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We seem to all have different expectations of this holiday. Many lavish loved ones with jewelry, candy and go out to dinner; but there are just as many who feel the day is “fake” and resent feeling obliged to give gifts. Some even dread the holiday with feelings of loneliness. Everyone can have a great day, no matter how you view the holiday, when keeping a few things in mind:

Enjoy the chocolate: A decadent treat, eating chocolate really can give your brain a pleasant buzz and not just in the love & lust department. The chemicals in chocolate increase the brain’s blood circulation for up to three hours, boosting general alertness and increasing cognitive abilities. Just don’t overdo it.

Don’t have a date and feel blue: Connect with a group of single friends together. Ask them to bring other singles they may know and play speed friending. This is like speed dating but for friends.

Not in a “relationship”: Connect with a cherished friend. Give them a card (even a funny one), maybe even some chocolates. Plan to spend some time together having fun. Do not enjoy the holiday, but would like to do “something” for the day: Go shopping or to a movie with a friend or family member. Read a good book or play some sports. Choose activities to take up time during the day.

As a species, we need connection to others in order to thrive. Research shows that people with a stronger social support network are happier, recover more quickly from surgery and disease, and are at lower risk for depression.

Just remember your aim is to enjoy yourself, no matter what you do. Celebrate your life and the all the love in it already!
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