Navigating the Pressures and Stress of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be a hard time for those of us in recovery. Some people see it as a celebration of love and romance, while others view it as a commercialized manipulation of the public to better corporate earnings. Wherever we fall on the spectrum, there is often a large amount of anxiety, stress, or loneliness around this time of year. A day devoted to focusing on that special someone can make those of us without a significant other feel rather lonely. Also, for those in a relationship, there can be pressure or fear about behaving in a specific way. For those of us in recovery, love and relationships can be much more challenging, and holidays such as Valentine’s Day can present a tough situation to navigate. For such a relatively small holiday, there can be a lot of struggle accompanying it, and we are here to help you feel better about the position you may be in. 

The important thing to understand is that this holiday is just a day; it is not indicative of anything about you as a person. You are not defined by the situation you are in on Valentine’s Day. This fact may not completely take away any of your feelings about it, but acceptance of circumstance can bring a degree of peace of mind.

For those of us who find ourselves “alone” on this day, we are not truly alone. There are many types of love that exist. Familial love, platonic love, and romantic love are all examples of this. As such, romance doesn’t have to be our only focus on Valentine’s Day. The day is about love, in all its forms. It doesn’t have to just be about romance, just because the greeting cards tell us so, or because someone posted a picture on social media with their significant other. It can be a day for us to celebrate our friends and family, and the love that takes shape in those relationships. If you are struggling with your romantic situation, focusing on these people and the things they love about you can bring great joy into your life. Remind yourself about the things that make you special, and the things that you love about other people. By giving love, we are that much more capable of loving ourselves and feeling valued. Reach out to a friend and tell them how much you love them. If you are struggling, be honest with them, and ask them to give you the affirmations that you need. We know that it can be uncomfortable to do, but your friends and family are there to support you. We can find ways to keep our heads up during this time of year and remember that no matter our romantic situation, there is no shame in not having a romantic situation. By celebrating the other forms of love in our life we can change our outlook and realize how valuable we really are.

For those of us who are in a romantic relationship, we cal feel a lot of pressure for things to go a certain way. We may feel there are certain expectations of us, and that we have to live up to specific standards. Looking at it this way can be unhelpful to us; a day in favor of celebrating love should never be about behaving a certain way. Expressing love to a significant other takes many different forms. If you have feelings of fear around this day, talk with your significant other about it. By communicating this you not only express vulnerability to them, but you also allow them the opportunity to assuage any problems you may be having ahead of time and ensure that they are at a place where both of you can feel comfortable. You may find that there are no expectations at all on their end and that the worry was founded on something inside of you. For those who are having issues in their relationship, there may be a feeling of sadness or stress because of it. Instead of focusing on the things you are having issues with, take the time to focus on the things that have kept you in the relationship in the first place. Doing so can give you clarity about the situation and a different perspective of the conflict. It can help you find the other side where you two can be happy and the conflict can be resolved. It is important to keep the good in focus. This focus is key to leading not only a healthy relationship but also a healthy life. 

A day about love in all its forms should not be as stressful as it is. A lot of this is due to pressures put on us by outside forces. At the heart of it all, we need to focus on the good things to celebrate on this day. Express the love you have for other people. Focus on what makes us lovable, even if we are not in a relationship. Find the reasons why you are in a relationship and what draws you to that person. Set your expectations early, and drown out the other stuff. Your love is yours, and yours alone. Don’t let a greeting card company tell you otherwise. 

     If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]