By: Chana Kaufman
As we enter February we are constantly reminded of Valentine’s Day’s imminent arrival, from heart-shaped chocolates and doughnuts in stores to commercials on TV advertising gift ideas, love is definitely in the air! Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrate that special someone you love in your life, however, what happens when there is nobody you can call “special” on your own? Being single on Valentine’s Day is tough, especially when the entire world seems to be happy and pronouncing their love, while one has nothing to celebrate. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation, sadness and even self-doubt.
In his post on this topic, Dr. Marcus Mottley quotes Dr. Laura S. Brown, professor of psychology at Argosy University/Seattle on how to handle depression and other emotional health issues during the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day:
- Do not define yourself by your relationship status. Your relationship status is not your identity.
- If you are single because of a recent loss, allow this to be a day of grieving. Do not pretend that it’s not a hard day. Get support and sympathy.
- Realize that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. It is not about love and relationships; it is about selling flowers, candy, and diamond jewelry. Think of all the money you are saving.
- Plan well in advance to do something that will not place you in the path of billing and cooing couples. Even if you usually like dining out alone, do something else on Valentine’s Day.
- Get together with people who do love you – friends, family members, and the people who already have relationships with you.
- If you are single and you don’t want to be, start now to think about what is in the way of creating the relationship you want. Find ways to work on becoming the person your dream partner would fall in love with. Start therapy. Take up yoga. Begin to volunteer. Create art. Make meaning. Act to change the world. It is into the fullest lives that love is most likely to fall.
- If you are single and you like it, now is the time to affirm your choice. People who never marry or partner have close, loving, emotionally intimate relationships and lives worth living. Do not let a couple-driven culture define your choice as something wrong.
If you believe that you or a loved one has or may have depression, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Please contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201)-368-3700 or (212)-722-1920 to set up an appointment, or visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.