Ah, Valentine’s Day. Here we are. There’s a lot of pressure for some people with this day, but our thought is if it’s the day of love, why not make it all about us? I mean, really. Don’t we also deserve to show ourselves some true, pampering care and devotion on the day of romance? Loving ourselves isn’t selfish. It’s worthwhile and healthy. Hell, it’s necessary.
There are things like writing yourself a love letter or trying something new, etc., that are recommended, and we like those. We really do. In addition to that are ways to pamper yourself and do for you what you deserve. In our opinion, these are things we all need to do for ourselves in some small way. Taking a walk, smiling at something only we find funny, dressing up — whatever brings you joy and makes you feel alive. Since it’s Valentine's Day — and who are we to deny a holiday? — we want to highlight some wonderful ways to do other, more indulgent things for yourself.
Dinner for one? Right this way!
I don’t know what my parents did right or wrong, honestly, but I love eating alone. I like bringing a book to read or a pencil (yes, a pencil) and a notebook to write in, and going to beautiful, amazing restaurants, getting a table, and ordering extravagant, delicious food for me and me alone to experience. Dining is communal, truly, and we not only agree but embrace and encourage it. But there’s nothing that says taking a little “me time” can't mean indulging in luscious, well-made food prepared for us by someone else.
As a person who embraces eating alone at restaurants, I’ve discovered some rather good tips and tricks to dining solo regardless of where and when.
- Eating at the bar or a counter and offering to do so to your host or hostess is a great way to endear yourself to the restaurant staff. Most bars these days are set up for solo dining and it’s fun to watch the bartender mix drinks — especially with how far mixology has come — and it’s a great people watching spot. You can strike up a conversation with the bartender and if you are a drinker, let them make you a cocktail that suits your meal. You’re there to enjoy a nice, all-about-you evening and trying something tailor-made for you is a great way to feel special.
- If you would rather eat at a table, either make reservations or go to the restaurant when it is not their peak time. You’ll get a table easier and getting out of there before they get busy will, once again, endear you to the restaurant crew.
- Ask your server for dining suggestions and heed recommendations. It will enhance your dining experience and create a unique give-and-take with the staff who will make every effort to make your solo eating that much more enjoyable.
- If at all possible, position yourself where you can watch the kitchen work. It’s another little bit of solo indulgence and heightens the dining experience if you can watch the chefs, ask questions, and learn about the food being prepared.
- Tip generously. It’s a great way to be welcomed back even if you come with others and especially if you return alone. The staff will look forward to your visits and make you as comfortable and welcome as possible.
- Don’t want to talk to anyone? Bring a book, magazine, something to write in or even a sketch pad. I don’t recommend bringing a laptop or tablet with you for the simple fact that if that was your intention, you should probably just go to a coffeehouse or a diner. For the purpose of actually treating yourself to a wonderful meal, bring along whatever is most relaxing for you while you eat. In my experience, having an electronic device keeps my stress level high — I feel like I should be working — and the whole point of my evening is to pamper myself; not meet a deadline.
Instead of giving you actual location suggestions, consider this: any favorite restaurant or place you’ve wanted to try can be a solo dining option. It’s completely up to you.
2023 just started but it’s probably still been a whirlwind. Life gets like that, doesn’t it? For Valentine’s Day, why not take yourself some place to truly relax, indulge in serious self-care, and give you time to experience any and all calming, soothing treatments to clear your mind and relieve stress? There are many wonderful retreats out there in the universe and as far as we’re concerned, you can try each and every one of them throughout the year. These three are some that jumped out at us as places we definitely want to try before the year is out to give over to our own self-love and care.
Civana Wellness Resort & Spa, Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA
“AWAKEN A NEW SENSE OF SPIRIT” is the first thing you read when you visit the Civana Wellness Resort & Spa website. The different visuals that rotate across the homepage give you a feeling of calm and inclusion, presenting incredible opportunities to engage in activities to make you feel at once peaceful and invigorated. Located in 20 acres of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Civana offers hiking classes, healing waters in the desert, yoga, ways to set intention, and many more options to give the best of yourself to yourself, as well as spa treatments to soothe your body and mind. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate you.
The Stanglwirt, Wilder Kaiser Mountain, Austria
At the base of the Wilder Kaiser Mountain range in Austria is the “only organic farm with its own luxury hotel.” The beautiful Stanglwirt is just as wonderful to visit in the snowy winter as it is in the refreshing spring or summer. It has been providing exquisite accommodations for over 400 years, offers spa and fitness experiences to help you not only enjoy the location but the beauty within yourself. From hiking to salon treatments to massages and golfing, Stanglwirt is something to see to be believed.
Aro Hā, Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand Southern Alps
At Aro Hā in New Zealand, you pick from one of their “Revive and Thrive” retreats to indulge in a truly unique getaway overlooking the beautiful Lake Wakatipu in the country’s Southern Alps. This full body, mind, and soul experience feeds every part of you, thanks to Aro Hā’s belief that self-care begins with giving yourself the best of everything: food, physical activity, and ways to indulge in your natural surroundings. Combining these creates a feeling of delicious satisfaction you take away with you that you then incorporate into the rest of your life.
Your home sweet home
Sometimes it’s enough to show yourself true love by shutting out the world and focusing on being in your own home. Cook yourself some amazing food or order in from one of your favorite restaurants. Put on a great movie or best loved music, light some candles, get cozy or, hell, dress up to the nines — it’s your house. Do what you want to celebrate you. And really? If you want flowers for Valentine’s Day, buy them for yourself. Places like The Bouqs and Urban Stems deliver gorgeous bouquets pretty much anywhere in the U.S., and don’t forget that old faithful, 1-800-Flowers, because they are a great go-to for lovely blooms to brighten and warm your heart.
Pamper yourself within your own four walls by indulging in some quiet time or blasting the music and dancing around the house — basically, doing exactly what you feel like doing and bringing a true smile to your face on this holiday of love.
For the love of “me time”
Showing ourselves love is something we tend to forget on this day. We get so caught up in the marketing and advertising for the best way to celebrate with “the one you love” — who is always someone outside ourselves — that we overlook, well, us.
You are beautiful and if you want to embrace Valentine’s Day as a celebration of the wonder that is you, do it. Be your Valentine. You deserve it.