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How to Survive Valentine’s Day – A Practical Guide

How to Survive Valentine’s Day – A Practical Guide

Whether you are in a committed relationship and every day spent with your loved one feels like the first day of spring, or you are single, waiting for the right one to come, Valentine`s Day can give you a lot of headaches.

Which present to buy, where to go for dinner, or on the other hand, when will you meet someone to spend this special day with and how to keep your spirit up despite being a single fish in the ocean of happy couples. Being a Valentine’s Day grinch, sometimes you might wonder: “Who invented this stupid holiday anyways?”

Well, at one period of my life, I certainly did.

If you are in the second group, I have a brief history of Valentine’s day and a few tips on how to make it an enjoyable experience for you.

History and meaning

All around the world, people are celebrating this annual holiday in February—a month of romance, sharing love and sympathy. According to history, there are interesting versions of the story about who Saint Valentine was.

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There is a legend about priest Valentine who served during the third century (AD) in Rome. There was a law that prohibited marriages for young men because of believing that single men made better soldiers. Priest Valentine didn’t share this opinion and he saw injustice in this act, so he continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, he was sentenced to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been a prisoner who sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young woman who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, he wrote her a love letter signed “From your Valentine.”

Nobody knows the exact true story, but these legends indicate that he was some symbol of the romantic hero, so on that one day that is dedicated to him people celebrate romance, love, and devotion.

For People in a Relationship

When you’re in love and Valentine’s Day comes, you can close your eyes and see pink and red hearts, little Cupids flying all around. Make a special (yet affordable day) that both of you will never forget. You can never make a mistake with chocolate and flowers, but there are other cute ways to show your loved one how much you care.

141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually,[1] making Valentine’s Day the second most popular greeting-card-giving occasion.[2] So why wouldn’t you push it to the next level and make one on your own? Be romantic, think out of the box and grab a piece of paper and write something spontaneous or, in case you lack inspiration, write some funny quotes. A homemade card is always more meaningful than a purchased one.

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If you are creative, the best way to show it is by some of the DIY projects. For example, you can make a dessert, so even if you order a dinner that night, you will be able to give your contribution, how cute is that? Also, you can make a little present that will have bigger value than a store gift.

This year Valentine’s day is a weekday, so you can imagine the routine: coming home from work, taking a bath together and lay watching Netflix. Not the best way to celebrate, huh?

Take a day off from work and walk around the city, eat street food, and drink soda on a bench in the park because the happiness is in small things.

In the evening, check Valentine’s Day events nearby: theaters, galleries, museums and cultural centers may be open late, offering exhibits and performances either for free or at reasonable ticket prices. Be open-minded for new things; you may be able to find a free entry or some deal (two-for-one price); maybe you will become a fan of some band or modern art after this night, who knows?

If you are thinking about the present, remember there is never enough cosmetic products for women so check some fantastic ideas for Valentine day gifts, and like you know diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so stop by a jewelry store on the way to the restaurant and let her pick something.

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    Image Credit: Elin B, Flickr

    And women, take him to the basketball game and buy him a hot dog and beer.

    More than anything, the most important thing that you can give to your partner is your time. Spend a romantic day without watches or smartphones, just talking to each other. There are beautiful places to be: a billion-star hotel – nature by night, whether by the river or through the park. Possibilities are endless when love and desire are there.

    For Single People

    Even if you are single, you can’t ignore this holiday because there is a euphoria all around.

    This may be too much romance for some people,[3] but there are also more mature ways to celebrate whether you have or do not have a loved one. A classy dinner and some fine wine with good friends, or a weekend trip to a near destination, or a casual night out in a jazz club, enjoying music and fine company for example. Check out some new spa centers in your city and get a massage and relax in a jacuzzi seem nice, no matter the occasion.

    If you aren’t into fancy (pricier) options, you can gather your single friends and arrange some fun activities, playing board games or going to the bar playing billiards and darts. Another option is to go shopping and treat yourself instead.

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    There are also parties and events for single people in many places. Maybe this is the way to meet someone interesting or just have some fun and participate. Be crazy that night and try something new. For example, go on speed dates[4] – it is an exciting way to introduce yourself, or at least you will remember the experience. In case you are not open for searching for a soulmate, just spend time with friends.

    It often happens that you can’t avoid it. Valentine’s Day will happen, and you’ll have to deal with it.

    Perhaps this is the best to join the festivities and have fun, but do it your own way.

    Happy your-own-way Valentine’s day!

    Featured photo credit: Laura Ockel via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Dejan Kvrgic

    Blogger, Writer

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    Last Updated on October 20, 2020

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

    More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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