How to Be Single…This Valentine’s Day

“Wherever you are, be all there.”-Jim Elliot

It’s that time of year.  Valentine’s Day.  The couples are either basking in the joy of the holiday–or trying to pass themselves off as too hipster to care about such a “cliche” holiday.  Meanwhile, the single girls alternate between binge-watching Nicholas Sparks and the Hallmark Channel and proudly proclaiming that “they don’t need no man”.  There are red hearts and Dove chocolates everywhere.

Okay, full disclosure: I kind of love Valentine’s Day–and I’m saying that as a single girl.  3C88109E22Is it the most romantic day of the year?  I certainly hope not.  But I do not think it needs to be in order to be a wonderful holiday with a lot to offer.  The pretty colored decorations, delicious goodies, and sweet words to loved ones–whether your platonic besties or your significant other–are enough to make this holiday pretty fantastic.  I love Valentine’s Day because it is one day out of the year where we slow down and are thankful for the people that we love, and that is something that we could all do a little more.

Now, all that being said, there are definitely still moments where, well, Valentine’s Day can serve as a stinging reminder of something or someone you don’t have in your life right now.  That does not mean, though, that you cannot enjoy the day for what it is and still have a blast.  For me this year, celebrating Valentine’s Day means a night out with my roommates, all of whom find ourselves either single or away from our S.O.’s this Valentine’s Day.  So, so what if you’re not dating someone right now?  Or even if you just happen to be farther away from your boy than you’d like.  You can still make this Valentine’s Day a blast.

Here are four ideas to get you started:

Grab your girlfriends.  Whether you just put your nice dresses on and go out to dinner, throw a real party, or just stay in and watch chick flicks in your pajamas, there is something so refreshing about girl time, and especially on Valentine’s Day, it is much more fun to be with your friends than sitting at home

Send someone (or several someones) a Valentine.  It does not have to be a love interest.  Just drop someone you care about a note to let them know how grateful you are for them.

Have an Un-Valentine’s Day party.  Okay, so maybe cute red hearts aren’t your thing.  It does not mean that you can’t hang out with your friends and celebrate your friendships.  Grab a Marvel film or two or the Bourne Trilogy and have an action movie marathon.  Valentine’s Day does not have to look a certain way.

Get crafty.  Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday for the artsy.  Pick a fun craft you’ve been wanting to do and just get to it!  To make it even  more fun, make it a group crafting day.

Treasure this time.  You aren’t going to be single every Valentine’s Day.  So, if you are this year, enjoy it.  Laugh with your girlfriends.  Value the people in your life.  Appreciate right now.

Remember: a lot can change in a year.


Why Your Morning Routine Matters

“Life is worth waking up an hour early to live an hour more.”

I have a love-hate relationship with mornings.  I love the feeling of being up and p productive early enough that I can move at my own pace, have my quiet time, read a few blogs, and actually feel on top of things before I go barreling into my day.  However, I definitely do not enjoy that first 15 minutes of dragging myself out of bed and doing the zombie walk to the coffeemaker, hoping my roommates realize I am mentally or emotionally prepared to have people say words to med.

My feelings against those first few minutes served as a huge part of the reason that–for
the first couple of years of college–I took the approach of sleeping for as long as humanly possible.  I would stay in bed until half an hour before class.  Then, hop up, throw on some outfit, and dash out the door chaotically.  I always had things that I told myself I would do in the mornings, and they basically never happened.  The result was that I went into my day with adrenaline pumping and a discouraging weight of failure already taunting me.  Not exactly the ideal start to the day.

So, this year, I decided to switch it up and give my mornings a bit more of a priority.  Now, instead of darting out the door crazily, I make sure I’m up, on average 2-3 hours before I leave for class or work.  I sit down, have my coffee, read my Bible, write in my journal, catch up on the news, sort through emails (by the way, a ridiculous number of emails come in between midnight and 6 a.m.), listen to some music, and do a little reading just for fun.  It’s heavenly.

Does your morning routine need a refreshing?  Here are few things I’ve found helpful as I revamped the start of my days.

Have a plan.  Maybe you’re the type that wants to write your morning routine down on a pretty notecard, or maybe–like me–it’s just a mental checklist.  Either way, know what your morning goals are.  Maybe your list is coffee, news, and emails.  Great.  Maybe it is more extensive.  Fantastic.  Some days, you may want to fit in some extra morning items but put in the effort to establish a minimum  routine.  That provides stability when life catapults you into a more chaotic season.

Make it easy on yourself.  Choose your clothes the night before.  Have your backpack/briefcase packed.  Have the coffee etting out.  Do what you need to do to make the mornings as painless as possible.

Drink that coffee.  Okay, maybe this is just a personal thing, but the world looks sooo much brighter once I have a cute mug full of steaming caffeine in my hand.  So, I make sure that is the first thing I do every day.  If you know something will make the rest of your morning routine easier, do it first!  The goal is to make this easy and fun.

Make mornings fun.  I don’t plan the hard stuff for the mornings.  This is the time that is setting the tone for your whole day.  Do productive things, yes, but do productive things you enjoy.  Do not make it a frantic rat race.

Stop. Breathe. Pray.  Smell the roses.  It will be worth it.