By Parth Patel, Mobile Crisis Outreach Supervisor
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, a holiday that can bring up both comfortable and uncomfortable emotions depending on your situation. Loneliness is absolutely a normal and understandable feeling to experience during this time, whether it’s because of your relationship status or the number of friends in your life. What’s unique about this year is that these feelings may be exacerbated by the global pandemic we are all living through. Social distancing is without a doubt making it more difficult to be around those we care about.
Those in stable relationships may be experiencing some added pressure and stress due to the expectations put on them to show their partner how much they care. They may feel obligated to think of the best date and nicest gifts to give. This holiday can send an unhealthy message to partners that they need to spend money to really show affection and love. This can end up causing one to feel a lot more anxiety and stress rather than joy on this day.
Whether you’re single or in a relationship this Valentine’s Day, please remember that this day can bring up different feelings for everyone, and that you ultimately can decide to make this day all about taking care of yourself if you wish to do so. Self-love is a fantastic thing to celebrate each and every day!
Here are a few ways navigate Valentine’s Day:
- Treat February 14th as the ultimate self-care day!
Whether you’re single, in a relationship and celebrating alone, or don’t even acknowledge this holiday (hey, who can blame you?), perhaps you decide to do all of the things you love today. Get some of the most delicious treats and spend time doing your favorite activities. Incorporate whatever self-care strategies you use, whether it’s music, art, video games, or any of the other activities that help alleviate stress. Remember that this holiday doesn’t have to be about romantic relationships either, it can be a time to celebrate your friendships and of course your relationship with yourself.
- Avoid Social Media today
Social media breaks are so helpful because they help you avoid comparing yourself to your friends and family. Remember that what you see on social media is not always an accurate reflection of the person posting. It is pretty normal for most couples to fight and get into arguments, but do you ever notice that social media posts on this day will rarely highlight these occurrences?
- Love ≠ Money
Even though Valentine’s Day may bring up images of fancy chocolates, flowers, gifts, and dinners, remember that these are all unrealistic expectations and can actually put a lot of unnecessary stress on you or your partner. A question for you to consider is, “Do I need to spend money on my partner to show them that I care?” Many times the best gifts come from the heart and don’t require a lot of money.
- Reach out for support
We are all dealing with enough stress living through a global pandemic at the moment, the last thing we need is additional stress caused by feelings of loneliness or isolation on this day.
Please know that there are two free resources you can access whenever you need extra support:
Reach out to the crisis line via phone or text at 1-855-325-4296 or chat at IowaCrisisChat.org for help exploring your feelings. Call 1-855-800-1239 and ask to speak with Mobile Crisis Outreach if you are experiencing a mental health crisis and want some additional help getting connected with local resources. Remember that both these services are free and confidential.