Combatting Stress around Valentine’s Day
Hallmark’s holiday, heart shaped chocolates, flowers everywhere, table for 2 reservations, cupid’s bow, also known as Valentine’s Day. The holiday that was created to celebrate love has popularly also become known as “single awareness day” or just a day of dread for many whether or not they are in a relationship.
Let’s take a second to break down why there is such an unhappy feeling when it comes to the day of love. For starters, movies and TV shows and even Instagram feeds often display images of ‘love’ ‘romantic gestures’ or ‘happy couples’. This can make those of us on the other side of the screen question ourselves: if we are living up to that definition of love, if we are worthy of love, and even, for some of us, remind us of perceived failures- whether we are in a relationship or not. While love and romantic relationships are something to celebrate, such heavy saturation of media can also make us feel isolated and alone.
So how do you cope with Valentine’s day and its associated woes? Dealing with mental health challenges can be difficult, so we’ve compiled a few things you can do this year to make it a day filled with more joy (and less loathing).
“Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.” ― Rupi Kaur
Single or not, we all can feel lonely. Sometimes when we are in a relationship and dealing with mental health challenges, we can feel isolated from our partner, or when we are single and dealing with those challenges, we can feel lonely as well. The holiday is about love, why not start with loving yourself, after all the relationship with yourself is the most important.
This year on Valentine’s Day, start off by writing down three things about yourself you love the most, remember and praise those qualities that truly make you special. And then indulge in some self- love. Make sure you take a few minutes that day for yourself, whether its going for a walk, reading a favorite book, taking a relaxing bath, treating yourself to your favorite food, etc. Honoring the love for yourself is a great way to celebrate the holiday, single or not.
Can we just talk: Communication is often something we forget is a powerful tool. Whether it is talking to your partner about the emotions you are feeling leading up to the holiday, or some friends who are also single, share your thoughts and feelings with the people who care about you. And then together, make a plan for how you want to spend the holiday or not celebrate at all. Managing expectations is an easy way to alleviate some holiday stress and anxiety.
Remember the Meaning: social media and pop culture might have dubbed this day as one to be filled with fanfare but the reality is it was truly designed just to take a moment to honor the ones we love, including yourself. Be proud of that love most of all and honor the progress you make each day on your journey.
So if you find yourself mid-scroll on Instagram feeling a little melancholy about the chocolate covered strawberries filling your feed, remember that you have people in life that are important to you, including yourself….and it is one day only so maybe pause on the social media till then, after all by February fifteenth the candies will all be half off at the store and it’s back to business as usual.