Valentine's Day decorations have been rampant for over a month now. Reminders are everywhere of this holiday for celebrating love and romance. Sounds great, right? …..NOT for everyone…
If you are recently divorced or somewhere in the process of divorce or separation, this can be a particularly painful time of year. You might experience feelings of failure, increased stress, loneliness, or sadness anticipating this day that is all about love and happiness. You might be dreading Valentine's Day!
We want to acknowledge that this may be a challenging time for some of our clients and many others out there. It is widely known that more than 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. While this is an unfortunate truth, at least there can be some comfort in knowing you are not alone.
If you are recently divorced or separated and feeling the sting of Valentine's Day, please consider some of our strategies for making the most of it this year. Who knows? Maybe you can find some happiness and fulfillment afterall:
- *Treat yourself. Buy yourself a gift. Whether it is your favorite dessert, a new outfit, or something more extravagant, buy yourself something that brings you joy. Treat yourself to a feel-good day. Hit the spa, your favorite restaurant, go see a great movie, or stay in and watch a marathon of your favorite show. Love yourself and treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated. This is an important time to engage in self-care.
- *Give! Rather than focusing on not receiving gifts, choose to be a giver this year. Plan to give small, meaningful gifts to people that you care about. Show them your love! You may also consider giving your time through volunteer work. Giving is good for the soul.
- *Spend time with a friend. Plan to have lunch or a night out with a friend or a group of friends. Chances are you are not the only single person in your life. Get together with someone you enjoy and appreciate some good conversation.
- *Focus on the kids. If you have children, put your energy into making it a special day for them and showing them your love. Do something fun together and put focus on how Valentine's Day is a day to show love to family. Focus on the other kinds of love in your life rather than on lost romantic love.
- *Be active. Use physical activity to release stress and tension. Go for a hike or a run. Find a yoga class. Ride your bike. Go dancing. Find something you can do alone or get a friend on board. Either way, doing something physical is a great way to release energy and endorphins on Valentine's Day.
- *Laugh! Whether with friends, with your children, or on your own, find humor and allow yourself laughter. Laughter is healing and reduces stress. Make this a priority.
- *Remember that you WILL survive. You made it through the December holidays and New Year's and you will get through this too. Valentine's Day is over-hyped anyway!
There is plenty of love to go around. Focus on showing love to your friends, your family, and most importantly to yourself!