Valentine’s Day can bury us under an avalanche of red and pink decorations, chocolates, greeting cards, and flowers. Ads focus on romance while mostly overlooking family and platonic relationships. While the holiday can be wonderful for many, societal expectations can leave single folk feeling excluded or “less-than.”
For those with mental health issues, Valentine's Day can increase feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, and anxiety. But the day can offer an opportunity to celebrate self-love, friendships, pets, family bonds -- any types of affection and support in your life. Here are 10 ways to celebrate the day in your own way.
1. Be Free to Be You
You have the freedom to be unapologetically yourself without worrying about impressing someone else. Embrace your individuality and enjoy your own company. (You can do this any time of year, of course, but this is a chance to really go for it.)
2. Celebrate Self-Love
Valentine's Day is an excellent occasion to focus on self-love and self-appreciation. It's a day to treat yourself with kindness. Focus on and celebrate all the great things that make you uniquely you.
3. Make Quality “Me Time”
Being single on Valentine's Day gives you an entire day to indulge and pamper yourself. Schedule a spa day, read your favorite book, binge Netflix, enjoy a good bath... Or, all of the above.
4. Strengthen Relationships
The holiday provides an opportunity to celebrate all of the relationships in your life. You can connect with friends (single or otherwise) and have a fun night on the town, or even host a "Galentine's Day" or "Palentine's Day" celebration.
5. Make Meaningful Gestures
Show appreciation to your friends and family with small gestures, like writing personal notes, crafting greeting cards, baking cookies, or sharing experiences together over a cuppa coffee.
6. Take an Opportunity for Self-Reflection
Valentine's Day can be a time for self-reflection and setting new goals for personal growth. Use it as a day to think about what you want in life and how you can achieve it, and bring those notes to your next session to share with your therapist.
7. Seek Community and Social Events
Many communities organize events and activities specifically for singles on Valentine's Day. These events can be a great way to have fun, enjoy a sense of belonging, and take a break from that Netflix binge.
8. Express Yourself Creatively
This day can be an excellent inspiration for creative expression if you’re artistically inclined. Make crafts, create artwork, or pour yourself into a written work to express your feelings.
9. Commit Acts of Kindness
Use Valentine's Day as a day to perform acts of kindness. Helping others or contributing to your community can be immensely rewarding and fulfilling.
10. Enjoy a Low-Pressure Environment
Finally, being single on Valentine's Day means freedom from the stress and expectations of society’s romantic ideals! There's no worry about finding the perfect gift or planning an extravagant date. You’re free to make the day all about you.
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be so challenging for singles dealing with mental health issues. Love comes in many forms and the most important relationship you can nurture is the one you have with yourself.
Bodhi’s caring therapists can help you adjust your perspective, practice self-compassion, and prioritize self-care, making every day a celebration of your own mental health, well-being, and happiness!