The Sassy Girl's Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys. Billed as a "considerably hipper author" than The Rules, she can usually be found writing about sex, love and relationships in the ubiquitous coffee shops of Seattle. www.screwcupidthebook.com.
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