What comes to your mind when you think of Valentine’s Day? If you’re anxious, there’s a good chance you’re concerned about being let down, or letting someone down.
If you’re single, your anxiety may be focused on the constant fear and wondering if you’ll ever find “that one” to spend your life with.
If you’re depressed, you could find yourself critical of this over commercialized valueless holiday that’s really just about selling more paper that will likely end up in the landfill and candy we shouldn’t be eating.
This Valentine’s Day however, remember, you have a choice. The same way we choose to stay in a relationship each in and every day (if we’re in one), choose to do things today that help build joy, love and worthiness within yourself. Make valentine’s day simply a day to celebrate love within and for yourself and extend it to other’s if you so choose.
Here’s some tips for making loving choices this V-Day:
1. Set and verbalize your expectations. If you’re in a romantic relationship, no matter the length, accept that your partner is not a mind reader (yes, even after 13 years) and isn’t going to nail Valentine’s Day like you may want. The myth of two people who perfectly understand each other without being told what to do and who perfectly support one another at all times without generating conflict is unattainable. So just stop. Choose yourself, by choosing to express your wants and needs.
2. If you’re single, Treat Yo’ Self!!
Make Gal-entines plans (or bro-entines? This doesn’t roll off the tongue as
nicely but you get it.) Show yourself the love and respect you deserve from
others and enjoy yourself. You can also just stay home with take-out and some
good selfcare. Either way- do something special for you.
3. If you feel particularly lonely, write down people who have loved you in your life and have shown you care and compassion. Focus on your gratitude for their influence on your life. This could be a past teacher, coach, tutor, aunt, grandparent, therapist or friend. You are connected to the human community, and never alone.
4.Write a letter of Gratitude. Sometimes Valentine’s day can be a reminder of better days, but it can also serve as a reminder of what you may need to be doing more intentionally in your relationship with a partner, or yourself. If you are having conflict with your romantic partner, dig in deep to what you appreciate and admire about this person.
5. If you’re feeling burnt out use these 36 questions from the Greater Good In Action ! They’re great with a partner, or even with your friends! For romantic relationships, the Gottman’s also have a great free app for facilitating loving conversation- pop open your app store and type in Gottman Card Decks and settle in for some good conversation.