Valentine’s Day and Mental Health

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of romantic love, friendship and admiration among couples. For the occasion, it is customary for individuals to celebrate by sending messages of love, giving gifts and demonstrating expressions of affection. On Valentine’s Day, many individuals struggle to live up to the ideals of the occasion and what is seen on social media and advertisements. Valentine’s Day is supposed to signify love and togetherness, but in turn it highlights how different, alone and low an individual can feel. The thought of not meeting the ideals associated with Valentine’s Day brings about feelings associated with depression. Sadness, loneliness and worthlessness are strong emotions some individuals experience on Valentine’s Day.

There are many reasons why an individual may find themselves alone on Valentine’s Day.  Maybe it is because an individual chose to be single and is not interested in a relationship, or maybe there was a recent loss of a loved one or a recent break-up of a relationship.  Many single individuals feel like something is missing if they are not in a relationship on Valentine’s Day. There are also reasons why an individual is single that may be out of their control, such as having social anxiety and fears about engaging in a relationship. Whatever the reason for being single, being alone on Valentine’s Day makes the individual feel left out.

The best way an individual can manage their feelings about Valentine’s Day is to change their mindset and strive for happiness by spending time to exercise self-love.  According to Arlin Cunic’s article, 10 Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day Solo, here are a few of the suggestions:

  1. Forget about Valentine’s Day and realize it is a temporary, a one-day occasion. Don’t let the occasion make your feel bad about being alone. Realize Valentine’s Day is over the next day.
  2. Be kind to yourself/Be your own Secret Admirer. Create a great day for yourself. Eat your favorite foods or engage in an activity that you enjoy.
  3. Keep up your daily routine. Go to work, clean the house, go to the gym and get a good night’s rest.
  4. Avoid love triggers. Avoid watching romantic movies or listening to songs about love. This may trigger feelings of sadness and loneliness.
  5. Plan a date with single friends. Being in the company of others in the same situation will lessons feelings of loneliness. Keep the gathering upbeat and fun.
  6. Treat someone else special/Play Cupid. If you know someone that has lost a significant other or is going through a difficult time, treat them to something special. Send flowers, have dinner delivered, plan a visit or phone call.

How are you feeling? Take this confidential screening to determine if your thoughts and behaviors may be associated with a treatable mental health issue. Take this screening anywhere that you feel comfortable, and take as many screenings as you like. You can take the screening for yourself or someone you know. It only takes a few minutes.

by Wanda Smith, MSW, LMSW (AAHP)

The African American Health Program is funded and administered by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and implemented by McFarland & Associates, Inc.
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