Happy (early) Valentine’s Day everyone! For some this is a day full of planning and spending time with a significant other; for others it may be labeled as “Singles Awareness Day.” But why does not having a significant other need to be a bad thing? Rather than spending your day feeling sorry or upset about not having that special person in your life, think of all the others in your life that love you every day.
Valentine’s Day is a stressor on everyone, whether you have someone to celebrate with or not. Those in relationships wonder whether the gift they got will be good enough or if they are spending enough money. And for those who are single, feelings of sadness and alone may come up at a time when love is the theme of the day hence “Singles Awareness Day.”
It’s funny, while I was on the phone with a representative from Cigna receiving benefit information for a client, the representative mentioned not looking forward to the “love/partner day this weekend” and I told her that even though I was in a relationship I never enjoyed Valentine’s Day. She laughed and asked why as I was able to celebrate it with someone. I then explained to her how I dislike the pressure society puts on us to have this over the top romantic day, when I really just want to enjoy spending time with my significant other. After I finished explaining this to her and mentioning how I think people should spend it with anyone they love regardless if there is a romantic aspect to it, she told me that she was going to try and spend time with her friends and family.
So for all of you, both in a relationship or single, make this Valentine’s Day more about loving those who are in your life, romantic or not, and loving yourself. Forget about what other couples are giving each other, and focus more on making that day a special one (and that special one is you too!).
I found a list of strategies from MyMentalHealthDay.org’s article “What Does Cupid Do To Your Mental Health” that are meant to lift your spirits about Valentine’s Day; this is for anyone feeling down about V-Day.
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate all your relationships
You don’t need a special someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Your parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, mentors, friends and colleagues all play a special role in your life. Today is a perfect opportunity to show them how much they really mean to you.
Your love is not equal to gifts and money
It’s important to remember that your love for someone is not measured by gifts or the amount of money that you spend. A simple “I love you” or a handmade card can mean just as much (if not more) than anything you can buy in a store. And remember if you receive a gift, it truly is the thought that matters.
Show yourself how much you love YOU
This is the essence of My Mental Health Day and Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to pamper yourself. Go to the spa, soak in the tub, sleep in a little later—whatever it is that makes you feel a little less stressed and a bit more relaxed. This day is an opportunity to love yourself and appreciate your needs as much as it is a day to recognize the other important people in your life.
Do you have more tips to subdue those Valentine’s woes?
Still having a hard time making Valentine’s Day the way you want? Check out these “Six Ideas to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Your Way” from PsychCentral and see if any of these help make V-Day feel like less of a burden.
- Celebrate what you love. If you love animals, make the day about them. Maybe you’ll volunteer to walk dogs or clean cages at a shelter. Maybe you’ll take food to them. If you love exercise, then make it a special day of climbing, jumping, rowing, cycling or whatever you prefer that enhances your heart health. You get the idea. Make whatever you do out of the ordinary. If you usually run a mile, then maybe you could run a mile in a beautiful area. Maybe run with friends too.
- Make it a day of giving. Think of ways you can contribute to others and show a love of your fellow man. Make several donations during the day to make it special to you as well as those who benefit. Donating clothes, books, time, and acts of kindness are possibilities. In this way you can celebrate agape, one meaning of which is generosity and love of humanity.
- Practice Self Love.The Greek word for self-love is philautia. Narcissism is one type of self-love but there is also a healthy self-love, being secure in who you are and liking yourself, which enhances the love you can give to others. Many emotionally sensitive people struggle with self-love. Perhaps Valentine’s Day could be a day of taking care of yourself and being self-compassionate. What is it you need in your life right now that you can give to yourself?
- Cherish friendships. There are many types of love. Having loving friends adds happiness and health to your life. Even if your close friends are in romantic relationships, they probably are not busy all day or all weekend. Make plans to get together to honor love of friends.
- Play. Play can be rejuvenating. Find ways you can play through dancing, exploring a new area of town, spending time with children (they are experts), engaging in board games, going to putt putt or driving bumper cars are possibilities. Playful love or ludus is a way of experiencing joy.
- Value longstanding love or pragma. Sometimes couples who have been together for many years just ignore Valentine’s Day. For some, candy, flowers and cards just aren’t important or even desired. If you have a long term relationship, maybe Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate the strength of years of being together. Staying in love is different from falling in love. You know what would be special to you and your partner. Take the opportunity to pay attention to what you have built together.
Whether you have a significant other to celebrate Valentine’s Day with or not, do not only focus on showing love to a romantic partner, and more about showing that love to yourself and those who are around you day-to-day. We put so much pressure on ourselves to find a partner, and make Valentine’s Day an over the top romantic event that we forget to focus on the love for ourselves and others.
If you are feeling lonely or having a hard time letting go of your expectations, it may help to have someone join you on your journey. give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378 to set up a free phone consultation. Our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Couples Counselors, and our Orlando Marriage Therapists would be happy to sit down with you (and your significant other) to help you along this journey.