The Single Man’s Guide to Valentine’s Day
Sure, it might just be a BS holiday created by greeting card companies. But that still doesn’t dull the sting of Valentine’s Day for the newly—or perpetually—single.
Fortunately, it’s a safe bet that large numbers of V-Day resisters are banding together in your city to collectively reject this artificial scourge of a holiday propped up by whoever makes those little chocolate hearts. Every year, dozens of bars and restaurants across the globe host “Anti Valentine’s Day” get-togethers. Attend one of them, and the sense of community you’ll experience surrounded by like-minded singles will foster a sense of well-being and contentment, shows a study from Australia. If you can’t find—or aren’t interested in—a themed gathering, any dive bar will suffice.
Here are several more ways to tell Cupid to flash his naked butt somewhere else.
Attend An Evening Yoga Class
Surrounding yourself with minimally clad women posed in revealing configurations will distract your brain from its Valentine’s Day melancholy.
Plus, the practice of yoga has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety, according to research from Harvard and Boston University. Win-win.
Make A Date With The Great Outdoors
Nature is among the most reliable mood elevators. And just 5 minutes spent walking or mountain biking in the woods is enough to boost your self-esteem and sense of well-being, found a study from the University of Essex in the UK.
Hightail it to a national park or the nearest hiking trail, and you’ll appreciate Mother Nature’s peaceful ambivalence toward society’s contrived courtship rituals.
Rearrange Your Pad
Environmental cues can conjure memories of a past relationship, which in turn leads to unhealthy rumination and depressing thoughts, shows a British study.
Invite a buddy over to share a few beers and help you reconfigure your apartment. The change in scenery will banish sorrow-inducing memories of your former sweetheart, the study suggests.
Plan Your Next Holiday
Because it’s a reminder that good stuff lies ahead, just thinking about your next trip out of town is enough to boost your happiness, according to a study in Applied Research in Quality of Life.
Spend the evening researching and planning your next holiday and this unfortunate holiday will fade into the background.
Donate Your Time
Volunteer to pitch in at an animal shelter, donate blood, or offer to run errands for the old woman down the hall who lost her husband.
“Anything to get away from the Noah’s Ark we see in every restaurant—two by two they sit, facing each other, bored to tears,” says Guy Blews, author of Marriage and How to Avoid It.
“Real men don’t give flowers, they give back,” he says.
Rock Away Your Blues
Listening to music you love—whether happy or sad—stokes the release of the feel-good hormone dopamine, reveals research from Nature Neuroscience.
If you can catch one of your favourite bands live, great. But even throwing on your headphones for a few minutes is enough to improve your mood, the study suggests.
If All Else Fails, It’s Okay to Give In
You’re bound to endure at least one Valentine’s Day so near to a breakup that ignoring your pain isn’t an option.
Instead of fake-smiling your way through a singles party, just stay home, throw on an appropriately heart-rending movie, and wallow in your sorrow.
Acknowledging and embracing sad emotions—temporarily, that is—can improve and fortify your psychological well-being, suggests a study from Olin College in Massachusetts.