Don’t let Valentine’s Day cause heartbreak for your habits
Don’t let Valentine’s Day cause heartbreak for your habits

Don’t let Valentine’s Day cause heartbreak for your habits

For some romantic folks out there, Valentine’s Day is THE. BEST. HOLIDAY. They simply love love, or perhaps they love the promise of a cheesy heart-shaped box of chocolates. Others find the holiday too commercial, or too much of a reminder of their single status.

What both types of folks have in common is that a day designed to celebrate love can produce a lot of unnecessary stress and wreak havoc on any healthy habits begun in January. It doesn’t have to be this way! Here are some ways to take good care of yourself this Valentine’s Day.

Make a healthy eating pact with friends and loved ones

One of the biggest challenges of Valentine’s Day for both singletons and their paired-up counterparts is the association this romantic holiday has with rich foods, especially chocolate. Before falling into the trap of handing out chocolate to your honey or packing the freezer with ice cream to indulge at a singles party, talk with your romantic or platonic loves about committing to a healthy holiday. Designate alternative gifts and party snacks, and choose a fun activity together that doesn’t involve food.

(And if you are a purist who feels that it’s not Valentine’s Day without chocolate, at least reach for a bar of dark chocolate!)

Take care of your mental health

For those who are coupled up, Valentine’s Day can produce stress leading up to the holiday, particularly if this will be your first February 14th together and you’re worried about sending the right message. Likewise, those who are unsatisfied with being single can feel a bit tense having to walk through bright red supermarket displays or being asked what their plans are for the holiday. Only the happily uncoupled seem to escape the stresses of this romantic exercise in capitalism!

No matter what kind of stress Cupid brings out in you, there are a few key ways in which you can protect your heart, such as opening up to those you trust. If you find yourself overthinking the gift you’re planning for your partner, tell them how you’re feeling about it! If you’re alone and feeling lonely as the holiday approaches, share that with a close friend. Not feeling comfortable sharing your woes with another person? Perhaps you can entrust your feelings to a journal. No matter what method you choose, letting those feelings out can be cathartic.

Give the gift of healthy habits

If you’re happily paired up or planning to exchange gifts with friends, you don’t have to stick with traditional gifts like roses and candy for Valentine’s Day. Here are a few possible gift ideas for your Valentine(s) to show you wish them the best of health and happiness:

  • For the health-conscious: A cute water bottle to keep hydrated, or a gift certificate for a massage, yoga class, or spa day to unwind and de-stress
  • For the hobbyist chef: Unique spices or a kitchen herb garden to expand their cooking repertoire
  • For the intellectual: A book stand with a built-in lamp, or a nicely bound notebook and fancy pen for jotting down observations
  • For the gadget lover: A smart fitness watch or ring, or a gift basket of device accessories like a sliding camera cover, colorful cable ties, and screen cleaning cloths for privacy and for tidy computing

Remember that February 14th is just the day before February 15th

When it comes down to it, Valentine’s Day is indeed just one day out of 365, and there are holidays every month with the potential to throw you off track of your efforts to live well. Spend the day with someone (or several someones) you care about, or take a “Me Day” and treat yourself with all the love and care you deserve. After all, (American) Presidents’ Day is right around the corner, and you’ll need your rest!

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