Thursday, January 26, 2023

SIDELINES GUIDELINES: A COVID-19 Valentine’s Day

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Story by Hannah Plunkett / Contributing Writer

Does Cupid wear a mask now? Has the love-bug been tested for COVID-19 recently? Kissing spreads more than just cooties now!

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on countless plans for birthdays, anniversaries, parties, weekends, and holidays– including Valentine’s Day– for almost a year now. 

Between social distancing rules, mask mandates, restaurant and theater closures, and everything else in between, those celebrating the holiday of love are having to get creative to make the day special. Treating yourself or your significant other is no longer as easy as going to a nice restaurant and buying flowers and chocolates. 

After nearly 13 months of isolation, a holiday meant for human contact and connection can cause feelings of emotionally distraught and intensified loneliness. Preserving one’s happiness and mental health is important now more than ever before. 

Several Middle Tennessee State University students have had to get creative with how to celebrate the intimate holiday:

 “I’ve called out of work and have bought desserts to make.”

Instead of going out for a nice dinner, me and my boyfriend are going to make a nice dinner at home and watch some movies.”

Me and my girlfriend are a part right now, but we are watching the same movie on Netflix and doing a video call date.”

MTSU STUDENTS

One student spending the holiday as an independent single replied, “I’ll be in my bed ordering takeout that’s from a nice restaurant and sitting in my bed watching rom coms!” 

Whether you are celebrating alone, or with someone you love, doing something special for Valentine’s Day can bring some excitement and joy to an otherwise stressful time, due to the pandemic.

For those who don’t already have plans, here are some creative ways people can celebrate and stay safe for the holiday:

·  Build a blanket fort with your honey, roommate, best friend or for your own enjoyment and watch your favorite movies with snacks!

·  Have an at-home painting party!

·  Make a fancy 4-course meal complete with all the foods you love.

·  Host a virtual dinner and movie night with your special someone or a group of friends.

·  Have a spa night.

·  Get all dressed up and have an at-home dance party, either virtually or with your roomies!

·  Write the names of Exes on glassware and spend the holiday smashing them with your closest friends!

·  Boycott the holiday and spend the day doing something you’ve been putting off for a long time.

·  Have a self-love day to celebrate loving yourself!

However, you choose to spend Valentine’s Day, choose to spread some love, and show yourself some self-love! We all could use some extra love and care, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to express that. 

Some gentle reminders:

  • You don’t need a partner to be worthy and important
  • You can celebrate Valentine’s Day however you’d like– whether it’s doing extravagant things for yourself or skipping it altogether. 
  • Valentine’s Day is only one day. Dedicate yourself to self-love every day of the year. 
  • Don’t let pressures from society affect your love life decision or the way you talk to yourself.
  • It’s okay if you’re hurting or missing someone. The pandemic has not made things easy. 
  • You are loved and appreciated.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ashley Barrientos, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life

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