Holidays are notorious for evoking emotions of all kinds. Many times these celebrations bring immense joy and connection, and other times holidays can serve as reminders of loss and pain. Valentine’s day is the one day a year designated for celebrating love and romance. For some, this holiday is a reminder to be super intentional about communicating love to their loved ones, but for many others, this holiday creates pressure, anxiety, sadness, and dread. Here are some helpful ways people of all different marital statuses can cope with the feelings that may arise for them around Valentine’s Day:

hearts depicting valentines day

Have a Pal-entines Day

Reach out to a pal and connect. As humans we all have an innate desire to connect with one another. Valentine’s Day is notorious for making people who do not have a significant other feel alone or isolated. Whoever said love could only be celebrated with a significant other? Maybe this year can be a good opportunity to have a fun party with your pals, or to make an extra effort to spend time with one pal you love.

Let go of Rules

I invite you to let go of the idea that this day has to be celebrated the old school way. Take some time and reflect on some of the internalized rules and expectations that show up for you around this holiday. If they serve you, then great. If they evoke shame, loneliness, or even undue pressure then I encourage you to acknowledge that. Bringing awareness to these ingrained ways of thinking and being is the first step to liberating yourself from them.

Self- Soothe

Emotions arise as signals that help us navigate the world and our needs. Make a point to tune into rather than avoid your emotions this Valentine’s Day. When we realize we feel cold, we are conditioned to respond to this feeling by finding ways to warm up. Lets treat our emotions with that same awareness, objectivity, and care. Maybe you start to feel insecure scrolling through social media and comparing yourself to others. Consider being present and taking a break from the behavior that is fueling this insecurity. The more in tune you are with your emotions the more effectively you will be able to self- soothe.

Radical Acceptance

It is important to remember that the 14th of February will come and it will go, just as it does each year. Honor the feelings that may inevitably arise and remember that these too shall pass. When we can practice acceptance, regardless if it is a pleasant reality to accept or not, it frees our minds to focus on what we can control. You’ll notice that acceptance can even diminish the power that what we cannot control holds over us.

We can control connecting with others. We can control letting go of unhelpful rules that increase our suffering. We can acknowledge our emotions and be responsive to our needs. We can engage in self soothing practices. We can control practicing acceptance as difficult as it may be at times. We cannot control the noise others around us make on Valentine’s Day. We cannot control that Valentine’s day exists. Most importantly, we can control being able to effectively take care of ourselves and whatever feelings arise when this day inevitably comes each year.

If you would like to talk to a therapist about relationship problems, our therapists at Cityscape Counseling can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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