(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Dr. Donya Wallace is a licensed therapist and professor at Palo Alto University. She practices interactive, mind-body therapy, with a focus on helping clients understand the connection between their physical and mental well-being and their emotional health. She explores the emotional and physical impact of stress and find ways to establish balance and restore equilibrium.
Tips for Coping with Valentine’s Day Blues
Dr. Wallace offers five tips to help you manage the unrealistic expectations that can often trigger feelings of sadness and loneliness on Valentine’s Day.
- Be Your Own Valentine – Stay open and positive even when feeling low. Loneliness can make you want to hide at home and keep to yourself. Instead, make a concerted effort to keep positive, open and optimistic. Make a plan that includes some self-indulgent activity like treating yourself to a massage, yoga class or manicure. Resist the urge to fall into a funk, even when you are at your lowest.
- Give love, get love – nurture and care for someone (or something) else. When we help other people, we are really helping ourselves. Make valentines and mail them to your friends and family to show them you’re thinking of them. Help an elderly neighbor or bring them some flowers or baked goods, or just indulge yourself and buy yourself some flowers or cookies.
- Put things in perspective – ask yourself what is causing these feelings of loneliness and isolation. Acknowledging them is one of the first steps toward fixing the issue. Reframe your thoughts. Think of this day as a reminder to practice gratitude and express appreciation. The most meaningful way to celebrate the holiday may not be a fancy dinner at a swanky restaurant, but rather a list of things you love about yourself and or your partner.
- Stay Busy – if you are anticipating feelings of loneliness on Valentine’s Day, don’t wait around waiting these feelings to manifest themselves. Make a list of all the things that make you happy. Go to the library and find a travel book to help you plan a vacation. Plan to reconnect with an old friend via telephone or Zoom. Keep yourself and your mind active.
- Monitor Your Feelings – No matter how you prepare to avoid the blues, understand that it can happen—and it’s common around Valentine’s Day. Monitor the difference between just feeling lonely around the holiday and symptoms that last for more than two weeks. If feelings of sadness and loneliness persist you may want to see a therapist. Symptoms of depression include thoughts of guilt and hopelessness, loss of interest in once-enjoyable activities, feeling sad, anxious, or tired, changes in sleep or appetite, inability to focus or experiencing suicidal thoughts. If you are having thoughts of self-harm, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.