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Be sweet to yourself on Valentine's Day

February 12, 1998|By Teri Johnson

Be sweet to yourself on Valentine's Day

How do I love me?

Let me count the ways.

Make that your motto

this Valentine's Day.

The holiday is about love, and unless you love yourself you can't love anyone else, says Niki Scott, author of the syndicated column "Working Woman."

Remind yourself that just because you're not part of a couple doesn't mean you're alone, Scott says.

"The worst alone I know is being coupled in a bad relationship," Scott says.

Write down four or five reasons why you're happy not to be connected to a mate all the time, and why you're happy with your life the way it is, Scott says.

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Forget the notion that everyone else in the world is involved in an incredible relationship, Scott says.

"Valentine's Day can't live up to the media image of it," she says.

The holiday is a good time to bust myths, says Annie Benton, a self-esteem and health expert based in Santa Fe, N.M.

Everyone goes through periods when they're not in a relationship, and they tell themselves they will be complete or happy when they have a partner, Benton says.

Instead, people should recognize that singles have a lot of freedom, she says.

"You have the opportunity to do what you want, when you want, and you don't have to answer to anyone," Benton says.

Valentine's Day, the final holiday of the winter doldrums, is a day to celebrate, says Lisa Boice, executive director of Franklin & Fulton Mental Health Association in Chambersburg, Pa.

Brighten your life

Instead of feeling manipulated by the holiday, look at it as a way to brighten your life, she says.

Don't start a diet, don't do things that make you sad and don't think alone equals lonely, Boice says.

When the old traditions don't work anymore, make up new ones, she says.

Deborah Kern, a Dallas wellness consultant, suggests creating a special day for yourself by only doing things you like.

"Eat what you want to eat, and sleep when you want to sleep," Kern says.

As a small business owner, Kern often has to travel on Valentine's Day, and she ends up spending the time alone in a hotel room.

She lights candles, orders her favorite meal from room service and takes a long bath. She listens to her favorite music and dances by herself in her room.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a memorable day, Kern says.

Stay away from the romantic, because you're not trying to make up for things you don't have, she says.

"Treat yourself like a queen or a king," she says.

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