6 Ways to Avoid Valentine’s Day
If any mention of Valentine’s Day has you cringing and gagging, we understand. All the fluffy pink, sparkly red, and mushy PDA at this time of the year gets to be a little much. Whether you’re a die-heard anti-Valentine’s Day-er at heart or simply feeling tired of all the hullabaloo, you can still have a nice, normal, non-gag inducing February 14. So grab your tennis shoes and get ready for the best un-Valentine’s Day ever.
1.) Go slow cycling. No weird two-seater bicycle needed for you. Pull out your bike or rent one from a shop nearby, and savor a leisurely ride while keeping an eye out for the invasive species (a.k.a. couples) in your path. They seem to be everywhere, but if you cross them, simply avert your eyes and visit your mental happy place. In the blink of an eye, they’ll have passed and the road will be all yours once again.
2.) Find a hidden treasure. Described by its fans as grown-up hide and seek, geocaching is a great way to get outdoors and feel a bit nostalgic at the same time. To geocache, you need a free basic membership from Geocaching.com and a GPS-enabled device. Then you simply search for geocaches near you and head out on your search. Geocaches can hold a number of objects, ranging from only the traditional log sheet to a full chest of treasures. But remember, if you take anything, you’re expected to leave something of equal or greater value as well. Geocache on!
3.) Green your thumb. Dreary winter weather may have you feeling extra gloomy right now, but getting some dirt on your hands is the perfect way to shrug off those icky feelings. Clear some space by a window and plant an indoor herb garden. If weather permits, go out and find some bright, cheery, seasonal plants to add to your yard. Otherwise, head to a community garden nearby and volunteer for the day; you’ll be smiling from helping your neighborhood, meeting new people, and creating something beautiful.
4.) Create a masterpiece. Winter can be one of the most beautiful times of the year, and now is your opportunity to capture it. Any kind of camera, from a cellphone to a professional model, will do, and if you don’t think you have an eye for nature photography, this is the time to really give it a try. Don’t worry about the end product too much; instead, focus on the beauty of wherever you are and be inspired. You may even find a new hobby in your endeavor.
5.) Explore your local park. Pull on your sneakers, some warm layers, and hit the hills. Allow yourself to be alone with the sounds of nature and enjoy the time to relax and reflect. If you’d rather be in the company of others, invite a friend, neighbor, or furry companion to join you. Either way, be thankful for the presence of everything around you (except that touchy-feely couple you walked by earlier).
6.) Get your feathers ruffled. Rummage around for your handy dandy binoculars and find a birdwatching book or website, and you have everything you need. Again, this can be a solo, partner, or group activity, just do whatever would make you happiest. Although it may seem like the trees haven’t been as full of chirps in the winter, you’ll be surprised at the liveliness you can find. Remember to be patient, and if all else fails, you can tune into these live bird cams from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
--Image via iStockphoto/Joe_Potato
Jessica Zischke is an editorial intern at Sierra. She is currently studying environmental studies at Dartmouth College, where she also works as a staff writer for The Dartmouth newspaper.