Date yourself this Valentine's Day

The importance of self-love during COVID

Written by Abby Lee Hood

No doubt your local grocery store has stocked their shelves full of red candy boxes and stuffed animals, as they do every year before Valentine’s Day. Those saccharine sections can be a little depressing for single folks in a normal year, but when you add the COVID-19 pandemic it’s easy to imagine feeling a little isolated or frustrated about the holiday. Still, of all the types of love you should be cultivating in your life, self-love is probably the most important.

The ancient Greeks called self-love philautia, and it could mean anything from self-care to ambitious self-love required for career advancements. Whatever self-love means to you, we’d highly encourage you to put real time and dedication into cultivating a relationship with yourself. There’s no one who knows your mind better, so we’ve created a few date ideas to take yourself on and want to break down why it’s so critical to make it happen this Valentine’s Day.

Importance of self-love during COVID and isolation

Coral's in-house sex and intimacy coach Zoe Kors acknowledges that Valentine’s Day doesn’t always inspire us to feel good about ourselves, especially when so many of us live alone or feel isolated from our friends and regular sources of human connection. But there are things we can do to make ourselves feel better, and we should; it’s good for our mental health.

“It can be easy to focus on the things we can’t do safely right now,” Kors says. One thing to remember, even though it feels endless, is that it really is temporary. We will be able to spend time with each other in person again eventually. Embracing the opportunity to invest in yourself can be a great perspective shift.”

While we may not be going to house parties any time soon, self-love and taking yourself on a COVID-safe adventure can make you feel like yourself again and get you back out into the world with other humans. And of course, self-love has so many physical and mental benefits it’s hard to list them all; since many dates often end in sex it’s worth mentioning masturbation can help relieve pain, boost your body image and confidence and help you better communicate your sexual desires and preferences when we can safely date and hook up again.

“The hormones released during arousal have many physiological benefits. They lower blood pressure, regulate the nervous system, boost immunity, and help improve mood and overall outlook,” Kors says.

You really should be dating yourself, and we’re here to make it easy. Now that we’ve covered why, let’s dive in! 

Enroll in an online course or join Masterclass. 
Just like you might take a painting class with a partner you can do the same solo, right at home. Investing in your creativity and learning, whether in a class about coding or one that makes you a better leader, is a great way to date yourself. The Greek word for self-love includes the kind of ambitious obsession with ourselves, and propelling your career or simply learning a new skill definitely counts.

Take up yoga or start running. 
Just because the New Year is over doesn’t mean it’s too late to set goals for yourself. While we stay away from diet culture and weight loss conversations that make us feel bad, exercise is a great tool for self-care and improves mental health. Finding your limits and pushing past them is exhilarating and really helps you learn to trust yourself.

Consider hiring a life coach or therapist. 
An unconventional kind of date? Sure, but the point of dating yourself is to do things you might be afraid to do with others. Self-reflection, trauma and emotional processing and talking to an expert can help you cope with current problems, like pandemic isolation, and better prepare for increased social activity when it’s safe. Find a local counselor or consider connecting with a therapist online. BetterHelp is a new therapy app you can try, or call your health insurance provider to find professionals covered in your area.

Solo wine tasting. 
Looking for something a little more romantic? We got you. If you’ve never done a wine tasting, you really should. Check your local grocery store or wine shop for a couple of affordable reds and whites; maybe do some Googling to see what pairs best with your favorite foods. Bring them home for an in-house taste test and challenge yourself to find a new favorite. Cheese, salami, crackers and other snacks are highly encouraged!

Throw an at-home film fest. 
If you’ve been meaning to watch that new Netflix release or just have a favorite genre of film, we’d love you to expand on your wine tasting and have a glass or two of your new favorite while watching a list of two or three curated films. If you’re feeling bored, you might also try a genre you’ve never been into before; classic horror films are often cheesy, and romcoms can lift the heaviness of being stuck indoors and give you a good laugh.

Whichever at-home date you choose, try to include a dose of self-pleasure. Kors says masturbation can help us regulate our nervous systems and discover new desires, meaning you’ll know yourself better than ever.

“Ask yourself what would be the most sexy and alluring way to spend a solo evening would be… eat delicious foods, listen to a sexy playlist, watch an erotic film, wear an outfit that makes you feel desirable. The options are endless,” Kors says. “You might even treat yourself to a new toy just for the occasion. Then set the scene for epic solo sex with candles, music, lube, whatever your heart desires. It’s a great way to let yourself know you are worthy of love and sexual nourishment.”

This Valentine’s Day, don’t let being single get in the way of having a good time! You are your own best friend, so there’s no better romantic partner we could think of. 

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