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An Instruction Manual on How to Survive February 14th

Dear lovely reader, pray tell me how a holiday dedicated to love can make one feel the most alone? As quirky as it was to spend the last few Valentine’s Days sulking in my imaginative depth of sorrows, resenting all the couples on my Instagram feed, and whining out loud how “nobody loves me,” I have decided to put my foot down. Enough is enough.

During this epiphany, I also realized that, although February 14th is inevitable, fortunately my drama-queen act can be tamed for a day. I came up with three secret ingredients to make the perfect recipe for a FOMO-free and happy Valentine’s Day. Regardless if you are in a romantic relationship or not, these reminders will help guide you to make the most out of this special day.

1. You are loved

No matter who you are, where you are, or what your social life is looking like at the moment, you must know that you are loved. Whether you realize it or not, there is someone who loves you, whether it be your mom, friend, co-worker, dog, or the FBI agent in your phone.

The biggest lesson that I learned from my hot-girl single days is that looking past the love that my friends and family have for me is not a good look. I found power in being aware of the abundance of love that surrounds me and in making an effort to be present in my deep and meaningful connections.

Rather than allowing ourselves to be sucked into another one of those FOMO-evoking social media black holes, this Valentine’s Day, let us set the intention to be where our feet are.

2. Be the one to spread the love!

Oftentimes, we just sit around waiting to be loved, waiting for someone to tell us that they love us, buy us a gift, or ask us out. The problem here is that if everyone is keeping quiet, no one is going to feel the love! This year, rather than waiting to receive, choose to be the one to give.

Be brave and be bold! Think of someone you care about and come up with a way to show them how much you appreciate them: cook them a meal, write them a love letter, or give them a great, big hug. You can even use this day as a chance to tell that little crush of yours how you feel.

Use this day as an opportunity to make someone smile and feel appreciated. By going out of your way to make someone feel loved, it is guaranteed that you too will feel the love this Valentine’s Day!

3. Self-love, baby!

If you have read my previous articles, you know that I bring up self-love every opportunity that I get. Before the 14th, set the intention of taking some time to do something that you enjoy.

Ask yourself: What makes me feel relaxed? What makes me feel energized? When do I feel most like my authentic self? Reflect on these questions and block out a time where you will allow yourself to enjoy that activity. Try: journaling, doing a face mask, watching a movie or your favourite TV show, cooking, or spending quality time with your best friend.

I hope that your whole year is filled with love and joy. You are enough just the way you are and never doubt that you are loveable.

P.S. If you think that Valentine’s day is a marketing ploy, here is a heart-shaped balloon:

Lots of love, Shaden

Shaden Ahmed

McMaster '24

Shaden Ahmed is a second-year student at McMaster University, pursuing a Combined Honours in Theatre & Film and Communication Studies. Her writing interests include topics related to mental health, self-love and growth, relationships, and social media use. She is very passionate and eager about connecting with her readers through her articles.
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