I’ve never really been a massive Valentine’s Day kinda person - well that’s what I tell people anyway. This is a holiday which divides the hopeless romantics from the cynical sceptics, and if you’re reading this, you probably already know which category you fall into. But with this year’s holiday of love set to take place under a national lockdown, it definitely offers us the chance to reassess why we’re celebrating the infamous V Day. Are we just going along with the traditions of romantic meals, extravagant flowers, and chocolates because we think we should? Or do we genuinely enjoy this chance to show our other half, closest mates, or anyone we love how special they are to us?
Lockdown certainly decreases the pressure that usually comes with Valentine’s Day. There won’t be anyone frantically trying to book a restaurant last minute, and there won’t be any flashy comparisons on social media of fancy food, cocktails, and expensive-looking outfits. With this element of Valentine’s Day no longer available to us, we have the chance to strip everything back to the basics, and remember the simple purpose of the holiday: showing someone that we love them.
There will be a lot of couples that won’t be able to see their partner this year, myself included. While this makes it easy to cancel the holiday and pretend it’s not happening, I prefer to do the opposite, and invest even more thought into it than usual. Being apart from someone for so long really does make you realise how much you appreciate them, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to communicate that, be it through a thoughtful card, a box of their favourite chocolates, or just through good old-fashioned words.
While you may not be able to see your partner, you can still celebrate the holiday and make each other feel special. A lockdown edition of Valentine’s Day is a chance to get creative. Can you send your partner something through the post which is guaranteed to make them smile? Will you be watching a cosy film together via FaceTime? What about ordering some of your favourite food and virtually enjoying it together? We might be a bit fed up with video calls by now, but it really is the next best thing if you can’t be with each other in person.
Whether you’re seeing someone or not, Valentine’s Day is always a good time to practice a bit of self-care. Make the day all about you: read your favourite book, watch your favourite TV programme, have your favourite food. I’ll definitely be getting a face mask and drawing myself a nice hot bubble bath, candles and all. Lockdown has made the things that make us feel good more important than ever, so use Valentine’s Day as a reminder to look after yourself and prioritise some me-time.
We’ve all had a pretty tough time recently, and although we might wish that Valentine’s Day wasn’t happening under a lockdown, I think the holiday can be the pick-me-up we all need. Whether you’re celebrating with your pals, your partner, or yourself, take it as an opportunity to unwind, have a bit of fun, and feel the love.