9 Ways to Get through Valentine's Day after a Breakup ...

Valentine's Day after a breakup can be one of the most frustrating times of the year. I say “frustrating” because no matter where you go, you can't seem to get away from all the “love” in the air. Even if you're not particularly devastated about your new relationship status, seeing all the Cupid dolls and heart-shaped boxes of candy can't help but make it hit home. If you're newly single or want to cheer up a friend who is, here are some fun activities for Valentine's Day after a breakup.

1. Do That Thing You Wanted to do but Didn't during the Relationship

Perhaps this should read because of the relationship rather than during it. Take that cooking class you never had time for. Go to that restaurant you loved but he hated. If you're the “dance in your underwear” type like Callie on Grey's Anatomy, do that. It doesn't matter what you do; the idea is to get back to you. This can be done at any time, but doing it on Valentine's Day after a breakup can kick-start the healing process.

2. Do Something Kind for Your Friends

Just like we did in elementary school, give your friends Valentine's gifts. My dad used to give us chocolates or Hershey Miniatures on Valentine's Day just for the fun of it, and I did the same for my friends. If you work in an office, make an edible Valentine's card out of a huge cookie with red and white icing. After all, who doesn't love cookies? Cupcakes or a pastry with aptly arranged sliced strawberries will do if you prefer. The point is to do something nice for your friends and others around you; who knows, they might return the favor one day.

3. Do Something Kind for a Complete Stranger

If you're having a hard time, chances are someone else is too. Helping others is a great way to take your mind off of your own problems.

4. Hang out with Your Single Friends to Take Your Mind off of It

If there are other uncoupled people in your group, get together for a night of dinner or drinks. If you don't have any single friends, a lot of communities have singles' meet-ups or interest-specific groups. Check out Events and Adventures or Meetup.com.

5. Play Music That Suits the Day and Your Mood

I know I've mentioned making mix CDs and playlists for certain moods in other posts, but I really believe in the healing power of a good song. Funny, sad, angry or just plain weird-play whichever songs work for you. If you're musical, write one of your own. If you need inspiration, you can look up song lyrics here: azlyrics.com.

6. Memories

Believe it or not, going through old love letters can help you brave the love-soaked day alone. I'm not talking about letters or pictures of your recent ex – I'm talking about anything you might have from other past boyfriends. When I read a poem a guy wrote for me in college right after a breakup years later, it reminded me that love is indeed out there and I will find it again.

7. Celebrate Something Completely Different

My friend's birthday is the day before Valentine's. If you have any February birthdays in your group or want to have a belated winter holiday celebration, go for it. If you can't think of anything, make something up; the waffle-iron-invention party I threw last year got pretty wild.

8. Buy Yourself Something Special

You know that gorgeous bra you've been eyeing Victoria's Secret? Buy it. That great-smelling lotion and body wash at Target or Bath and Body Works? Get it. It doesn't have to be expensive, just something you don't normally get for yourself. Even a peach daiquiri will do. If the bartender's hot and single, consider that a head start for next year.

9. Above All, Love Yourself and do Something Just for You

Take a hot bath. Give yourself a manicure. Go out for dessert, watch that new George Clooney movie or make yourself a nice cappuccino. It doesn't really matter what you do, just indulge yourself. You deserve it.

Being newly single can be rough any time of the year, but some find it especially difficult when everything they see reminds them of love. If you think about it, a breakup isn't only about “the end”; it can also be a new beginning. Whether you find a new love or embrace being single, caring for yourself and others can help remind you that there's more than one kind of love. Do you have any other suggestions about celebrating Valentine's Day after a breakup? What sorts of things have you done? Do you think about Valentine's Day at all? Discuss!