Not only is Valentine’s Day coming up, but so is Single’s Awareness Day (aka SAD). Though people used to celebrate it on February 14, now, more so do on February 15. You may be wondering how to celebrate Single’s Awareness Day, a day that’s all about celebrating you. Luckily, there’s an endless number of things you can do.
Of course, people celebrate Single’s Awareness Day for many different reasons. For instance, perhaps you’re fresh out of a breakup or have been single for a while, on a self-imposed dating cleanse — there are some people who are happily single, while others are the opposite. Whatever the case may be, SAD is all about toasting yourself for the wonderful human being you are and have become. “You are the most important person in your life,” James Preece, aka The Dating Guru, tells Bustle. “You don’t need someone else to complete you. So use the day to make yourself feel really special.” Yes, exactly!
“Dating yourself is one of the most undervalued aspects of society when it comes to romance,” Tyler Turk, Founder, Crated With Love, a monthly date night subscription box, tells Bustle. “Take yourself out to dinner, treat yourself to a movie, or surprise yourself with some guilt-free dessert! When I was single, I did every one of those things, and honestly, they were some of the most rewarding experiences. Taking a moment to just enjoy being you can be very therapeutic and can help strengthen your self-confidence!”
I could not agree more with what Preece and Turk said. Without further ado, here’s how you can celebrate Single’s Awareness Day.
1Attend Or Throw An Anti-Valentine’s Day Party
I love Anti-Valentine’s Day parties, and they’re a great way to celebrate SAD. Sometimes, they have wingman/wingwoman themes, wherein you bring a single friend to the party with you. Other times, they’re just parties with lots of black balloons and non-red-heart themes. In any case, they’re full of single people like yourselves, so there is no way you will feel alone.
I actually met a boyfriend of mine at an Anti-Valentine’s Day party — a friend had brought him along. Though we didn’t start dating until two years later, we dated for almost three years, so you never know!
2Participate In A Cupid-Themed Run
Cities across the country have Cupid-themed runs in honor of Valentine’s Day — let’s say in honor of Single’s Awareness Day, too, since plenty of singles participate — so why not grab a handful of friends and go? For instance, the Cupid Undies Run takes place in various U.S. cities, 37 of them, in fact, from San Diego to New York,as well as in Australia. Aaaaand, you’ll be running for a great cause, to help raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation and neurofibromatosis (NF) research.
And, yep, the dress code is easy — just your undies and bra. “We run in our undies because people with NF can’t cover up their tumors,” Cupid Undies Run’s website states. “They can’t put clothes on to feel more comfortable, so why should we?” Awww, love it! Plus, maybe Cupid will work his magic and have you running alongside your soul mate. Who knows? But there’s only one way to find out — by signing up!
3Attend A Storytelling Event, Like 'Mortified'
You may have heard of Mortified, a “live storytelling extravaganza” where people spill it all, from the embarrassing to the awkward. One key thing you’ll probably have in common with the storytellers? You’ll be able to relate — whether they’re telling a tale of unrequited love or reading passages from their teenage selves. Around Valentine’s Day, the “Mortified Doomed Valentine’s Show” will be taking place at select cities around the country, so you’ll hear stories of Valentine’s Days gone wrong. TBH, it’s happened to the best of us, right?!
Plus, the great thing about storytelling shows is that you can attend alone, too. If you feel odd about it, just think — there will be so many people there, no one will know! Trust me (I’ve done it!). So if you don’t go with friends, take yourself on a date and attend. Chances are, you’ll meet other people celebrating SAD, too! The dates of the shows vary, but you can check out Mortified’s website for more deets.
4Have A SAD Party
If you don’t want to spend the day solo, there’s strength in numbers, right? So why not have a SAD or Galentine’s Day party? Just gather up all your favorite female friends and make it a day about celebrating your friendship. “Buy yourselves some new clothes or have a spa day,” Preece says. “Do something that will make you happy, alone or with friends, and reward yourself for being the amazing person you are!”
Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of Allowing Magnificence, agrees. “If you feel you’d be happier spending this day with close friends, then organize something adventurous and interactive,” she tells Bustle. “Perhaps there’s a hobby or activity you’d all enjoy. Or, the choice may be a meal together (in your home or at a restaurant), a spa day, a girls’ night out, or a movie. No matter the choice, make sure it’s fun for all.”
5Take Yourself On A Date
"Make a date with yourself to do something indulgent that you normally wouldn’t give yourself permission to do," Winter says. "Relish ‘your private time’ by luxuriating with a massage, an invigorating long run, a serene hike through the woods, a game of golf, or binging on Netflix with your devices off. This is your day to be completely ‘off-duty.’”
I’m a big fan of taking yourself someplace you’ve always wanted to go, whether that means flying somewhere for a few days or going on a day trip to a favorite spot or someplace new. Point being, just celebrate you by doing things you love.
Single’s Awareness Day is as good a day as any to take inventory of your life and focus on you — not your friend’s relationship drama or your mom’s dating life. For instance, I love going to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Los Angeles (pictured). I leave my phone in the car and just walk around and think. Others sit in the grass, close their eyes, and get into a meditative pose. There’s no wrong way to meditate — but many places have guided meditations to help you focus, just in case!
“Love is not just an emotion, it’s an ability. For singles interested in finding a partner, begin working on your self-awareness," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of the relationship blog, You’re Just A Dumbass, tells Bustle. "I know you’ve been told you need to love yourself first before you can love someone else. I disagree. Can love exist without self-love? Yes. It’s not about self-love, it’s about self-awareness. For instance, ask yourself, ‘Do you prioritize others over yourself?’ and ‘Do you follow your gut the majority of the time?’ and ‘Do you carve out ‘me’ time consistently?” I think that self-awareness is one of the keys to our relationship decision-making process. When you’re self-aware, you’ll find what you accept for yourself and what helps you decide on who, when, and how to love.”
I think volunteering is a great thing to so, Single’s Awareness Day or not. And if you haven’t done so before, you’ll probably be amazed at how much it helps you feel good, aside from the good you’re doing for others. “You can create and celebrate a ‘Volunteer Day’ and use your energy and resources on behalf of those who need your help,” Tina B. Tessina, PhD (aka "Dr. Romance"), psychotherapist and author of The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty, tells Bustle. “Volunteer to tutor students, help at a homeless or animal shelter, or teach someone to read through a literacy program. Having a plan that makes you happy is the best way to fend off any blues.”
8Have A Gratitude Day
Therapists and relationship experts often say making gratitude lists works, and I couldn’t agree more. So, Single’s Awareness Day is a great time to do so! Claudia Cox of Text Weapon has a take on appreciating what you have, too.
“I remember a Valentine’s Day in college when I was single and EVERYONE was going out with their significant other,” Cox says. “Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I got all dolled up, too, and called up a male friend who lived in another state. I told him, ‘I’m all dressed up with no place to go.’ He laughed and then said, ‘That’s OK. I bet you look pretty.’ The funny thing is, that I did feel pretty, and I didn’t need validation from anyone. So, even if it seems silly, play dress-up if you are at home alone. Make yourself feel and look beautiful. Then, take a minute and appreciate everything you have — your health, friends, family, job, and enthusiasm. It sure beats sitting alone at home in your sweats crying into the bottom of a gallon of ice cream.”
9Splurge And Buy Yourself Something Special
Whether you go on a chocolate shopping spree (see the picture of me above, buying too much Lindt chocolate in Switzerland!) or take yourself to a sensory deprivation tank (yes, like in Stranger Things!), doing something you-centric that’ll make you happy is key. After all, you know yourself and tastes best, so gone are the days of getting something you like, but don’t love.
“Don’t wait for someone to buy you something you’ve been wanting,” Cox says. “Buy yourself something that you feel beautiful in, and then wear it on Single’s Awareness Day.”
10Go See A Band
Just like with the storytelling shows, some local venues are bound to have some Valentine’s Day — or anti-Valentine’s Day — themed music happening, so check out local listings and take yourself on a date. Perhaps have friends join you, too — or not. Plus, it’s impossible to feel alone when surrounded by fellow fans of the band you’re seeing, right?! You also instantly have something in common with them!
Added bonus: You can always scream out your single angst if you so choose, too, since people will just assume you’re singing along to the music, not having a cathartic moment.
11Buy Flowers For Yourself Or A Friend
I know buying yourself flowers may sound odd, but why not try it? For instance, after a live-in ex and I broke up, I bought myself daisies (my favorite flower) every week. Not only did the red or pink bunch brighten up my apartment, but I’d instantly feel happy looking at them. (Added perk: I swear they helped me heal from the breakup!) I’m also a fan of buying friends flowers, whether it’s a bouquet of their favorites or a plant that’ll live much longer than the flowers. Try it and you’ll see how happy it makes people.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of things to keep you busy for Single’s Awareness Day. "It can be tough when you are single on Valentine’s Day — especially with every commercial you hear trying to sell you ‘the perfect gift’ for that special someone," Turk says. "It can be easy to feel down in the dumps. Instead, rise up, get excited, and improve the most important relationship you have — the one with yourself!" Now, who wouldn't want to celebrate that?