Valentine’s Day is often considered a time full of love, romance, jewelry, gifts, flowers, chocolates, cards, friendships, family, champagne/wine, and more. For many, Valentine’s Day is a way to spoil loved ones and show appreciation for them. While there can be many wonderful aspects to Valentine’s Day, there can also be many challenges, especially for those in recovery.
The University of New Hampshire notes that Valentine’s Day can cause additional stress for those who do not have a significant other – feelings of loneliness can ensue, which can lead to even worse symptoms such as anxiety and depression. To maximize your mental health this Valentine’s Day, make sure you do the following things:
- Treat yourself. If you can, allow yourself to sleep in a little, eat a nice breakfast, watch your favorite movie, and do things that uplift your spirits. Valentine’s Day can be a day of pampering yourself if you want it to, and it will boost your self-esteem.
- Redefine what Valentine’s Day means to you. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a day focused on your relationship status. If you want it to be, it could simply be another day, or it could be a day focused on loving and being kind to yourself. Changing your perspective and setting your own expectations – not what societal expectations are – will give you a “leg up” on your mental health.
- Plan some sober fun. Go to the movies, visit a museum, plan to experience a spa day, go ice-skating or bowling, or walk around the mall. Plan something that you can do that will not encourage unhealthy behaviors and will promote your recovery and mental health. Places listed above often don’t serve alcoholic drinks, which will help you to be in a place that can’t even trigger you to want to drink.
- Spend time with others. Loneliness, sadness, anger, guilt, shame, and anxiety can all lead to a mental breakdown. If you’re already feeling upset about Valentine’s Day, make the decision to spend time with others. They can be friends or family, or you can even make the decision to volunteer. Harvard Medical School states that volunteering promotes both mental and physical health.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to impede on your mental and physical health. Luckily, there are several preventative measures that you can take to ensure you happiness and well-being, no matter the day. Always remember to call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts. There are many people who care about you and want to be there for you.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment centers in California. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Make the decision to place your mental and physical health as top priority today. Call us at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.