Brace yourselves everyone…it’s that time of the year when flower, chocolate, and lingerie sales skyrocket as millions of people declare their love to each other courtesy of Hallmark, Godiva, and Victoria’s Secret. Our beloved St. Valentine’s Day isn’t the easiest of holidays for everyone. For many it’s a harsh reminder of a loving relationship they are not in or highlights a recent relationship lost. Our deepest vulnerabilities are touched on this most loving day of the year as we all attempt to go about our business either ignoring all sentiments of love or struggling to find the right way to express our own feelings to our loved ones. This guide consists of suggestions for how to better survive the holiday. Regardless of our relationship status, Valentine’s Day can bring up some difficult feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that some of us would frankly prefer be left unaddressed. Be brave, dear humans, as we all go forth clad in red and pink, hearts and flowers. Together, let’s walk boldly over the threshold of commercialized amore and rejoice that February 15th is only a day away!
1) Embrace The Loving Relationships You DO Have – Rather than focus on what you don’t have, reach out to friends and family around you in gratitude. Is there another friend without a sweetheart? Join forces and host your own event.
2) Practice Radical Self-Acceptance – When we find ourselves disconnected from all kinds of relationships, caring for yourself becomes a necessity! Rather than engaging in self-defeating, shame based thinking about your state of singlehood, remind yourself you are all you ever need to be. Consider indulging a bit in a favorite activity and do something nice for yourself. If you are in a relationship, this is still an essential element, by the way, to building a healthy relationship. No other person, regardless how perfect they may appear, will be able to provide you with all the self-identity, esteem, love, and happiness you crave. We have to do that for ourselves first.
3) Take a Risk – Considering asking someone out? What about that meet-up group you swore you were going to join. Want to try something new with your current partner? Use the holiday to dare yourself to take an emotional risk. It just might help you set a new course for the year ahead!
4) Keep Your Sense of Humor and Stay Positive – Listen folks, I get it, it’s SOOOOO tempting to become cynical around this time of year. I am also guilty of it myself on many a day other than February 14th. This year I’m going to try to resist the urge to make a snide comment about that poor soul purchasing a beanie baby stuffed into a heart shaped balloon or roll my eyes at the 800th bouquet of roses arriving at the office. This year I’m going to shift my thinking a bit and embrace even the most ridiculous expressions of love with appreciation that these rituals still exist in our otherwise cynical world. Love and be loved, friends, and have the happiest Valentine’s Day you can!