By Linda K. Laffey, MFT

Valentine’s Day comes every year. And while it’s easy to brush it off as nothing more than a silly greeting card holiday, it can often feel like it’s “in your face”, spotlighting your singleness throughout the month of February.

If you don’t have someone special in your life, even the smell of chocolate can wear on you. The constant sight of heart-shaped decorations, sentimental cards, and endless social media posts about romantic plans can sting a little.

Valentine’s Day can often make not being in a relationship feel worse. That, unchecked, can lead to feelings of sadness or even hopelessness. But you don’t have to struggle with the Valentine’s Day blues if you plan ahead.

Let’s talk about how you can cope with those blues when you’re on your own.

Treat Yourself

First, you can choose to ignore Valentine’s Day completely. After all, it’s just another day on the calendar. But, if that’s too hard for you, why not make it a day to treat yourself?

Self-care is important all year long. However, if you need an excuse to make time for yourself and do something kind for your mind or body, Valentine’s Day is the perfect reason. Take the day off work and sleep in. Give yourself permission to do things you enjoy and eat the things you love. Spend time with friends or family if you want to or focus on spending the day alone and enjoying every minute of it.

You can also jot down your thankfulness in a gratitude journal. On days that might otherwise be especially hard, writing down what you’re thankful for can make a big difference in your attitude and how you feel.

Make Non-Valentine’s Day Plans

One way to ignore the festivities of the day is to make special plans (alone, with family members, or with friends) to do something unique. Focus on activities that have nothing to do with the holiday. It’s the perfect excuse to do something you’ve been thinking about for some time while others are dining in crowded restaurants. Go see your favorite sports team compete. Go to the theatre to see a play. Or, you could go do something completely adventurous and novel.

When you don’t have someone special on Valentine’s Day, you can use it as an opportunity to not just do something for yourself, but to do something that challenges you. Mark the day with special memories that are yours alone to cherish.

Plan a Singles Night Out

Chances are you’re not the only one in your group of friends who doesn’t have a “special someone.” So, why not get together with your single circle and have a fun night out?

Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about romantic love. It can be about the love you have for your friends or people in your family. Celebrating with anyone you care about is a great way to spend the holiday. Spending it with other people who are single can help you to beat the blues and deepen other types of connection. Embrace your community as a sort of acknowledgment that you are not as alone as you thought.

Keep Your Routine in Place

As far as the calendar is concerned, Valentine’s Day is really just another day. So, don’t let the pressures of the holiday get you down.

One good way to combat the blues is to keep up with your daily routine. Wake up at the same time and follow your daily pattern without interruption. Go to work, go to the gym, run errands, etc. The less emphasis you put on the day, the easier it may be to get through it.

It doesn’t have to be so hard to cope on Valentine’s Day if you don’t have someone special. Making the day more about you and less about candy and flowers can actually help you to beat the blues and realize how happy you can be on a holiday made for love.

Take the first step…

If you’re combatting loneliness or want to understand more about yourself and how you approach relationships, I would like to help.
Please contact me via phone or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda K. Laffey, MFT

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