Surviving Valentine’s Day While “Flying Solo”

Surviving Valentine’s Day While “Flying Solo”
by Robert Wright, Jr., Ph.D., COFT

For many Americans Valentine’s Day is looked forward to expectantly, as a time when expressions of love and affection are shared and exchanged. However, for a significant number of Americans, this same holiday may trigger feelings of sadness or a sense of loss. “Why?” In such individuals, Valentine’s Day may bring up painful memories of the collapse or break up of a close intimate relationship or reflections upon the death, infirmity or incapacity of a close loved one or friend. And, for others, Valentine’s Day may intensify the painful realization that they are separated from their loved one who is living or working at a distance in another place. Thus, for some, Valentine’s Day can trigger and heighten feelings of anxiety, stress, grief, aloneness and loneliness.

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, many people who are single, divorced, separated or widowed dread being asked this question: “So, what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” Instead of hoping that no one asks, you can prepare yourself by having a plan of action for the day as well as a ready reply such as “I plan to ….” Having a ready response will put you ahead of the curve and allow you to turn your attention to the activities you have planned instead of ruminating upon who’s not there or what’s not happening – all things which are outside of your control. Concentrating on things you can control will automatically lower your levels of stress and anxiety and helps to keep your focus away from feeling shame or defeated.

Since so many Americans find Valentine’s Day challenging, here are some tips for successfully surviving this holiday.

Do something you like: Do something that brings you joy such as watching a favorite movie that makes you laugh and feel good.

Be especially good to yourself: Make an appointment for the salon or spa to get a pedicure, manicure, facial or massage. Doing so helps you look and feel better.

Beat the pants off of procrastination: Take control by committing yourself to completing a project or task you have been putting off for a while. Have you wanted to learn a new language? Then sign up for the course! Does your leaky toilet or faucet need to be repaired? Then either fix it yourself or call a handyperson to do the job. Crossing things off your “To Do” list helps you feel better about yourself.

Express Love and Appreciation: Enjoy the true essence of Valentine’s Day by spreading love and kindness everywhere you go. Spreading good cheer is contagious and you will become an example to others around you.

Be uniquely you: Take control by being yourself and stop comparing yourself to others and their situations. Remember, there’s only one you, so go for it and celebrate that fact. And who knows, just perhaps, this will turn out to be the best Valentine’s Day ever because you have become your true self.

Copyright © 2013 StressFreeNow. All Rights Reserved.

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