Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to enjoy flying solo on Valentine's Day

For many people Valentine's Day is not sweet but a bitter reminder of one's single status.
Yet, we all have to be alone at some point in our lives -- be it a job transfer or breakup. This Valentine's Day, instead of focusing on what other people are doing, focus on what you can do for yourself.
"Connect with the love that lives within you on Valentine's Day," said Debra Duneier, founder and president of http://ecochi.com/. Duneier, who also is a feng shui master practitioner, reminds us that love comes in many forms:

* The love of self
"Schedule a pedicure at a local salon," said Duneier. "The winter can be tough on your feet so soak, moisturize and sit back and enjoy the foot massage. Choose a red nail polish to attract passion in your life or a soft pink or mauve to attract a kind and gentle lover." There are guys who can appreciate a pedicure but perhaps a visit to the men's salon would be a better fit. Instead of trimming your own beard, find a shop that specializes in pampering men. Spend some money on yourself and get a new haircut.

* The love of Mother Earth
Any type of exercise is going to make you feel better about yourself. However, if you don't have a gym membership, just take a walk outdoors. "Open your arms to the heavens and feel the magnificence of the universe. Gather pine cones, acorns or stones and put them in a bowl-bringing nature indoors," Duneier said. Now celebrate the solitude and light a candle (healthy choices are bee's wax or soy) and grab the magazine or book that you purchased for yourself after the visit to the salon or play some calming music and just chill out (meditate as Duneier would say). Then jot down your thoughts in a personal journal.

* The love of giving
"Plan a gathering in your home," Duneier said. "Express your love with recipes that are a proven crowd pleaser. Most people would rather enjoy an old favorite than a new recipe. Comfort food such as mac 'n' cheese, hamburger sliders, coconut shrimp and chocolate chip cookies are sure to make everyone feel loved." 
What about cooking for a parent or an elderly family member who lost a spouse?

* The love of community
"Serve a meal at a local hospital or soup kitchen," Duneier said. "Share your big heart with those in need and the result is an unexpected gift to you."

* The love of worship, prayer and spirituality
"Studies have shown that people who have a place that they regularly visit for worship, prayer or spiritual practice have a feeling of belonging," Duneier said. "This sense of connectivity and fulfillment can improve one's health and leads to a happier and sometimes longer life." Besides, you never know who you might meet while you're there.

* The love of friends and family 
Laughter is good for the soul, too. Contact some family members who might not have anything going on and plan some activities such as charades. If an evening soiree cannot be arranged consider a lunch date with friends who are flying solo too!

If nothing else, treat yourself to a special purchase on Valentine's Day. It could be something as simple as your favorite magazine or video game or as elaborate as a new dress or Marshall amp. Because you rock!

What a lovely surprise to discover how unlonely being alone can be -- Ellen Burstyn

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