What to do on Valentine’s Day if you can’t stand the holidays


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What to do on Valentine's Day if you can't stand the holidays

What to do on Valentine’s Day if you can’t stand the holidays

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Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

This fact has prompted increased efforts to find a partner; in fact, online dating activity increased by 33% in the first two weeks of February, according to a survey conducted by WalletHub this year. (They also noted that the holidays cost nearly $22 billion.)

If February 14 brings you some emotions — not all good ones — you’re not alone.

“Valentine’s Day brought a lot of pressure to it,” said Kate Evans, a licensed clinical professional counselor who runs her own life coaching practice, Soulful Space Coaching, in Elgin, Illinois . “Our culture has given us this notion that you have to be in a relationship. If you’re in a relationship? All these pressures make the day very romantic,” she said.

But let’s face it, there’s no solid evidence that people who celebrate Valentine’s Day this way are happier or have better relationships, Evans explained.

So, if you want to go all out to celebrate the day, go for it. If you want to pretend it didn’t happen, do it. But if that looming heart silhouette on your calendar is bringing a frustrating mood (regardless of your relationship status), read on. There are ways for you to recalibrate your emotional response to release some of the negativity you may have harbored about it—and maybe even find ways to celebrate the love in your life in a way that resonates with you. Here’s how, according to Evans and other emotional health experts.

1. Let go of unwarranted pressure

Are you feeling extra pressure to be a partner or some kind of relationship status on Valentine’s Day? The first step in eliminating inappropriate and unwarranted stress is to understand the source of the stress. “If you have a voice in your head that you have to be in a relationship to be valuable, whose voice is that?” Evans said. your mother’s? A high school student? University? A love movie that impressed you? Why do you feel this pressure?

Then you Evans said it’s a choice whether to keep the voice — or whether to require an eviction notice. “Are you a victim of societal expectations, or do you see yourself as strong, independent, victorious, and valuable regardless of your relationship status?” Evans said. Maybe you’re sure the pressure comes from you realizing that you’re really unhappy with the state of your relationship. In this case, acknowledge the desire and then tell yourself that you’re open to an upcoming relationship, but at the same time, you’re amazing, she says.

2. Adjust expectations

Valentine’s Day can bring a lot of negativity to those who don’t want to be in a relationship, and to those whose holiday expectations don’t match reality. (Can you think of past Valentine’s Days that didn’t live up to expectations?) There’s a misconception that it’s the most important day to celebrate love, says Lauren Schapiro, a licensed social worker and psychotherapist at Liz Morrison Therapy in New York City.

The key, Shapiro says, is to set manageable expectations for the day itself, especially if you’re in a relationship. Maybe this tells your partner that you want to order from your favorite place (if you like, get the china out to make it look pretty) or that you want to exchange gifts. Yes, talk about it! Even though gift-giving may seem obvious to you during the holidays, it may not be so to your partner.

Giving up on the idea that your Valentine’s Day celebrations should look like some “perfect” version you’ve come up with can free you from those unrealistic beliefs that this is the only time to celebrate love. What you do on Valentine’s Day, or how you celebrate or not celebrate, doesn’t necessarily have to reflect the strength or health of your relationship, Shapiro said.

3. Explore all the ways you like

Romantic love is not the only love that exists. Sure, you know this, but it probably needs a reminder on Valentine’s Day. “Explore the love you have in your life outside of a relationship. Celebrate the feelings you have for a friend or family member, or even the love you have for yourself,” says Shapiro.

Get together with friends or family on Valentine’s Day, or host a Valentine’s-themed dinner where you can eat heart-shaped pizza or set up an ice cream bar and game night. If you’ve been away from loved ones this year, make a list of people who have brought joy to your life, Shapiro advises, and reflect on why you love them.

4. Feel how you feel

Whether you’re single or in a couple, it’s okay to have a complicated relationship with Valentine’s Day. “It’s important to accept that’s how you feel and to sit with that emotion,” Shapiro said.

Give yourself a few minutes, 30 minutes, or even an hour to embrace your feelings, the good ones, the hard ones, and everything in between. This means accepting and trying to understand challenging emotions, rather than trying to push them away with distractions or stewing them (until you let them grow into something bigger and more mind-draining).According to December 2018 published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

5. Plan ahead

If you’ve been dreading the day, you’ve probably tried to ignore it as much as possible. But if you know you won’t be able to really ignore it as the day goes by, it can backfire. “Let’s not wake up on the morning of February 14th and say, ‘Oh, crap. What am I going to do myself?'” Evans said.

If you know past Valentine’s Day has put you in a bad mood (for whatever reason), think about how you’d like to spend the day. What will make you truly happy? And make a plan to do at least one activity to make the day special to you. Is that a yoga class? Your favorite movie about a bowl of popcorn? Sitting down to read a book and drink tea in the afternoon? Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic relationships — it can also be about you. That would feel good.

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