Admit it: every February, we can feel a little overloaded with messages of how things are “supposed” to be on Valentine’s Day.
It becomes super annoying, and super ridiculous.
We’re told that chocolates, hot baths and even hotter dates are absolutely necessary. You can’t possibly have a great day without these things in your life on Valentine’s Day! To that, I say; SCREW THAT.
I’ve been married for five years, and have known my husband since we were sixteen. If there’s anything that the two of us have learned about Valentine’s Day, it’s that nothing goes as swimmingly as TV will tell you it’s supposed to. Plans change, weather happens, etc. We run into obstacles because they’re part of life.
If you’re someone dealing with anxiety and depression this time of year, it’s like adding a giant Moai from Easter Island on top of that: pure stone and a huge weight of responsibility. You’re navigating a condition and trying to appeal to the masses and obey societal norms. Welp, guess what? Let me free you from that right now boo.
I want to introduce you to five healthy ways to spend Valentine’s Day while enduring a mental rough patch.
We have to first admit that we’re not feeling so hot. Once we do that, then we can use some other tools that I personally have found that worked for me when I’m anxious or depressed this time of year.
- Trade the roses for something original: What I’m really suggesting here is that you do you. If you’re single, take part in an activity you enjoy that your “normal” routine doesn’t otherwise allow you to do. If you’re coupled up, enjoy something that makes the two of you, “the two of you.” Maybe it’s something you did when you first got together that you haven’t done in a while? Whatever it is, do you. Stand firm in your choice. It doesn’t have to be all about the stereotypical Valentine’s Day gifts.
- Take stock of what you’re grateful for: We just don’t do this often enough. When we reflect on what we’re so lucky to have in life, we start to realize that we’re more loved than we thought. There is someone out there rooting for you. That’s special. It’s easy to forget that when we’re caught up in a routine.
- Volunteer: It can be any facility of your choosing. You can even use this as an excuse to learn a new skill, or dive into something you think you’d be passionate about. I did this at an animal shelter, and I actually really enjoyed it! I’m so glad I did it! What better way to spread love on Valentine’s Day than give love?
- Go for a walk: This clears the heart, and mind. Your body will thank you!
- TREAT YOSELF: Donna Meagle was right, ya’ll. Ain’t nobody got time to sit and sulk or get pissed about a day that’s “supposed” to go a certain way and doesn’t. One thing you can do is find your own way to treat yourself. You don’t even have to break the bank while doing this! Sometimes this means throwing on your favorite movie you haven’t watched in a while. It can mean whatever you want it to, even if that’s spending money. Just be sure to take care of #1 – you. You’re no good to anyone else if you don’t.
Got any other ideas on how to rock Valentine’s Day?