How to cope if you struggle with Valentine’s Day

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Five tips to help you fend off difficult feelings this Valentine’s Day

Feeling down or lonely on Valentine’s Day is much more common than you might think. People can find the day triggering for many reasons; they may be going through a break-up, mourning the loss of a friend or family member, or have underlying mental health challenges.

One of the issues is that since our school years, many of us have been conditioned to have a high expectation of Valentine’s Day – one where we’re showered with love, adoring messages and gifts. But for most people, the reality is very different.

Plus, if things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d like in your life, Valentine’s Day can feel like a reminder of disappointments and uncertainties, and compound existing negative thoughts. Our mental health experts here at Vita Health Group have shared five tips to help you fend off difficult feelings this Valentine’s Day:

1. Stick to your normal routine

Try not to let the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day overtake your week and disrupt your routine. Chances are, if you carry on as normal and don’t allow yourself to dwell on the day, you likely won’t even notice it’s come and gone. Remember, it’s just another day.

2. Restrict your social media use

You may find that images and videos of loved-up people on social media are triggering to you. Scrolling through social feeds on Valentine’s Day can send some people into a downward spiral. Restrict your use of social media or make a commitment to yourself to stay off it altogether.

3. Give love to friends and family

friends and family

Connecting with others on Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to involve romance. Squash the misconception that Valentine’s Day is exclusively for lovers. Instead, arrange a date with friends, join a group exercise session, host a night in at yours for your friends and their families, or arrange a video call with a grandparent. Think of others in your network who might benefit from talking and company on this particular day.

4. Be your own Valentine

self love

If you know that you might struggle with Valentine’s Day this year, think ahead and plan a day or evening full of all the things you love to do. If you enjoy exercise, book onto your favourite class or schedule a walk outdoors, or if you have a favourite coffee shop, make sure you pop in and get your drink of choice. Yes it’s good to shower people around you with love, but it’s equally as important to give it to ourselves too.

5. Get professional help

There is no shame in feeling triggered by Valentine’s Day. It’s a day wrapped in big emotions and it’s completely natural to find it difficult. If you do feel overwhelmed by your feelings during this time, particularly to the extent that they interrupt your day-to-day activities, reach out for professional help. Talking therapies can help you to navigate your feelings and equip you with the tools you need to manage difficult emotions.

 

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Vita is an award-winning, CQC registered healthcare provider