Social Anxiety Disorder Coping 10 Ways to Enjoy Valentine's Day Solo By Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." Learn about our editorial process Updated on August 22, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Carly Snyder, MD Medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Ignore Valentine's Day Be Kind to Yourself Be Your Own Secret Admirer Avoid Love Triggers Make Other Plans Plan a Date With Single Friends Reach Out to Someone Brighten Someone Else's Day Keep Up Your Daily Routine Play Cupid Being alone on Valentine's Day may leave you feeling left out. It's easy to let the media and advertisements make you feel like something is missing if you are not in a relationship on this particular day. There are many reasons why you may find yourself alone on Valentine's day. Maybe you've chosen to be single or are not interested in a relationship. It's also possible that you're single for reasons outside of your control. For instance, maybe you're dealing with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and experience some fear in pursuing a romantic relationship. Whatever the reason, as Valentine's Day approaches, you might be feeling feel like you're the only person in the world without a partner. The best way to manage feelings of loneliness on this day involves shifting your focus, aiming to be happy with what you already have, and spending some time with yourself. Press Play for Advice On Prioritizing Self-Care Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, featuring TV Host Brooke Burke, shares ways you can make self-care a priority regardless of what your schedule may look like. Click below to listen now. Follow Now: Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Google Podcasts Ignore Valentine's Day There is no rule that you need to celebrate or even acknowledge Valentine's Day. However, don't let social media, store displays, or stories of others make you feel bad about your relationship status. February 14th is just one day of the year. There is no reason why you can't treat it as though it's just another day. Be Kind to Yourself If you'd prefer not to ignore Valentine's Day, you can decide to make it a day to treat yourself well. Try some of the following self-care strategies: Eat your favorite foods Create a list of goals or intentions that you'd like to set for the day Engage in hobbies that you enjoy Sleep in late Take the day off work Write in a gratitude journal If You Deal With Social Anxiety Disorder A study published in 2012 in the journal Anxiety, Stress, and Coping showed that people with SAD are less likely to show themselves self-compassion. This means that it's extra important for you to take the time to slow down and be aware of how you are treating yourself. Make time for yourself and show yourself some much-deserved love and kindness. How Social Anxiety Affects Dating and Intimate Relationships Be Your Own Secret Admirer On Valentine's Day, you might start scrolling through social media and see all of the flowers and chocolates your coworkers, friends, and loved ones have received. But have you ever wondered if they might have sent them to themselves? If you feel really down about being alone on Valentine's Day, go ahead and send yourself some flowers or your favorite candy to your place of work or your home. This gift will be special because you received it from someone who knows you best—you! Avoid Love Triggers Avoid watching romantic movies and listening to love songs because they may trigger even more feelings of loneliness on Valentine's Day. If a relationship has recently ended or you deal with social anxiety disorder, these types of activities may elicit sadness and feelings of depression about being alone during this holiday. Try watching a new show or a different genre as Valentine's Day approaches instead. Social Anxiety Disorder and Depression Make Other Plans Plan a day revolving around a recreational activity or hobby unrelated to Valentine's Day. For example, you might: Go for a hikeSchedule some time to take a long, relaxing bubble bathOrder a meal from your favorite restaurantPlay your favorite video gameTry a new workout Having plans to do something concrete will help to take your mind off the fact that you are single. This will give you time to shift your attention to yourself and relish your alone time. Plus, if you choose something memorable, then each year, you will have something to celebrate on that date that extends beyond Valentine's Day. Plan a Date With Single Friends If you have single friends, plan a date night with them! Being in the company of others in the same situation will help to ease your loneliness. Be sure to keep the night upbeat. Activities that the group could do might include the following: Play gamesWatch a movie togetherCook a meal or prepare cocktails together In addition to feeling less lonely, spending some quality time with friends will keep your social skills strong and provide you with feelings of love on this day. Reach Out to Someone Take the opportunity to reach out to someone whom you haven't spoken to in a while. That person might be a family member, a friend, or even a potential romantic interest You never know who might also be feeling lonely on Valentine's Day. They may welcome the chance to catch up and connect. Helping Others Can Increase Happiness and Reduce Stress Brighten Someone Else's Day Do you know someone who has recently lost a significant other? A small gift on Valentine's Day would mean a lot and would make you feel good as well. Gift ideas might include: Gift basket with tea, coffee, or other goodiesA promise of time spent togetherFlowersHomemade cookies or other treats For Gift Giving, Research Shows It's the Thought That Counts Keep Up Your Daily Routine One of the best ways to deal with being alone on Valentine's Day is to go about your daily routine: Clean the houseGo grocery shoppingExerciseWalk your dogPrepare mealsGet some work done Do whatever you would normally do that day of the week; this will help to make it seem like just another day of the year. The Importance of Maintaining Daily Routines Play Cupid Most people have never received a gift from a secret admirer. Consider anonymously sending a gift to someone in the same position as you. This doesn't need to be someone you have a romantic interest in—simply someone you want to see smile. Include a note saying that you wanted to 'pay it forward this Valentine's Day.' Gift ideas could include: Books (with a special bookmark enclosed)CalendarsChocolates or candyFlowersGift cardsGourmet food basketsHomemade gifts What Is the Receiving Gifts Love Language? A Word From Verywell Valentine's Day can be a wonderful time if you are in a relationship but difficult if you find yourself alone. If you're struggling with severe feelings of loneliness, it might be a good idea to reach out to a therapist. They can help you develop some healthy coping mechanisms. If you are spending this holiday alone, try to remind yourself of how wonderful you are and show yourself some compassion and love on Valentine's Day. How to Date Yourself (And Why You Should) 1 Source Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Werner KH, Jazaieri H, Goldin PR, Ziv M, Heimberg RG, Gross JJ. Self-compassion and social anxiety disorder. Anxiety Stress Coping. 2012;25(5):543-558. doi:10.1080/10615806.2011.608842 Additional Reading Martin SM, Quirk SW. Social anxiety and the accuracy of predicted affect. Cogn Emot. 2015;29(1):51-63. doi:10.1080/02699931.2014.894905 Neumann ID, Slattery DA. Oxytocin in general anxiety and social fear: A translational approach. Biol Psychiatry. 2016;79(3):213–21. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.06.004 Porter E, Chambless DL. Shying away from a good thing: social anxiety in romantic relationships. J Clin Psychol. 2014;70(6):546–61. doi:10.1002/jclp.22048 By Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? 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