Now, Let’s Help You Deal With the Way You Feel
Sometimes referred to as the Hallmark Holiday, Valentine’s Day is also known as the “cruel holiday.” It’s unfortunate this day that’s supposed to celebrate love triggers feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and many levels of depression for a lot of different reasons.
Maybe you’re single and don’t want to be. Maybe you’re in a relationship, but an unhealthy one. Maybe you’ve lost someone you loved with all your heart. Maybe you feel completely unloved by anyone and everyone. Valentine’s Day feels like a cruel reminder of what’s missing. Maybe you don’t even know why you’re feeling depressed, you just do. Or maybe, you’re not the one feeling depressed, but want to help a loved one who is.
And no matter how much you say that Valentine’s Day is a silly made-up holiday, this love celebration brings on some serious feelings of depression.
How to Beat the Valentine’s Day Depression
Valentine’s Day is upon us, so rather than talk about the root of your depression, (which you may already know) we’re going to give ourselves permission to jump ahead and look at ways to deal with this sometimes “cruel holiday.”
We asked our doctors and therapists at Core Recovery to give their thoughts on ways to deal with the very real feelings of Valentine’s Day depression. Here are some valuable tips they shared:
- Make that Special Someone YOU Use this Valentine’s Day as a day to be good to yourself, whatever that means. Get a pedicure, go see a (happy) movie or play, go hiking or biking, bake cookies for your neighbor, go shopping. Do what makes you feel good. If staying in bed is the only way you can cope with this day, then do it. But if that’s the case, your Valentine’s depression is at a level where you should seek help. You don’t need to feel this way and we can help you.
- Avoid the news feed and seek out support groups on social media You may want to avoid your social news feed today since romantic posts can sometimes add to depressing thoughts and feelings of inadequacy or loss. Instead, look for some social media support groups that can relate to what you are going through and help you get through the day. Social media can also help you connect with your own support network who can offer you the encouragement and understanding you need. Remember, you’re not alone in this.
- Hang with Friends (even the four-legged ones)Get together with friends, neighbors, or coworkers. But don’t make it a pity-party, unless you feel the need to share the day with others who feel just like you do: the “misery loves company” school of thought. Then go ahead and spend time with those you can commiserate with and get it out of your system.But if not, surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Those who will take your mind off the holiday and engage in other things that interest you. You may be surprised that even your married friends will be open to getting pizza or something low-key on this high-stress day. Your furry friends will especially appreciate you most of all. Make it a dog-friendly gathering with other dog-lovers, go to the dog park, take an extra long walk, or just spend special time with your BFF on four legs watching your favorite dog movie.
- Find Strength in FamilyIf you get along with your family, this may be the key to getting you out of your funk. Most parents want to hear from you any day, including Valentine’s Day. Give your mom, dad, aunt, uncle and siblings a call and let them know that you love them. If you have kids, have a V-Day party with them. Cook up something special, make ice cream sundaes, or play games … whatever makes it a fun time together.
- Do Something for Someone ElseVolunteering feels good, so give your time this Valentine’s Day for a cause you care about, even if it just means picking up trash around your neighborhood or buying someone in need a meal. Go a step further and babysit for a friend who wants a special night out, or volunteer at an animal shelter. Valentine’s Day can also be about kindness.
- Make it a Double … Chocolate Milkshake that isValentine’s Day and alcohol don’t have to go together. Since alcohol is a depressant, drinking it when you’re feeling down might not be the best thing for you, depending on the situation. You can always switch to something fun and fizzy or sweet instead of wine, beer, or other alcohol. But if you feel like you can handle it and it’s part of what you’re doing, it’s fine. Just be careful and stop if you begin to feel even more depressed.
- Do Some Journaling About Your FeelingsSometimes it helps to get it all out. And sometimes, it’s best to just do it on paper (or you could tell your four-legged BFF because he’ll never tell.) You can tear it up and throw it away if you want, put it away to read another time, or keep on writing even after Valentine’s Day. Journaling works wonders for your mental health, say our experts.Here’s why: The act of writing accesses the rational and analytical side of your brain, your left-brain. So while your left-brain is busy writing, your right brain is free to tap into the emotional and intuitive side to express your feelings. This can be very helpful in using both parts of your brain to clarify your thoughts, feelings, and know yourself on a deeper level.
Getting to the Heart of the Matter
While we hope we’ve given you some ways to handle this somewhat unforgiving holiday, we also think it’s important that you understand your feelings about Valentine’s Day. They can provide you with important information, and may surface again until you determine what is at the heart of the problem. It could be that it’s just a stupid holiday that makes you feel bad because you’re not in a relationship. But it could be much more than that.
It takes courage and strength to face your feelings, and to seek help when you need it. It’s OK to have Valentine’s Day Depression, a lot of people do. However, if you continue to feel lost, hopeless or depressed, remember:
- You’re not alone. One in 10 Americans experiences difficulties with depression.
- You do not have to feel this way. There are people who care and want to help you. Core Recovery provides a caring and nonjudgmental atmosphere to address depression using a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma resolution, and mindfulness to help you gain relief.
Our website offers for more information about the symptoms of depression and how we can help. So if your Valentine’s Day Depression lingers on or resurfaces throughout the year, please contact us. Recovery is possible. Let us help you get there.