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Mental Health and Valentine's Day

The Real Deal with Valentine's Day: Love, Stress, and Coping

Valentine's Day is a day that's as much about love as it is about roses and heart-shaped chocolates. It can stir up a whirlpool of emotions for many. It's a day that's supposed to celebrate love in all its forms but often ends up putting pressure on people, often negatively affecting our mental health. This blog post explores how Valentine's Day sometimes affects our mental well-being and offers coping mechanisms and strategies to help us cope.

The Pressure Cooker: Valentine's Day and Societal Expectations

Valentine's Day does not exist in a vacuum. Social expectations, media portrayals, and comparisons on social media platforms influence how we think of Valentine's Day. Those perfectly captured moments we see on Instagram and Facebook can make it feel like everyone else is basking in the glow of idealised romantic experiences, which can create feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. But there is a way to get through this! Read on to find out more.

Coping Mechanisms and Strategies

Setting realistic expectations for the day can be a lifesaver to help get through this. Taking a brief hiatus from social media to concentrate on self-care can be a simple way to create a buffer so that you don't expose yourself to triggers that stir up feelings of loneliness and low self-worth. Stop the scroll! Just take a break! Set a time limit if you can't avoid it, but stick to it. Staying right away from it for a while is even better.

A simple trick I like to use when I need a mental buffer from things getting me down is getting intentional about what I do with my focus and time. What better way to do this than by watching a feel-good movie? It can be an awesome way to get the happy hormones going! But anything that changes the focus, such as going for a walk, visiting a museum, or catching up with someone you haven't seen for a while, can also do the trick!

Remember, seeking support from friends, family, or professionals is okay. These steps aren't just about surviving Valentine's Day but about being sensitive to your emotions and feelings. If this day triggers you, then your "job", so to speak, is to take care of yourself the way you would your BFF, a small child or your fur baby!

The Singles' Struggle: Navigating Valentine's Day Alone

Let's face it. The social stigma around being single sucks and can make Valentine's Day especially troubling for singles. There is a lot of pressure on people to be in a romantic relationship. If you are feeling this pressure because you are single, take it as a cue to practice a little self-love and self-care at all times, but especially during this time in particular. Remember, your self-worth is an inside job! Self-love starts with YOU!

young woman gets support from counsellor

Transforming Solitude into Empowerment

Reframing how we look at this day, especially being single, divorced or widowed, on Valentine's Day can also empower us. Make it a day about self-care and taking care of yourself. Why not transform this time into an opportunity to try some new activities? It's the perfect excuse to explore volunteering, try new hobbies, or organise a get-together with friends or loved ones. It's about redefining what the day means to you, stepping away from social expectations, and celebrating self-love.

In a Relationship: The Untold Mental Health Challenges

Being in a relationship does not always mean that you are immune from mental health challenges associated with Valentine's Day. Unrealistic expectations can strain relationships, and the commercialisation of the day often puts a heap of emphasis on materialism instead of meaningful connection.

Keeping Mental Health in Check

Open communication about feelings and expectations is a great place to start. Instead of trying to create the "perfect day", think of different ways to celebrate your relationship that doesn't rely on expensive gifts or spending.

Beyond Romance: Expanding the Love Spectrum on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day doesn't just have to be about romantic love. It can encompass all forms of love, including love for family, friends, pets, and self-love. Luckily, modern Valentine's Day is more about inclusivity and breaking away from traditional concepts of love, relationships, and friendships. This is a bonus for community wellness!

When all is said and done, Valentine's Day and the Month of Love are great reminders to celebrate all forms of love, recognise diversity in love expressions, and promote kindness and support between people and within the community! Let's not just celebrate love one day but make acts of love and kindness a part of our daily lives.

"Remember, it's okay to celebrate love in the way that feels right to you."

Smiley face


How do I deal with Valentine's Day anxiety?

  • Acknowledge your feelings and remind yourself that feeling this way is okay.
  • Avoid comparing your experience to others, especially on social media.
  • Focus on self-care and do things that make you happy.

Is it normal to feel depressed around Valentine's Day?

Absolutely. The heightened emphasis on romantic love can bring about feelings of loneliness or inadequacy. It's important to recognise these feelings and to seek support if needed.

How can I support a friend struggling with loneliness on Valentine's Day?

  • Simply being there and listening can be incredibly supportive.
  • Plan a day together doing activities you both enjoy.
  • Remind them of their strengths and accomplishments, showcasing your love and appreciation for them.

What are some non-romantic ways to celebrate Valentine's Day?

  • Host a get-together with friends or family.
  • Volunteer or perform random acts of kindness.
  • Take the day as an opportunity for self-improvement or to start a new hobby.

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