During the early days of your courtship and marriage, Valentine’s Day may have been full of gorgeous red roses, glittering glasses of expensive wine, and ooey-gooey proclamations of love. Now, even the thought of Valentine’s Day may sting your already-hurting heart. If you’ve recently gotten divorced – even if it was definitely the right thing to do – Valentine’s Day can feel like the world’s biggest reminder of the love you no longer have in your life. Ditto on the endless commercials and ads in the lead-up to the big day.
The way we see it, you have two choices. You can either mope your way through Valentine’s Day, seeing yourself as an un-loveable victim, or you can flip the narrative. Valentine’s Day is all about love, so why not celebrate it and your new untethered life by loving yourself? Here’s how:
1. Buy Yourself Flowers
Flowers can brighten up even the worst moods and add a little color to your day, so stop by the local flower shop and pick out a bouquet of your favorites. Put them in your kitchen or on the dining room table as a reminder that you are totally going to own Valentine’s Day!
2. Call Your Best Friend
No one can make you feel better like your very best friend in the world. Ask her for a little time on Valentine’s Day, and of course she’ll say yes. Your best friend will remind you of how awesome you are.
3. Go Out For Drinks with Single Co-Workers
Let it be known that this Valentine’s Day will be ladies night. Take back this “couples holiday” and turn it into a fun hangout session with your work pals. Over delicious Cosmopolitans you can share dating nightmares, or even take all conversation about men off the table. Not a bad way to make new friends and build office camaraderie.
4. Hit the Gym
Oh yeah, work up a sweat and get those endorphins going. You won’t feel like a sad sack as you run down miles on the treadmill or shake what your mamma gave you during Zumba. Exercise is a great way to get out anger and frustration and to empower your soul and body!
5. Watch an Action Flick
Steer clear of the sappy romances tonight, and instead go for explosions, manly grunting, and…more explosions. Action flicks are a time-honored way to distract oneself. They don’t take much thought, and it’s nice to know that the good guy will win in the end.
6. Pamper Yourself at the Spa
Who needs your ex to give you an awkward foot massage when you can have a professional work out all those knots? Love yourself with a pampering trip to the spa. After the seaweed wrap, hot stone massage, and facial, you will be one gorgeous and relaxed lady.
7. Go On a Date With Your Kids
It only takes one look at your children to remember that your marriage wasn’t a total waste. You don’t even have time to feel sorry for yourself when you’ve got these little miracles in your life. Take them out for a day at the park, a movie, or a dinner at their favorite restaurant, and their smiles will light up your heavy heart.
8. Cozy Up With a Good Book
Maybe you don’t have the energy for some big, symbolic act this Valentine’s Day. That’s fine. Instead, escape into the pages of your favorite book. Some time spent away from reality might just be the break you need to get through Valentine’s Day.
9. Splurge On Something You’ve Been Dying to Buy
Is it those shoes that were just a little out of your price range? How about those tickets to the symphony you felt were a splurge? Heck, just go big with the car of your dreams! If you’ve finally found the power to get out of a bad marriage, you need to reward yourself! Show this Valentine Day who’s boss by treating yourself to a fun splurge – big or small – and create a new Valentine’s Day tradition.
10. Write Yourself a Love Letter
This Valentine’s Day is all about you. No matter how much your heart is hurting, you know that you are an amazing, beautiful woman who is worthy of love. Tell this to yourself with a true, honest love letter to yourself. Remind yourself of all your strengths, all that you have accomplished, and all that you have to give to the world. You’ll feel so much better afterwards, and this will be a great keepsake to read on Valentine’s Day next year.
Remember, Valentine’s Day is just another day unless you give it the power to bring you down. Just because you don’t have romantic love in your life at the moment doesn’t mean you don’t have any love. Let Valentine’s Day become a day of self-love! Visit our divorce article archives at WIFE.org for even more advice on how to thrive during and after your divorce.