10 Tips for Coping with a Lonely Valentine's Day
If the thought of another Valentine's Day makes you want to stay in bed and pull the covers over your head, don't despair; you're not alone. Although Valentine's Day is a made-up, highly commercialized holiday, it still manages to stir up a brew of unrealistic expectations and powerful emotions. And, when you've recently lost a loved one, it can be a painful reminder of their absence.
Since we can't really sleep the day away, here are a few tips for coping with Valentine's Day.
1. Be your own valentine. In a Huffington Post blog about dealing with Valentine's Day blues, Christine Hassler suggests you treat Valentine's Day as an opportunity to woo yourself. Instead of falling into the trap of believing someone else can fix what's wrong in your life or complete you in some way, Hassler suggests committing to appreciating, loving, and accepting yourself.
2. Get a buddy. Agree with a friend to spend time together or exchange gifts on Valentine's Day.
3. Reach out. Be a Valentine for someone who might need special attention. Helping others will lift your spirits more than flowers or a box of chocolates. Visit someone in a nursing home or hospital, or volunteer in your community.
4. Cherish friends and family. Whether you're single or in a relationship, Valentine's Day is a great time to recognize and express appreciation for the important people in your life.
5. Schedule a massage. Massage reduces stress, anxiety, and depression by releasing endorphins (feel good hormones) and reducing stress hormones.
6. Treat yourself. Don't wait for someone else to lavish attention on you. Buy yourself something special or take yourself out to dinner.
7. Seek support. If you're mourning the loss of a loved one, turn to friends and family or consider joining a support group. If you continue to struggle with grief, a qualified counselor can help.
8. Don't be SAD. If the short, dark days in February cause you to feel blue, you may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Talk to your physician about light therapy, spend time outdoors, and exercise to lift your mood.
9. Recognize the grass is not always greener for married people. Feeling blue on Valentine's Day is not just for singles. Research shows that an unhealthy marriage is worse for your mental health, and increases your risk for depression, more than being single.
10. Celebrate a day early. Instead of dreading Valentine's Day, celebrate Madly in Love with Me Day on February 13.
Slap-Shelton, Laura. "How To Cope With A Blue Valentine." Self Help Magazine. Web.
SinglesAwareness.com. "Single on Valentine's Day?" Web.
Hassler, Christine. "Dealing with valentines day blues."
Canadian Mental Health Association. "Valentine's Day Blues." Press release. Web. 2 February 2006.
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