The coronavirus isn’t going anywhere by Valentine’s Day. I know, it’s disheartening to hear, but we’re also very close to the end of this pandemic; millions of people are being vaccinated every day and even with emerging variants, soon it will be enough to impact transmission rates. In the United States, we may achieve herd immunity by summer 2021.
For now, we have to remain dedicated to the same prevention strategies the CDC has been recommending for almost a year now: wear a mask, socially distance, and avoid traveling. Which, as far as Valentine’s Day goes, means finding new ways to celebrate the love in our lives.
Here are a few:
1. Have a self care day.
I'm sure this comes as no surprise but the pandemic is devastating our mental health. Last August, the CDC compared mental health data from 2020 to mental health data from 2019 and found a tripling of anxiety symptoms and a quadrupling of depression among adults. So spoil yourself a little extra this Valentine's Day. Take a long relaxing bubble bath, put on a face mask, and buy yourself something thoughtful (because you're worth it).
2. Connect with nature.
For those who live in a warm climate, there are so many fun outdoor activities available to you whether you’re spending time alone, with a partner, or anyone else you're quarantined with. Plan a hike if you’re feeling adventurous. Or pack some sandwiches and have a picnic at a nearby park.
3. Take a staycation.
Renting a hotel room or an Airbnb locally can mimic the feeling of traveling without you actually leaving your city. You can stay inside, order food, and drink sparkling wine in bed. Book your staycation fast, however –– many hotels in the U.S. and UK report a ‘staycation boom’ due to COVID.
Look for detailed information about their COVID precautions in advance of your stay. And if you're looking for a good travel-sized vibrator, the Bisous is compact and resembles a tube of lipstick so it's great to carry around in your purse.
4. Date night at home.
I know we’re all tired of our homes at this point but it’s still a safe, comfortable environment for romance. It's the least risky place to celebrate! Put up decorations, cook a romantic dinner, and plan a fun activity for you and your quarantine buddy.
If you're looking for ideas: you can gather art supplies with your partner and paint together. Some companies even offer paint night kits that include easels, paint, canvases, and a video tutorial to follow. There are also virtual comedy nights being promoted on Eventbrite or on social media right now. And museums internationally are doing virtual tours, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Grand Palais in Paris. Afterwards, finish the night with a sensual massage or a couple’s bubble bath.
5. Hang out with friends virtually.
The last time I saw many of my friends was at our Galentine’s Day brunch last year. So this Valentine’s weekend, we’re hanging out on Zoom and playing Stay The F*ck At Home. There’s another platform I love, called Icebreaker, that allows you to play guided conversation games with a group and stream music via Youtube.
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6. Shoot your shot.
Love is in the air and you are a human being with agency and intention! Slide in someone's DMs this month and maybe you'll score a virtual meet-cute. Even if it doesn't work out post-Valentine's, sometimes it's nice to spend this high pressure holiday with someone you find attractive.
Ultimately, this holiday can provoke feelings of loneliness and rejection if you're unpartnered. And due to the pandemic, many of us are quarantined away from our partner(s), making Valentine's Day especially difficult. Feel your feelings and give yourself grace. But remember, it's just one day –– there will be so many other opportunities to celebrate love later.