Valentine’s Day and the art of emotional self-care are like partners in an annual dance. Indeed, one of the best questions for young people in recovery to ask is how to survive Valentine’s Day single while remaining in a positive state of mind. After all, it’s a challenge to survive Valentine’s Day single because there seems to be so much external pressure to take part single in a holiday designed for two.
Valentine’s Day reflects Christmas in its advertising-fed emphasis on modern consumerism. On that holiday, there is an emphasis on getting into the proper spirit by buying gifts and spending money. On Valentine’s Day, the focus is on purchasing candy and cards for a partner and going out on the town to celebrate love. For people not currently in a romantic relationship, the holiday can feel like a reflection of failure, leading to feelings of sadness or depression.
However, feelings are not facts. And like Christmas, teens can reframe the difficulties that come with being in recovery during the holidays by finding connection in the people around them. It’s more than okay to be single on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day Single in Greater Perspective
As a direct result of this tendency towards emotional self-harm on Valentine’s Day, emotional self-care is a priority come the middle of February every year. Taking steps to avoid emotional self-harm is particularly essential for people in early recovery or just out of treatment. By focusing on taking care of yourself, you protect the valuable treasure of your ongoing recovery.
First, it is so important to take a step back, pause, and obtain a different perspective on these negative feelings. Advertisements and entertainment make it seem like everyone in the world is either in or about to be in a serious relationship. However, this storyline is far from the truth of everyday reality.
According to a study done by the Pew Research Center in 2019, more than half of young people in America are not in a relationship and do not have a romantic partner. In other words, you are not alone. Indeed, what you are feeling is quite common. Hence, such a realization helps young people feel less like failures since they are not the only ones in this situation. In a class or walking down the street, it is likely that half the people like you are trying to figure out how to survive Valentine’s Day single.
The Significance of Emotional Self-Care on Valentine’s Day
Emotional self-care sounds like a significant challenge when a young person is trying to figure out how to survive Valentine’s Day single. However, you do not have to be a mental health professional to employ strategies for emotional self-care on Valentine’s Day effectively. Indeed, it is a lot easier than it sounds.
Also, the majority of the following strategies work in many other contexts. Ultimately, emotional self-care is about loving yourself, and in a sense, being your own Valentine. By taking care of yourself, you protect the present from emotional self-harm and ensure more positivity and success in the future.
Four Strategies for Emotional Self-Care on Valentine’s Day
Here are four strategies to help you survive Valentine’s Day single —
- Be Your Own Valentine and Take Care of Yourself
Instead of beating yourself up for not being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day or desperately searching Tinder and other mobile dating apps for a quick Valentine’s fix, why not be compassionate and loving to yourself? There are so many things you can do to take care of yourself, like eating your favorite foods, listening to the music that you love, watching that movie you’ve always wanted to see, or engaging in favorite hobbies.
- Make Alternative Plans with Friends
You don’t have to spend Valentine’s Day alone just because you’re not in a relationship. When you think about it, you probably know a bunch of single people in the same boat. Call them up and make plans to see a play, go to a comedy show, walk in a favorite neighborhood, or take a hike in the woods, being mindful of holiday relapse triggers. Other single people will appreciate the efforts you make in reaching out, and this idea leads right into the next strategy
- Reach Out to Someone in Need and Be of Service
When you think about it, we all know people like friends and family members who are going through challenging times. Why not use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be of service to these people? Hence, call them on the phone or visit them in person, letting these people in your life know that you care about them. Not only will they be grateful that you are making such an effort, but you will also feel a lot better as well. Indeed, helping others has a tendency to help us feel better about ourselves.
- Focus on Taking Care of Your Life
Feeling lousy about being single on Valentine’s Day often leads to depression and stagnation. Rather than giving in to these negative feelings about yourself, take care of yourself by going to the gym, studying in your favorite setting, or filling up the refrigerator with fresh groceries. Also, by cleaning your home, you can improve your physical surroundings. A recent Indiana University study concludes that people with clean houses are healthier and fitter than people with messy houses. Thus, cleaning up your surroundings benefits your inside emotional well-being as well.
Ultimately, by taking care of yourself, you learn how to survive Valentine’s Day single. Not only will you survive, but you can thrive by fostering a positive day for yourself.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash