Negativity Around Valentine’s Day
Lately, I have noticed that many individuals respond unenthusiastically when discussing their Valentine’s Day plans, or even after simply wishing them a happy Valentine’s Day. Upon examining their response further, I am told they don’t “celebrate” because it is a “Hallmark holiday,” or because they are not being in a relationship, or even because they simply do not want to celebrate a holiday about love. While, yes, Valentine’s Day is very much a Hallmark holiday invented as a way for companies to make money from people celebrating their love for one another, at the end of the day, it is still a holiday about love.
This means you don’t actually have to be in a committed romantic relationship to celebrate this day.
Other Ways to Celebrate Love
What about just celebrating love? What about just celebrating the positive relationships that you have in your life? This could be family relationships or friendships. Either way it is about acknowledging that love is a positive emotion and something that people, as well as society, could likely use a whole lot more of.
I have also had the opportunity to chat with some people who are using this holiday to celebrate their friendships. I have even heard about and seen some neat items in stores that are specifically directed at such people, including items that celebrate “Galentine’s Day,” an obvious pun on Valentine’s Day meant to honor the friendship between ladies. In a large-scale picture type of way, it is incredibly important that people have taken the opportunity to reformulate the meaning of this holiday. After all, this is typically one of the goals that we have for people in therapy: to reframe difficulties or things that could be perceived negatively but could also have a positive slant and to choose to focus on the positive options available to them.
Open Up Perspective, Make Different Choices, and Negatives Can Become Positives
There is no reason that Valentine’s Day has to strictly be about individuals in romantic relationships. Choosing to take this holiday and make it into something positive is a choice that is available to every single person out there, whether you are in fact in a committed relationship, or you’re not and you simply decide to celebrate it in a different way with other people in your life.
The key here is choice: we have choices available to us every single day and specifically with regard to how we respond to situations. We can make active and deliberate choices to turn something potentially negative into something positive by simply reframing how we look at it, and likewise, changing our behavioral response.
Ways to Have a Great Valentine’s Day
- If you are in a committed relationship, do something nice for the other person. Acknowledge the love that you have. Even if you are staunchly opposed to the holiday itself, it is possible that your partner or spouse would still be appreciative of some small gesture of Love. It doesn’t have to be big or grandiose, but there are many ways to show your partner how much that you care.
- If you are not in a relationship, connect with other single friends and get together to celebrate your friendship.
- Throw a party for all! This includes both partnered friends as well as single friends. Make the theme about love.
- Eat a healthy amount of chocolate! This means a small amount and not going overboard with the whole bag of chocolates. Chocolate is very healthy for you in the right dosage, and especially dark chocolate!
- Do something kind for a complete stranger. Again, the holiday is about kindness and love. Plus, we know that most people feel extremely gratified when they do something kind (and perhaps unexpected) for others.
- If you are in a place where you are wanting to date, go on a dating event! There are plenty of these hosted on these days.
- If you have recently experienced a breakup, still find a way to honor the people close to you in your life. It is likely that at least someone has helped you through this time – honor your love for them.
- If you recently experienced a significant loss, particularly of a spouse or partner, allow yourself time and room to feel your emotions. Honor the person in a way they would have appreciated.
- If you are really struggling around the topic of relationships, whether you are in a relationship or single, seek out professional mental health treatment. There are lots of methods and ways that a mental health professional can help.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
At Tampa Therapy, we are committed to providing a relaxing, healing, and non-judgmental environment to support you on your journey to mental and emotional growth. If you want things to be different, you have to change them. This means being open-minded, committed, and recognizing the power you have in your life. Give us a call or email us today to start the process of making important changes in your life.