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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 August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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