Galentine's Day

celebrating Galentine’s day

The tradition of Valentines can leave many women feeling overwhelmed and disappointed. The reasons vary from being single and alone or a partner that doesn’t buy into the Hallmark tradition. Either way, the trend for “Galentines” day is spreading, as more and more women find the bond of sisterhood fulfilling.

Redefining old traditions

Ah, it’s the time of year that singles have come to despise, that one holiday created by Hallmark that makes couples have to put in the effort to impress, while single folk grab a box Kleenex and a pint of cookie dough ice cream on their drive home. The good news is that customs and traditions are always evolving. Who says Valentine’s Day needs to be about couples madly in love, feeding each other chocolates while admiring the romantic views from the Eiffel tower? Move over relationships; it’s time to pop the champagne and celebrate Valentine’s Day with the girls! While Valentine’s Day was about couples in love, today you can celebrate the holiday on your own terms, giving affection to those that matter most in your life. Friendship is a special bond between two or more people, a relationship that carries you through tough storms and calm seas. Friends build up our self-esteem and confidence and give us the resilience we need to overcome life challenges. Some of you may really struggle on days like Valentine’s Day because you feel pressure to receive some gift, suffer the embarrassment you single, or feel flat out lonely. This is the perfect opportunity to rally your spirits and connect with your girlfriends.

For me personally, the few times I have felt down about Valentine’s Day were when I was still healing from a breakup or that one special relationship. I felt cold, loveless, and completely miserable. I’ll never forget this one relationship where I was working late and my significant other at the time called to see when I would be home. His interest in my arrival made me think that he had something in place for the special holiday, but lo and behold, he was sleeping when I got home. To add insult to injury, he got me plastic flowers and a cheap stuffed animal. Needleless to say, I cried myself to sleep that night. (We are no longer together.) Thank God I had my girls to take me to dinner the following night.

It’s all about perspective

It’s important to keep things in perspective on days when emotions run high and Valentine’s Day is no exception. So, drop the self-pity and enjoy the day with those you have the most… the girls! Here are some virtual and in person ideas of things to do with your favorite people.

Make a reservation: Depending on where you are in the country, most restaurants remain open. However, keep in mind that as a result of social distancing and the fact that restaurants are typically crazy busy on this day, these places will have a lot of traffic. If that is something you and your friends are comfortable with, it will definitely be important to make a reservation at least three weeks in advance. Start making plans now.

So long are the days of women waiting for the phone to ring. We are creating lasting connected relationships with some of our best friends.

Get outside: Vitamin D sure is lacking around this time of year; simply getting outside and in nature will boost those feel-good hormones. Plan a morning walk with the girls to catch up. There must be some trails or paths in town or the surrounding areas. If not, a park would be just as fun. If your real lucky and live in a warmer state, turn the walk into a picnic and delegate who should bring what. Make it a fun cooking competition to see who makes the best food.

Movie night in with the gals. Whether you decide on a Netflix top, hit, a mini-series, or to watch reruns of The Bachelor, plan a fun night in. Back in the day when my girls and I were obsessed with the show, we would hand out plastic roses to each other if we guessed who was going home that night, all the while chugging sangria. If you’re not into the Bachelor and want to watch romantic comedies, grab some popcorn and candy and enjoy the time you get just hanging with a friend or two.

Take someone out who you know experiences loneliness. I’ll never forget how delicate I was after breaking up with my daughters’ father; after all, I thought we were all going to be a happy family. That Valentine’s morning, I’ll never forget when my two friends showed up at my house, unannounced, with a couple of gifts and mimosas. I felt so special that I cried out of gratitude and appreciation. 

We all have that one friend who typically goes solo at events and get-togethers. Although they appear fine with it, they may experience levels of sadness under the surface, and Valentine’s Day may sting more for them as they yearn behind closed doors for love and companionship. Round up the girls and come out with ideas to make this person feel loved. It could be a special gift basket left at the front door or a yummy brunch date.  There’s no better feeling than making someone feel genuinely important rather handing your partner an already expected box of chocolates. Or do both!

Get creative, set a virtual Galantine’s date night with your best gal pals.

Make a card: A simple card can make someone’s day, and, no, I’m not talking about some meme or e-card that requires little thought and a touch of a button. I’m talking about taking the time to write a poem, a thoughtful letter, a personal story, or anything more relatable and thoughtful. During the pandemic, I purchased cute cards from Pinterest, wrote a sweet letter, and sent them to friends and family across the country. It’s no surprise that at every family event I attend, everyone says how thoughtful I am. Sending cards make people feel cared for, and if you can make someone feel good, then why not!

For all the ladies who prefer a virtual hang out: If you’re feeling uncomfortable with going out and have become a true hermit, that’s completely fine; you can still stay connected and have virtual hangouts. If you’re looking for a fun game night, purchase Jackbox TV. This game console offers multiple games and can be played via Zoom (ensure the host who owns the Jackbox set up is also tech-savvy as they will be in charge of troubleshooting). Jackbox entails goofy games, so if you’re looking for something geared toward your interests, you can also play Trivia, Pictionary, Scattegories, and Bingo. As you can see, the options are endless, and Zoom is a free video conference app to see everyone while playing the game you girls choose!

Another virtual option is to ask your friends at the beginning of the year if they want to have a mini book club and get together on Valentine’s Day to share and chat about the book you have chosen to read. You can get creative here and delegate different genres to each friend, or you can all stick with the same genre such as romance and then discuss over video conference. Rate it, describe it, and decide and if you want to pick it up on your next run to Barnes and Nobles.

As you can see, there are plenty of options to make the day special. So, get out your phone and reach out to two to five of your girlfriends to make a plan, and most importantly, have a fun Valentine’s Day!

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Ashley Wilson
I’m an entrepreneur, a mother, a life coach, lover of all foods, annnnnd I’m an outdoor enthusiast! I love hiking, camping, kayaking, the beach, the mountains, you name it, I love it. The best feeling in the world is being with the ones I love doing what I love the most—- exploring the outdoors, going on adventures, traveling, basically doing anything new. In my profession as a Life Coach, I focus on building connections within relationships. We live in a digital era which has really broken down human connection, it’s become more of a challenge to build and maintain effective, close relationships. As a relationship coach, I help my clients break down barriers and self limiting beliefs, then create personalized plan to obtaining the confidence, connections, and contentment you crave.
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